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How to Get Rid of Hiccups

How to Get Rid of Hiccups
Linda Guerrera

We have all been in that situation when you get a case of hiccups that just won't stop. In a social situation, those spasms become even more of a nuisance, not to mention an embarrassment! 

Hiccups can be incredibly annoying and trying to figure out how to get rid of hiccups can be even more of a pain in the neck (not a great pun very much intended). The longer they last, the more they can drive you crazy! We have some tried and true ways to get rid of hiccups.

Why Do You Get Hiccups When You Drink? 

You have probably sipped a soda or other drink and got a case those annoying little spasms. The longer it went on, the more you searched for how to get rid of hiccups. Soda or seltzer bubbles not only distend your stomach, but they also irritate the diaphragm leading to hiccups. Alcohol can irritate the digestive system and cause spasms in the diaphragm.

Why Does Sugar Stop Hiccups? 

One of the key ways to stop hiccups is by stimulating the vagus nerve - the gateway of communication between your brain and your body. There are several easy ways to do this and using sugar tops that list. Sugar is special because its sweetness not only wakes up the vagus nerve, but the granulated texture also soothes diaphragm spasms.

10 Ways to Get Rid of Hiccups 

If you have ever searched how to get rid of hiccups, you are probably well aware that many so-called remedies don't work. Since everyone is different, every case of hiccups is also not the same. Sometimes, you need to try a few to stop the annoying involuntary response.

1. Sugar

 As mentioned above, the grittiness of granulated sugar can stop hiccups by stimulating the vagus nerve. Place a teaspoon of sugar on the back of your tongue and let it slowly dissolve.  

2. Hold Your Breath and Swallow

You have probably heard holding your breath will stop hiccups. So, why doesn't it work? Because many people don't know there is another step to this remedy. Inhale deeply and then hold your breath. While holding your breath, swallow a few times. Doing this correctly can jolt the diaphragm right out of that spasm.  

3. Peppermint

This refreshing herb doesn’t only bring some welcome relaxation to your day; it also has a calming effect on your whole body and relaxes the spasms in the diaphragm that cause hiccups.

4. Water

Pour a glass of water and drink the whole thing slowly. Don't pause to take a breath. This action stimulates the vagus nerve and stops hiccups.

5. Gargle

Speaking of the vagus nerve (which is actually two cranial nerves), gargling with cold water is another way to stimulate it, and as we are learning, it holds the key to stopping those annoying hiccups.

6. Breathe into a Paper Bag

Grab a small paper bag (please make sure you use a paper bag because a plastic bag will not only not work, it can cause suffocation). Place the bag's opening close to your nose and mouth without making a seal. Inhale and exhale into the paper bag. This action regulates your breathing by raising carbon dioxide in your blood.

7. Honey

Oh, that vagus nerve! Stimulating it is the way to go to stop annoying hiccups. Take a teaspoon full of honey and let it melt slowly in your mouth. Honey soothes your throat and shakes up that nerve so you can say "See ya!" to your hiccups.  

8. Lie down

Sometimes, just a change of position is enough to stop those annoying hiccups. Lie down on a bed or on the floor and breathe normally.  

9. Compress the diaphragm

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Pull your knees up and hug them to your chest. This motion will compress your diaphragm and stop your hiccups.

10. Citrus

Suck on a slice of lemon or lime sprinkled with salt to stimulate your diaphragm to stop hiccups.

When to Seek Medical Help for Hiccups 

While hiccups are usually not a cause for concern, they could be a symptom of an underlying medical issue. Call your doctor if:

  • They continue for a long period 
  • You are experiencing severe pain 
  • hiccups reoccur frequently 

I'll bet Charles Osborne wishes he had this list in 1922 when his hiccups began and went on for 68 years! Can you imagine having these spasms for even an hour and not being able to google “how to get rid of hiccups”? He woke up one morning in 1990, and his hiccups were gone. He died the following year. Osborne holds the Guiness World Record for the longest attack of hiccups.

Hopefully, you will find at least one remedy that works on this list of how to get rid of hiccups. Everyone is different, and what helps one person might not work for you. Use your judgment to figure out which method is best for your hiccups.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

HPFY Linda Guerrera

Linda Guerrera

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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...

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