Singultus is the medical term for Hiccups. The involuntary muscle spasms of the diaphragm muscle are called Hiccups. Generally, hiccups occur suddenly. They are very annoying, and that is why people resort to many kinds of creative and unusual ways to get rid of them. There are many ways of getting rid of Hiccups. This article throws light on the different ways to get rid of hiccups.
Quick Facts on Hiccups
Ways to Get Rid of Hiccups
Cure 1: Home Remedies to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups
1. Gripe Water for Hiccups
How to Use?
- Take gripe water and mix it with lukewarm water.
- You can also mix it with your breast milk or give it directly.
- Give this mixture to your baby with the help of a bottle feeder.
- You can give this daily or when your baby has hiccups.
Benefits of Gripe Water
Gripe Water is a combination of water and many herbs that are believed to help with intestinal and colic discomforts. The types of herbs may include fennel, ginger, cinnamon, and chamomile. These ingredients are effective in stopping the newborn hiccups or infant hiccups.
Make sure you always see the manufacturing expiration date. Check the ingredients used in it and make sure that the gripe water does not contain any alcohol. Ensure that your baby is not allergic to any of the contents used in it.
[Also Read: Natural remedies for Baby Hiccups]
How to Use?
- Take 2-4 glasses of cold water,
now gulp down the cooling water to get rid of excessive hiccups
Benefits of Water
Water is a simple and highly effective home remedy for hiccups. Swallowing cold water slowly relaxes the muscles of the diaphragm and lengthens the gap between each hiccup. Eventually, it relieves you of excessive hiccups. It is an effective and simple remedy for pregnant women to get relief from baby hiccups in the womb.
Pressure Points to Cure Hiccups
- Pulling the tongue, hold its end with fingers and tug. This stimulates the vagus nerve vagus which in turn eases diaphragm spasms. This might stop hiccups.
- Gentle pressure on the diaphragm might work.
- While swallowing, apply gentle pressure on each side of the nose.
- Hiccups generally go away on their own. Some people also say that if you stop feeling conscious about them, they subside faster.
CURE 2: Foods To Get Rid Of Hiccups
There are numerous foods like honey, lemon, and yogurt, etc., that serve as an apt remedy for how to stop hiccups. Here are a few that have an immediate effect on the hiccups.
Honey is a source of antioxidants. It also possesses antibacterial properties. Because of its texture, it passes through the throat very easily and relieves you from any blockage that might be the cause of Hiccups.
- One tablespoon of Honey
How to Use?
Take one teaspoon of honey and gulp it. Doing this once will stop the hiccups instantly.
Benefits of Honey:
Honey is rich in antioxidants(2), and it can fight the free radicals that cause damage in the cell lining of the digestive tract. Eventually, it helps to relieve you from acid reflux hiccups. They have potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can even relieve you from chronic hiccups.
Lemon is a rich source of Vitamin C. It relieves the nerves from any spasms that might lead to hiccups.
- ½ Lemon
- ½ Teaspoon sugar
How to Use?
- Take the lemon wedge.
- Add or Sprinkle sugar on the lemon juice or the lemon wedge.
- Now bite the lemon wedge with sugar.
- Do this immediately when you have hiccups.
Benefits of Lemon
The lemon is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. It possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The lemon juice of the lemon wedge relieves the nerves out of spasms and helps to saturate the digestive tract. It also stimulates the nerves that cause spasms. Eventually, it helps to relieve you from painful hiccups.
Always make sure that you use fresh vegetables and fruits for getting rid of hiccups. It is because rotten veggies and fruits may contain bacteria and germs that aggravate the condition.
Cure 3: Foods to Avoid
- Grains like rice, dry oats, etc.
- Dry biscuits or cookies.
- Roughly ground or small cut fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes, hiccups are a result of indigestion. Ginger acts as a digestive agent and helps in better digestion, thus relieving you from hiccups.
1 to 2 Small pieces of ginger
How to Use?
- Take 1-2 small pieces of ginger.
- Place them in your mouth.
- Now suck on these pieces for 3-5 minutes.
- You can also add ginger in warm water or tea.
- Sip it slowly.
Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is an excellent remedy to treat annoying hiccups. You know that ginger is richly packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It helps to relax the diaphragm muscles. It helps in the elimination of free radicals which may be a result of metabolic reactions in the body. They help to relieve hiccups caused due to improper indigestion.
2. Chamomile Tea
How to use?
- Take a chamomile tea(3) bag and a cup of hot water.
- Add the tea in a bowl of hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Consume this drink daily for 2-3 times a day
Benefits of Chamomile Tea:
Drinking chamomile tea is an extraordinary natural remedy for gas, burps, and hiccups as it ensures proper functioning of the gastrointestinal system. Chamomile is a natural relaxant for muscles that soothes the muscle in the diaphragm to control hiccups and ease contractions. It has sedative and relaxing properties. It is also good for digestive problems caused due to stress. The herb helps to relieve you from excessive hiccups.
Make sure that you drink warm tea and not hot tea to avoid burns.
CURE 3: Home Recipes
Drinking water and stopping the breath for a long time and slowly breathing in again is one of the remedies you have relied on at least once to stop hiccups. Here are more simple home remedies which can also be used.
1. Recipe 1
- 1/2 Spoon Peanut Butter
- 1/2 spoon Honey
How to Use
- Mix both the ingredients to form a paste.
- Let this dissolve in the mouth before you swallow it.
The consistency of the mixture paste clears any block in the throat that might be the reason for hiccups.
2. Recipe 2
- 1 of Cold Water
- 11/2 Spoons of Sugar
How to Use
- Add sugar to the glass of cold water
- With a spoon, stir well
- Sip this solution slowly
The sweet solution gives a soothing effect on the irritated muscles of the throat. This also brings down hiccups to a considerable extent.
CURE 4: Controlled Posture & Measured Breathing to Cure Hiccups
- Hold your breath for about 10 to 15 seconds. Breathe out slowly. Repeat this procedure at least 4 times. Continue doing this and very soon, you will see that hiccups stop gradually.
- Use a paper bag – Breathing into a paper bag without covering your head is another remedy that will stop hiccups(1).
- Pull your knees close to the chest with your hands as if you are hugging them, and hold them for at least 2 minutes.
- Try compressing your chest gently by leaning forward.
Tips to Cure Hiccups
- Use a glass of ice water and gargle.
- Take a glass of water and start drinking from the far side of the glass. Stand up, bend over and do this by tilting the glass opposite to the body.
- Few Vinegar drops in the mouth can also help.
- Put some sugar on the tongue. Swallow it after it melts.
- Sipping on a glass of very cold water(4) would also help.
- Without breathing, slowly drink down a glass of warm water. Suck on a thin slice of lemon by placing it on the tongue.
- Drinking a fizzy drink and burping also can cure hiccups.
Cure 5: Cure Baby Hiccups
Hiccups are a normal part of a baby’s development. Do you know that babies are not at all disturbed by Hiccups? However, hiccups can at times disrupt a baby’s sleeping and feeding patterns.
If the baby has hiccups during feeding, the below-mentioned tips will answer the question “How to get rid of baby hiccups?”.
- Change the body position of the baby.
- Make the baby burp.
- Make the baby calm down.
If you observe that the baby’s hiccups do not stop even after 5 minutes, resume feeding as this can also help. Recurring hiccups in babies can be prevented when you feed the baby while it is calm.
If your baby has continuous and consistent hiccups, it can be due to some other medical condition. Consulting a doctor is the next best option for frequent hiccups of the baby.
Infant hiccups are observed to be a common symptom in babies that are born addicted to drugs. It is a symptom of NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome) or withdrawal.
Cure 6: Medications for Hiccups
If you have persistent hiccups, visit a doctor, and he would prescribe certain medications based on the exact cause. Persistent hiccups might occur because of various reasons like:
- If you are losing weight and are unable to eat appropriately
- Insomnia and abnormal sleep habits
- Symptoms of clinical depression
Below is a list of drugs that have helped people with hiccups:
- Baclofen – Relaxes the muscles
- Gabapentin – Treats hiccups and neuropathic pain
- Chlorpromazine – Soothing effect on the central nervous system
- Metoclopramide or Reglan – A medicine used in treating nausea.
- Haloperidol – a psychosomatic medicine that positively affects the nervous system.
Note: These medications are prescribed by doctors depending on the frequency of its episodes and duration of the hiccups.
If hiccups are persistent, a doctor may prescribe medication. This is often the case if a patient is:
- Unable to eat properly and is losing weight
- Sleeping abnormally or has insomnia
- Displaying signs and symptoms of clinical depression
The following drugs are known to help people with persistent hiccups:
- Baclofen (Lioresal) – Relaxes the Muscles
- Gabapentin – Prescribed for neuropathic pain, also can alleviate the symptoms of hiccups
If the above drugs do not work, the following are recommended:
- Chlorpromazine or haloperidol, antipsychotic medications that can alleviate hiccups
- Metoclopramide, commonly known as Reglan is an anti-nausea drug, which also helps in bringing down hiccups
- Ketamine or Ephedrine(5) also treats hiccups related to surgery or anesthesia.
Doctors generally prescribe a low-dosage course of medication which would last for a fortnight. This dosage is gradually increased till hiccups are got rid of.
The dosage and the course would depend on factors like patient’s general health, age and the severity of hiccups.
Cure 6: Cure Hiccups with Surgery
A typical surgery for hiccups involves a surgeon injecting the medication to the phrenic nerve and blocking the nerve’s action temporarily or splitting the phrenic nerve.
How to Prevent Hiccups
Controlling the triggers that can cause Hiccups can help you prevent them. Below is the list of triggers:
- Drinking and eating too quickly
- Taking spicy foods
- Consuming alcohol
- Smoking excessively
- Eating or drinking foods that cause a sudden change of temperature in the stomach.
- Experiencing extreme emotions.
- Chewing gum and swallowing air simultaneously.
The exact causes of hiccups is still unknown. Chronic hiccups can be attributed to many medical conditions like gastrointestinal issues and heart strokes.
Though the majority of cases of hiccups get resolved even without treatment, prolonged hiccups can lead to depression and insomnia. Consult a doctor if hiccups do not subside within 48 hours. The doctor might give you muscle relaxants.