Stop hiccups quickly

Stop hiccups quickly

For a split second, your body pretends to inhale. The diaphragm and the auxiliary respiratory muscles contract, and the ribs dilate. But then it happens: The sucked-in air hits the closed glottis with a loud hiccup. And not just once but over and over again. You hiccup.

Causes of hiccups

Possible triggers for the irresistible hiccups can be:

  • very cold or hot food and drinks
  • superabundant meals
  • hasty eating, drinking, or smoking
  • severe nervousness or excitement
  • rarely side effects of various diseases, such as inflammatory reactions in the stomach or oesophagus,

Strong temperature fluctuations irritate the stomach and diaphragm. Therefore, allow ice cream and ice-cold drinks to thaw slightly before consumption. Dishes from the microwave, soups and hot drinks, on the other hand, should be left to cool down a little. You often swallow a lot of air simultaneously when you eat or drink in a hurry. An overfull stomach puts pressure on the diaphragm.

Eat five to six smaller meals a day instead of three large ones. Drink unhurriedly and eat slowly, chewing each bite carefully. This not only protects against hiccups but also serves culinary enjoyment.

 

Home remedies for hiccups

Usually, a hiccup goes away once the diaphragm has calmed down. To shorten the time, many resort to one of the countless home remedies for hiccups:

  • Breathe into a paper bag to increase blood carbon dioxide levels.
  • Drink a glass of water upside down.
  • Hold your breath and swallow the moment you feel the hiccups coming (repeat several times)
  • Cover your ears with both thumbs while pinching your nostrils with your little fingers and blowing out your cheeks with your lips closed.
  • Bending forward or flexing your knees while sitting puts pressure on your chest
  • Drink vinegar or eat sugar.
  • Frighten!

The home remedies are usually based on the same principle: they are intended to stimulate a part of the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system. The nerves report this to the hiccup centre in the brain, and the hiccups stop. The success of these tricks has yet to be proven, but they are generally worth a try for those suffering.

Chronic hiccups

You should see a doctor if the hiccups last more than a day or recurring. Hiccups that won’t stop can indicate serious illnesses that must be treated. It can also lead to a lack of oxygen supply. Chronic hiccups are a sporadic disease and affect 99.9 per cent of men.

 

Origin and meaning of hiccups

Scientists have long puzzled over the biological meaning of hiccups. Researchers from Paris now suspect that the hiccups are a remnant of gill respiration. Lungfish, for example, with both lungs and gills, squirt water over their gills by squeezing their mouths. They close their glottis so that no water can get into the lungs.

The part of the brain responsible for the movements of gill breathing remained intact for millions of years and also controls the glottis in humans. But why have we been spared the seemingly useless hiccups? It is believed to help babies suckle. The sequence of muscle movements during hiccups is similar to that of infants when breastfeeding. The baby’s glottis closes to prevent milk from entering the lungs.

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