Hiccups are one of the most commonly faced problems by mankind. But it doesn’t have a severity that is too alarming at the same time. It is not even considered an issue by most of the people out there. But still, it stands as a problem that has been made known for a long time. The thing is that Hiccups are mere simple problems, but they kind of annoy the person when he gets it in the most unfortunate times. It will give you the feeling of uneasiness for quite some time.
But yes, it does stop after some time. But still, people are in search of quick remedies to solve this minor issue because it tends on spoiling the moment whenever it arises. Moreover, no actual medication can be taken specifically to treat and aid the person with hiccups. It is usually an issue that will go away if you just wait out. But in some cases, the situation turns abnormal when it continues for a very long period.
All of us would’ve got hiccups at least once in our lifetime. People of all age groups get hiccups every once in a while. But most of us do not know about the situations which stimulate hiccups. Thus, in this article, we will look at the concept of Hiccups and several effective answers to the question of How to get rid of hiccups quickly.
1) What are Hiccups exactly?
As defined by researchers, the word Hiccup comes from the Latin word called Singultus, which simply means to catch one’s breath while sobbing. The sound when one hiccup is very similar to the sound which is made by a person who is trying to save their breath every once in a while when they cry. Scientifically speaking, Hiccups are the sudden and involuntary pressure contractions of the Human Diaphragm which usually lasts for a couple of minutes.
They arise due to a lot of reasons which will be discussed further. Hiccups usually make a person’s breath short when it starts to occur. There will be a sudden jerk in his breathing movement due to this. There will be a gap between each hiccup. The duration of the gaps which occur in between hiccups will be constant. Now let us look at the types of Hiccups available.
2) Hiccups and their Variants
Usually, Hiccups are classified by their severity. The more severe the hiccups are, the more helpful it will be for you to contact a healthcare professional. Hiccups are very natural and do occur to everyone. It is quite interesting to know that even animals get hiccups once in a while. Hiccups in animals occur due to the same reasons and in the same method as in that of humans. Coming back to the hiccup variant, severities are usually determined by the duration they usually last. Let us now look at the different hiccup variants which exist.
2.1) Acute Hiccups
These hiccup variants are the ones that occur and end within a very short duration when compared to the other ones in the list. These hiccups occur to people of every age group. From small infant babies to high and old elders, Acute hiccups affect everyone. Now, these hiccups don’t even need to be considered for treatment. It is because they are simple and will tend to disappear as soon as it hits a specific time limit. Now, when this kind tends to last a little longer, say for more than 48 hours or more, the hiccup variant can be classified as something called persistent hiccups.
2.2) Persistent Hiccups
Acute hiccups were just the starting stage. When the normal kind tends to last longer than 2 days, it falls under the category of Persistent hiccups. Persistent Hiccups can be quite alarming. It is because when a person starts to hiccup continuously for two days or more, the person will slowly start to feel fatigued, his sleep schedule may disrupt slowly. This hiccup has a higher rarity than the one before which means that it will less likely affect the elderly. But when it affects the elderly, adequate treatment and ailment must be taken from a certified healthcare provider. These can partly be classified as Chronic hiccups.
2.3) Intractable Hiccups
Coming to this variant Intractable Hiccup owns a very higher rarity than the others. It is even classified as a Chronic condition, naming it the Chronic hiccups. When an acute hiccup transforms into a persistent one and lasts for more than a single month for a person, we can simply say that the person has developed a condition of Intractable hiccups. This hiccup variant is considered to be severe in some cases. When a person experiences chronic hiccups for more than a month, his central nervous system will start to get affected. Nerves of every kind will face disruptions and even the vocal cords of the person might be affected.
3) Science behind Hiccups
Science talks about a lot of things. It spits out facts and figures to prove things which makes a lot of concepts understandable. Now, let us look at the concept of Hiccups scientifically. So starting from the basics, you should know about a part of the human body called the Diaphragm. It is located straight below the human lungs. It is the prime muscle for respiration. To explain it a little more, the diaphragm is the muscle that is responsible for our breathing movement, which is the basic In and Out. Our chest and the region around it go inward when we breathe out and pop outward when we breathe in. The diaphragm facilitates this movement.
Now, this Diaphram will face involuntary contractions called diaphragm spasms now and then. The diaphragm acts as the major muscle which also separates your chest from the abdomen. These spasms will cause your vocal cord to close and open briefly. This automatically stimulates the famous Hic sound when you hiccup. Now adding up to this point, two major nerves are running down the diaphragm called the phrenic and vagus nerves.
The phrenic nerve is the sensory nerve that stimulates the movement of the muscle. The vagus nerves help in the functioning of other organs which accompany the lungs. Now, these nerves are exposed to weakening when the person faces constant hiccups. This is also a health condition that can be brought up by chronic hiccups. Let us look at some other health issues which can be developed by hiccups.
4) Consequences of Lasting Hiccups
Every occurrence has a consequence. Likewise, every hiccup variant known to mankind will have some consequence, some end effect attached to it. Here, consequences are referred to as literal health conditions which could be developed by a person having hiccups. The severity of the Health conditions of the person aligns and corresponds perfectly to the severity of the hiccup variants. Let us look at the exhibited health conditions of the hiccup variants one by one.
Stage 1: The first stage of the health condition developed is that when a person faces acute hiccups, he will tend to lose that physical balance and will try to find a way and give his all to stop the one.
Stage 2: If the person fails to treat his acute hiccup and when it develops into a larger condition as time goes by (into persistent) likely for more than a couple of hours or even days, your vocal cord will tend to ache and you may feel slight discomfort in your movement. He may even develop weight and drain of energy.
Stage 3: The last stage is developed when a person has hiccups for more than a whole single month. If the person is suffering from the so-called Intractable or Chronic hiccups, he will start facing vocal cord ache, may lose the sense to sleep, and may even have trouble eating. More than this, he will become a victim of constant nerve damage due to sudden movement of hiccups.
Hiccups are mostly not severe as mentioned above. To be precise, no one has ever recorded a death related to hiccups. The maximum negative consequence a person can face is mild to soft-ranging discomfort due to the constant movement of his upper body, the diaphragm, or the chest region to be precise.
The only thing which makes people worried about hiccups is the duration in which it seems to exist. We do have a lot of remedies available to treat and stop hiccups. We will take a look at them after getting to know about the causes of hiccups now.
5) Causes of Hiccups
As mentioned before, hiccups are a very common problem faced by a whole lot of people before. Every human in this world will tend to get hiccups due to certain circumstances. Some of the most common circumstances which cause one to hiccup are:
- When a person feels a sudden jolt of energy or is excited due to some reason, he will tend to get hiccups. It is because there is an immediate surge of movement rate which discomforts the diaphragm’s functions.
- When a person consumes Alcohol or any other element which has alcoholic substances, he may develop a condition near to getting hiccups. This happens when the alcohol content includes sugary portions.
- When a person eats a lot, That is, when a person consumes a whole meal, a hiccup occurs. Is because the constant flow of food in the food pipe causes irregularities in the functioning of the diaphragm, which may cause it to constrict back and forth.
- When a person drinks a lot of carbonated beverages, he will tend to get hiccups. These carbonated beverages contain substances causing irregularities. This compromises the functioning of at times diaphragm.
- When a person undergoes emotional stress, the person may develop hiccups ranging from a lot of severities.
- When a person tends to swallow air when he swallows a candy or chews on gum, he may get acute hiccups which will either stop or develop over time. This swallowed air will cause irregularities in the breathing system.
- When a person experiences Sudden Temperature changes, his breathing momentum will tend to change. This may cause the development of Hiccups.
- When a person’s phrenic and vagus nerves are either disturbed or damaged due to reasons like a tumor or even gas reflux may cause constant hiccups.
- Lastly, when a person has a Central nervous system disorder, he may experience hiccuping for a long period.
- Hiccups are also known to be an indication of an underlying health issue that is a lot more severe. So get due medical attention if you feel so.
6) Rare Cases Related to Hiccuping
This concept of Hiccup is commonly experienced by every human in existence. There are some rare and famous cases related to this concept. For instance, we have someone named Charles Osborne an American. The person suffered from the condition of Chronic Hiccuping which lasted for almost 68 years.
Charles even got his name listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest hiccup in human history. Another person named Christopher Sands from Great Britain hiccuped a total of 10 Million times over a 2 and a half year period which was caused by a tumor in his brain, which was only removed years later.
Another teenager named Jennifer Mee experienced a similar situation where she hiccuped 50 times per minute every week. All these people mentioned above went through a lot of personal issues and trauma till their hiccups were put to an end at last.
7) How to Get Rid of Hiccups- the Answer
If you are wondering how to get rid of hiccups, getting rid of hiccups has a lot of simple methods. Hiccups are not a serious condition unless it lasts longer unusually. Thus without any further delay, let us look at the remedies available for treating hiccups:
7.1) Wait it out
How to get rid of hiccups? Wait for a while before chugging the water down. It is the most commonly used method to treat acute hiccups. The only thing to do is to do nothing. Most of the people who get hiccups tend to wait it out for a couple of minutes. If the condition persists a little longer, you can try the other remedies given below.
7.2) Holding your breath
How to get rid of hiccups? Hold your breath. This method proves to be effective during certain situations. Try to hold your breath constantly when you get hit by a hiccup. Try to hold your breath at a regular interval. This is a good method to prevent hiccups. Mix this method with deep breathing for more effectiveness.
7.3) Hugging your Knees
How to get rid of hiccups? Try to squat down and try to bring your knees closer to your chest. Hug your knees tightly. Do the same till your hiccups stop. This method simply brings the diaphragm to a much more comfortable position.
7.4) Breathing into a Paper Bag
How to get rid of hiccups? Take a normal paper bag and cover your mouth and nose. Start to breathe uniformly. The paper bag must inflate and deflate uniformly. This will stabilize your breathing pattern and will likely treat your condition.
7.5) Try the method of Patterned Breathing
The primary cause of hiccup is the uneased movement of the diaphragm. One should first focus on getting their breathing pattern in proper order for the purpose of comforting the Diaphragm and putting it back to its proper movement. Thus practice breathing with a pattern or with the help of counts.
7.6) Try out the pressure points available
Hiccups are also a nervous system-oriented problem. At times, these conditions can be cured well when the pressure points of the person are given a specific stimulation. Coming to the so-called pressure points, are the regions that react strongly when contacted in a certain manner. It has a lot of nerve endings, which makes it a powerful area to interact with the nervous system.
- Pull your tongue out.
- Press on your diaphragm.
- Squeeze your nose while drinking water.
- Squeeze your palm.
- Massaging your Carotid artery present on the sides of your neck might help.
- Rub the back of your neck.
7.7) Try Other things such as
- Eat a whole spoon of Peanut Butter or Honey. A spoonful will automatically fill in your region near Diaphragm, easing its movement.
- Get Distracted by doing something actively. This works in a lot of situations. All you need to do is do something which gets you involved in something interesting, shifting your focus from hiccuping.
- Consume granulated sugar. Granulated sugar contains particles that stimulate sensations to ease up the movement made during hiccups.
- Try to slowly breathe. The breathing pattern of the person matters the most. Try to ease the movement of the diaphragm first by breathing slowly.
- Sucking on ice may help. Start sucking on an ice cube and swallow the dissolved particles slowly.
- Consume hot or spicy foods to nullify the hiccuping sensation.
These are some of the home remedies available to treat your hiccuping condition. Hiccups don’t have a certain cause to be exact. As mentioned above hiccups happen due to a lot of reasons. Almost every one of us would’ve been affected at least once by this condition. If your so-called hiccuping situation didn’t stop even after trying out, check out the other ways to get rid of hiccups. Hope this article helped! Feel free to check out some of the Benefits of drinking water.