Running late for an important presentation and these incessant hiccups are just not going. If you have ever come across such a silly situation you would realize the enormity of frustration it creates. Let us dig deeper to understand the why’s and how’s of hiccups.

Hiccup is a characteristic sound that is continuous and rhythmic in nature. It occurs due to a spasm shutting the diaphragm that closes the vocal cords (glottis) and causes an intake of breath to be stopped. Most of the times, it is a minor temporary occurrence but prolonged hiccups may indicate something more serious.

[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Do you know even unborn babies inside the uterus also gets hiccups?[/box]

What are Hiccups?

In short, Hiccups is the result of discomfort in your diaphragm or Hiccups are the result of the regular (“pulsating”) activity of vagus nerve or phrenic nerves, which causes the diaphragm to contract with powerful and sharp movements. Hiccups are an attempt to “dump a load” from a vagus nerve.

Why do We Get Hiccups

Generally, hiccups result from a full stomach as a result of:

  1. Eating too quickly
  2. Eating or drinking too much quantities
  3. Diseases irritating the nerves controlling the diaphragm
  4. Swallowing too much air
  5. Smoking (Read our article – Why should I Quit smoking?)
  6. Drinking very hot or very cold beverages
  7. Emotional stress or excitement

Usually, hiccups stop within a few minutes but if they don’t, then try these easy ways to resolve the situation:

  1. Holding your breath and counting slowly to 10
  2. Breathing repeatedly into a paper bag for a limited period of time
  3. Quickly drinking a glass of cold water.
  4. Eating a teaspoon of sugar or honey
  5. Biting on a lemon
  6. Distract your mind to something else

Rarely a medical emergency, you should seek medical help if they become a nuisance during eating or sleeping when they may hint problems with the central nervous system or metabolic processes.

Also, read about What Are Hiccups & How To Get Rid Of Hiccups

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