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Hiccups are normally short-lived, but sometimes can last for days. They happen when your diaphragm starts contracting and your chest and abdomen muscles start to shake. The classic hiccup noise is just air being expelled from your lungs. Express.co.uk reveals how to get rid of hiccups.
Hiccups always pop up at the worst time, and sometimes there’s no obvious reason why you get them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common triggers for hiccups that last less than 48 hours include:
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating too much
- Excitement or emotional stress
- Sudden temperature changes
- Swallowing air with chewing gum or sucking on candy
READ MORE- Heart attack: Hiccups are a sign
Hiccups should only continue for a few minutes and will come to a stop naturally.
However, you may have to resort to home remedies if they last longer than this.
Sometimes hiccups can last more than 48 hours, and the normal cause of this is a medical condition or medicine.
You should see your GP if your hiccups have lasted more than two days or come back very often and are affecting your life.
Long-term hiccups could be due to nerve damage or irritation of the vagus nerves or phrenic nerves.
These nerves are controlled by the diaphragm and can be damaged when something is touching your eardrum, you have a tumour in your neck, you have gastroesophageal reflux, or a sore throat or laryngitis.
Central nervous system disorders such as meningitis, multiple sclerosis, strokes, or traumatic brain injuries, can trigger the hiccup reflex too.
Metabolic disorders like diabetes and drugs or alcoholism can bring on long-lasting hiccups as well.
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The most obvious thing to do is to avoid any of the triggers.
This means putting down the fizzy, hot or alcoholic drinks.
You should also spit out that piece of chewing gum and put out your cigarette – both of these things can cause you to swallow air and make hiccups worse.
The same applies to eating food too quickly, eating spicy food, or eating or drinking something very cold after something hot.
How to get rid of hiccups
There is no evidence that any of the well-known hiccup remedies actually work, but it’s worth a shot.
The NHS website recommends trying the following:
- breathe into a paper bag (do not put it over your head)
- pull your knees up to your chest and lean forward
- sip ice-cold water
- swallow some granulated sugar
- bite on a lemon or taste vinegar
- hold your breath for a short time
Sucking on a small ice cube could help you get rid of your hiccups, apparently.
You may have also heard that getting a fright can cure hiccups, and many people swear by this trick.
Ask a friend or family member to jump out and scare you when you least expect it – the reactional gasp is supposed to stop your hiccups.
Another possible remedy is to put your fingers in your ears and get someone else to hold your nostrils closed.
You then need to take a sip or two of water, so the friend could use their other hand to pour the water into your mouth.
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