Hiccups are one of the most sudden things that happen to us. They come uninformed and surely embarrass us 🙊. Even though it’s a painless and small issue it annoys and makes us uncomfortable at that moment.
I must mention my experience here- One day hiccups irritated me so much that, I became so curious to know what causes it and how to get out of it.
After working on it by opening all my medical text books 📚 and articles, I found many causes and techniques to get out of it.
After that I have tried them on many and even on myself which worked so beautifully and this topic is all about those causes and techniques I learnt.
I guess you know what diaphragm is. A thick muscle separating our lungs and stomach say thoracic cavity and abdomen. This is responsible for Hiccups!
Normally diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle that aids in our respiration.A very important muscle that lets the air to come in, by moving down and lets air go out, by moving up. Moving down happens when it contracts and moving up, when it relaxes.
What makes this diaphragm to irritate us is it’s irritation😁. Irritation of it causes irritation of us. Let me explain how.
- Swallowing more air while chewing gum or sucking a candy.
- Eating more hastily or quickly,
- Taking high spices or green chilli (Gastric irritation),
- Eating in excess,
- Drinking carbonated beverages,
- Feeling stressed out,
- Taking more alcohol,
Mechanism of Hiccups:
The nerve that connects diaphragm to brain gets irritated. This leads to the spasm of diaphragm which undergoes a rhythmic contraction. This sudden contraction causes air to get in and makes vocal cords to shut, producing a Hic sound.
Usually vocal cords shut the glottis, during expiration. But here air gets in and vocal cords shut suddenly due to diaphragmatic spasms.
Other Causes of Hiccups:
To go deeply, other reasons like
- Improper Coughing,
- Opiate use (Drugs),
- And chronic causes like Kidney failure,
- Nervous disorders,
- Lesions of Medulla oblongata,
- Meningitis may also lead to the hiccups,
but these are very rare in incidence.
Now let us look, how we can get rid of them:
Remedies for Hiccups:
Whenever you get hiccups,
- Slower your regular respiratory rate. That is, breathe less times In a minute.
- Hold the breath for 10 seconds at least.
- Have a spoon 🥄 full of sugar and swallow after 5-10 seconds.
- Drink a glass of water quickly.
- Eat an ice cube 🧊 or drink ice water as it stimulates Vagus nerve.
- Breathe into a paper bag, as it gets filled up with carbon dioxide, which relaxes your diaphragm.
- Sit down and bring your knees to chest, which creates pressure on diaphragm making it to relax.
- Rub at the back of your neck to stimulate the Phrenic nerve.
- Pull out your tongue 👅 by holding at the tip, as it works on the nerves.
- Distract yourself and engage in some other activity.
Others Medical Techniques
- Valsalva maneuver– Try to exhale while pinching your nose and closing the mouth.
- Apply pressure on diaphragm with hand, that is just below the end of sternum(Heart centre).
- Massage circularly on Right Carotid Artery.
Want to know about Yoga Techniques to cure Hiccups? Check it out here.