What are hiccups and how do I get rid of them? | Important Facts to Know

What are hiccups?

/ 09:27 AM March 26, 2021

This is a question that everyone asks at some point in their lifetime. Exactly. What are hiccups?

Hiccups are an uncontrollable contraction in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen.

The diaphragm plays a considerable role in your breathing. When you have hiccups, the contractions cause your vocal cords to close and open.


What Are Hiccups Exactly?

What Are Hiccups Exactly?

The sound that comes from this opening and closing is the “hic” sound. This is why these are called hiccups.

Hiccups occur for several reasons. If you eat too quickly, hiccups can develop. If you are nervous or excited, you could get hiccups too.

When you have ever had a too much-carbonated drink or alcohol, you may have gotten hiccups directly. Swallowing a piece of candy and chewing gum can cause these issues.

Being stressed out in life may cause chronic hiccups. If they are established, seeking medical treatment may be the only way to treat and rid yourself of them.

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Generally, they only last only for a few minutes. If you have hiccups for a month or longer, this can cause exhaustion and weight loss. Persistent hiccups typically do not last anymore than 48 hours. If they do, this could cause shortness of breath or keep you from sleeping.


Long term, they can cause other severe conditions if not seen by a doctor. It could be the body telling you something is wrong, possibly an underlying medical condition. In this case, seeking medical advice is suggested.

What are Hiccups a Symptom of?

What are Hiccups a Symptom of?

If they do not go away, there could be damage to the vagus nerve or irritating the phrenic nerves. This damage could be from hair touching your eardrum, cyst or tumor in the neck, reflux, or a sore throat.

When you have a tumor or infection in the central nervous system due to trauma, there may be a development of hiccups. This is quite common in trauma patients.

If you have had meningitis, a stroke, or Multiple sclerosis, this could be another reason you have this issue. Emotional and mental issues such as stress, anxiety, excitement, shock, and surprise can bring on hiccups.

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How to Get Rid of the Hiccups

How to Get Rid of the Hiccups

If your hiccups have not ended after a few days, you might be ready to scream. However, we have some tips and remedies to help you eliminate them.

Here we have remedies to get rid of hiccups include old wives ’ tales, home remedies, and suggestions from others. You may have a secret way to get rid of them that works for you.

On a positive note, many of these work. We cannot guarantee they all work. Being startled can help get rid of the “hic” feeling. Find something to distract you. Taking your attention away from the hiccups could help them go away.

  • Relax. Try taking a bath or lying down. When you eructate air out of your chest, your breathing slows down. Typically holding your breath is a sure-fire way to remedy the situation. Whether you are breathing into a bag or holding your breath, one of these can work for you.
    • When you breathe into a paper bag, it is simply taking your carbon dioxide and recycling it. Taking your mind off of the situation could be helpful. Breathing correctly could help stop the contractions of the diaphragm.
  • Eat a teaspoon of honey or try some spicy food. Speaking of food, if this does not work, try a lemon. Some people suggest that you eat a spoonful of sugar.
  • Try to eat at a decent pace when you have a meal. Do not overeat or eat too fast either. You are making sure that you chew all of your food carefully. All of these can cause these contractions to occur.
  • If different foods do not help, try putting pressure on your chest. Simply hold your knees up against your chest. For this to work, we suggest sitting on the floor and somewhere flat. This pressure will help relieve your diaphragm and end the hiccups.

The symptoms should last no longer than 48 hours. If they do, contact your physician. Long-term hiccups are very rare, and it may be nothing, but if you can get some relief, it would be a life-changer. There have been some cases of it causing brain tumors. Visiting your physician about this could save your life.

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Hiccups can cause an annoying jump in your body and irritate you when you have them. You may have tried to get rid of the hiccups every time you have had them. Gaining control of your breathing is a great way to begin.

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TAGS: breathing illnesses, Health and Wellness, how to
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