Hiccups or synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF) or singultus are not harmful, but they drive you nuts until you find a cure. They may persist for hours and usually occurs due to excessive alcoholic beverages, overeating, eating too quickly or too spicy foods or even due to excitement or emotional stress. Try out these tried-and-tested home remedies to stop the hiccups.
1. Swallow something Sour or Sweet
A spoonful of sugar can cure hiccups, as it irritates the esophagus, making the phrenic nerves to reset. Let the brown or white sugar dissolve slowly without chewing it. Sip water and these hiccups will stop. Take a teaspoonful of vinegar, be it White vinegar, malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar and its sour taste could stop a hiccup in its tracks.
2. A spoonful of Peanut Butter
Eating a big spoonful of peanut butter is an age-old remedy for curing Hiccups. While you try to get off the sticky, gooey consistency of peanut butter, your breathing pattern is interrupted, and stops the continuous hiccups. Swallow the spoonful of Peanut Butter without chewing and drink water if required.
3. Hot Sauce
Spicy and hot sauce works to stop the hiccups, as the heat and burns can cause the distraction and you end up focussing on the burn than hiccups process.
4. Hold your Breath
Hold your breath and close your mouth, like the way when you’re ready to jump into the pool. Hold it as long as you can, and this trick interrupts the nerve stimulation from the brain to the diaphragm.
5. Brown Bag those Hiccups
The old standby, breathing slowly and deeply into a small paper bag is believed to cure the hiccups. It works similar to the Breath-holding trick by increasing carbon dioxide level in the bloodstream, making the diaphragm contract more deeply to bring in more oxygen and stopping the hiccups.
6. Fingers in your Ears
Doctors advise to put your fingers in your ears and deep breathily to stop hiccups. The vagus nerve goes into action by stimulating the nerve endings, as the branches of the vagus nerve reach the auditory system. Remember to be gentle and not stick your fingers too far in ears. Alternatively, holding the end of your tongue with fingers and tugging can ease diaphragm spasms and cure hiccups.
Few Tips to prevent Hiccups
- Avoid Overeating as it is one of the common causes of Hiccups. Overloading the stomach with food and forcing it down your gullet can lead to Hiccups.
- Eat slowly. When you eat fast, you probably don’t chew the food, and it causes air to get trapped between pieces of food, setting off the vagus nerve causing Hiccups. Chew slowly and take smaller sips of your drinks, to minimize the air intake.
- Avoid eating Spicy foods. Too much of spicy food can cause acid from the stomach to leak into the esophagus, and this extra acid can cause hiccups.
- Take alcohol in moderation, as it can disrupt the lining of the food pipe, and this is one of the reasons for your frequent hiccups.