Hiccups explained

Hiccups, we all get them, but few of us understand them.

Hiccups explained

A hiccup is a short and involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle. When this muscle contracts, the opening between the vocal chords snaps shut to stop the inflow of air. This sudden closing causes the hiccup sound.

This contraction is caused by an irritation of the nerves that extend between the neck and the chest. There are a number of potential causes for this contraction:

• chewing gum
• swallowing air
• smoking
• eating or drinking too fast. This can cause you to swallow air, causing hiccups
• anxiety
• some medications that cause acid reflux as a side-effect
• damage to the phrenic or vagus nerve
• swelling or infection of the liver
• noxious fumes.

Although hiccups will normally go away by themselves with no ongoing side-effects, according to emedicinehealth.com a number of home remedies for hiccups do actually work. You can drink a glass of water quickly, hold your breath, pull hard on your tongue or even have someone scare you.

While hiccups normally aren’t a reason for concern, if they become persistent, frequent, interrupt your ability to eat or sleep, cause you to throw up or feel severe pain, last more than three hours or make you feel as though you can’t breathe, you should seek medical attention.

What is the silliest thing you’ve ever done to get rid of hiccups? Do you have any hiccup home remedies you’d like to share?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    14th Jan 2020
    There is a simple and immediately effective way to end the hiccups - drink a glass of water upside-down. To do this, while holding a glass of water, bend over 180 degrees while standing up so your head is between your knees. (At this point your nose is below your mouth). Drink and swallow the water from the glass in this position. When you bend back upright again the hiccups will be gone.
    16th Jan 2020
    Take a breath in, push down in your guts and stop the hiccups, after maybe 10-15 seconds they have gone, works every time.

    Tried to get my wife to do it but the "hiccups" still managed to escape, you really need to push down hard.

    Tags: health, hiccups,

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