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How to kick your hiccups

By: Spencer
Spencer's picture

They’re annoying and pretty common – but are hiccups a medical problem? While hiccups generally resolve on their own and usually do not cause serious problems, they can be disruptive.

Hiccups occur when the diaphragm suddenly contracts involuntarily and, at the same time, the voice box contracts and the vocal folds close, which blocks the flow of air.

Hiccups can be caused by:

  • Eating or drinking too fast
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Smoking
  • Sudden change of temperature in the stomach caused by eating
  • Extreme emotions
  • Swallowing air while chewing gum

Most of the time, you should just relax and wait calmly for hiccups to resolve on their own. You might also try these tips:

  • Breathe in and hold the breath for about 10 seconds, then breathe out slowly. Repeat three or four times. Repeat this 20 minutes later.
  • Breathe into a paper bag – do not cover your head with the bag.
  • Gargle with ice water or sip cold water very slowly.
  • Press on the diaphragm gently.

You might want to see a doctor if you are:

  • Unable to eat properly and losing weight
  • Sleeping abnormally
  • Displaying signs and symptoms of clinical depression

Find more tips from Nurse Rose here: www.AdventistHealthCare.com/NurseRose.

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