Have you ever had such a bad case of the hiccups that you physically hurt? Hiccups are never fun, but in addition to the social discomfort hiccups can cause, they can often be physically painful at times. What causes hiccups? And is there any sure-fire way to get them to stop? Can hiccups be prevented? The answers to those questions and more can be found in the following article.
Have you ever had such a bad case of the hiccups that you physically hurt? Hiccups are never fun, especially if you’re in a public place – such as the office, or an elevator – or even worse, if you have a presentation to make! I remember hearing a story from one of my friends about a couple who was on their honeymoon and the groom had such a bad case of the hiccups that he had to go to the hospital to get them to stop! That’s no way to spend a honeymoon, that’s for sure!
In addition to the social discomfort hiccups can cause, they can often be physically painful at times. I know they are for me – I dread any time I get a case of the hiccups!
So what causes hiccups? And is there any sure-fire way to get them to stop? Can hiccups be prevented? The answers to those questions and more can be found in the following article.
So let’s (hiccup) take a (hiccup) look . . . Uh-oh, here we go.
What causes hiccups?
Hiccups happen when the diaphragm (the muscle located underneath the lungs that aids breathing) spasms for anywhere from a few minutes to several hours at a time. No one is sure what exactly causes hiccups, or why some people are more likely to have hiccups than others. But we do know that swallowing air while eating, drinking alcohol, and indulging in fatty foods can trigger hiccups. Stress, trauma and surprise can also bring on hiccupping episodes. People who have certain health conditions, such as pneumonia and kidney failure, may also experience bouts of hiccups.
Meditation, reflexology deep breathing techniques and acupressure may help people who are prone to frequent hiccupping episodes. Also, consider these natural remedies:
Ginger root. Aromatic ginger relieves a system disturbed by incomplete digestion, which may be a cause of hiccups. It also reduces inflammation in the diaphragm, which occurs when hiccups irritate the muscle.
Baleriana. In small amounts this Greek herb is a traditional favorite for relaxing the diaphragm.
Catnip. This digestive aid and nerve relaxant helps to calm an irritated diaphragm.
Chamomile. A natural anti-spasmodic, tea made from chamomile can lessen hiccup-producing spasms.
Dill. An herb commonly used to season food, dill can help relax the diaphragm and keep hiccups from intensifying.
If all else fails, give some of the fabled traditional remedies a try: stick a spoonful of sugar under your tongue, breathe deeply into a paper bag, or slowly drink a glass of ice water. Oh, and then there’s the one of standing on your head while drinking water upside down. How that is even possible is beyond me!
If your hiccups persist for several days or you have frequent episodes of hiccupping, see your health care provider for further advice and treatment.
So now you know!
The next time you get the hiccups (hopefully NOT on your honeymoon), you’ll have some helpful hints on how to get rid of them quickly and safely. Now, if I could just figure out how to stand on my head . . .