How to get rid of the hiccups?

  1. Does anyone have any good suggestions to get rid of the hiccups?

    Or what causes the hiccups? Any ideas?

    I don't know what's up, but the last couple days I've been getting hiccup episodes that last a few hours.

    and no, I havent been drinking ETOH
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   AppyHorseFan
    Brian,
    The best remedy I have found for the hiccups (that works every time for me) is to eat a teaspoon of table sugar. It's a little grainy and takes a bit to get it "eaten", but it works for me every time. If you don't have a teaspoon around, and have the little packets available, just eat a whole packet. Good luck, hope this helps you.

    Shonda
  4. by   TracyB,RN
    I have a great trick that my aunt taught me. She was pregnant,
    married to an Army man stationed in Japan. She learned this one from a nurse Get a glass of water. Hold it firmly. Put your mouth to the opposite side of the glass that you would normally drink from. Then bend over slightly, while taking a sip. This is the only thing that works for me. It works best witha small ( 4 0z.) glass. The first time will be messy I think it works, b/c you are concentrating so hard on not dumping the water down the front of your shirt.
    BTW hiccups are caused bya stimulation of the phrenic nerve that runs through the diaphragm. Ex: drinking too quickly & swallowing too much air can be just enough to stimulate the phrenic nerve.
    Hope this helps
  5. by   misti_z
    Many times while surfing the net I find myself at the weirdest sites. I came across this oneday--just saved the text not the site..oops.

    Its really quite funny.


    The most popular anti-hiccup methods, as collected by The Washington Post's News Research Center. I vouch for none of these, and laugh at all.

    Chew a cube of sugar. This one was written up in the New England Journal of Medicine, no less.

    Suck on a sprig of dill.

    Have someone pinch your shoulders. One of many methods that depend on surprise and fright.

    Tell the victim, "I'll give you $5 if you hiccup again, right now." An Internet guru from Santa Monica, Calif., swears by it.

    Lie on your back on a bed, mouth open. Dangle your head over the edge. Breathe deeply and slowly.

    Hold your breath. The oldest remedy of all and, for that reason, probably one of the most successful.

    Drink a glass of water while someone presses your ears with the palms of the hands.

    Stand on your head (but don't call to ask how to heal broken bones caused by standing on your head).

    Hop on one foot (how this affects the diaphragm I can't imagine, but somebody on the Internet named Nikolai says it's never-miss).

    For those who like full-body experiences: Plug your right ear with your right thumb. Jam your right index finger into your right nostril. Do the same on the left side. Then drink a glass of water through a straw.

    Place a spoon in a glass of water. Let the upper end of it brush against your temple as you drink the water.

    Gargle with water that's as cold as possible (some reports say this dates to the days of Plato).

    Have someone hug you from behind -- hard. Tell them to let go suddenly and unexpectedly.

    Swallow a tablespoon of cider vinegar.

    Lick up a dab of peanut butter from a spoon.

    The so-called bartender's cure: Eat a wedge of lemon that has been soaked in bitters. I figure it's the bartender's cure because you have to order three vodkas right away to kill the lemon-and-bitters taste.

    Fold a paper towel in half. Place it over a full glass of water. Drink the water through the towel (from David Lefevre, an Internet poster).

    Rub your earlobes, to the point of pain (Mike Kock).

    Place a toothpick in a glass of water and look at the toothpick the entire time you drink (Marilyn Fay).

    Push the first three fingers of your left hand firmly into the V of your right palm for about 20 seconds.

    Here's one with major side benefits, from Internetter Enrique Garcia: Ask your beloved to kiss you very gently and softly around the neck.

    Ask dumb questions, one after the other. The dumber the better. The distraction will do the trick, says Arizona Brooks.

    Take five or six swigs of a carbonated drink, one after the other, without stopping or breathing in between (Michelle Gouldsberry).

    Finally (and probably most plausibly of all), just will them away. As Stacey Anderson phrases it: "When I get the hiccups, I just go inside my head and think to myself, calmly, 'I don't want to have the hiccups anymore.' . . . Usually I only have to do this once."


    Hope you find something that works...although it probably won't be from this post of mine!!!!
  6. by   misti_z
    But seriously.....

    I read something that called them "sharp inhalations".
    Carbon dioxide is supposed to helps to stop hiccups, hold your breath, or breathing in and out of a paper bag (not plastic! )
    Slowly drink water or sucking on ice may help. Or rubbing the soft palate with a swab may work. I've also heard the sugar thing works too.
    Last edit by misti_z on Oct 6, '01
  7. by   P_RN
    Try one of the OTC H2 blockers. Reflux can cause the hiccups.
  8. by   Doey
    I read this somewhere awhile ago and when I tell people they think I'm crazy. But then they try it and it works. Using your fingers place pressure on your eyes, both at the same time. Do this for a little bit then release. When I do this I can actualy feel that my body wants to hiccup but it doesn't. Sometimes if I don't do it long enough they are still there so I just do it over again. I'm assuming it has something to do with blocking the impulse from the phrenic nerve. It has never failed to work, easy to do and can be done anywhere because you don't need anything but your hands!
  9. by   P_RN
    Isn't that also the thing for P.A.T's kinda like carotid massage. Is it dangerous to push the eyes cause of that?
  10. by   semstr
    The best remedy for me, from my grandmother:

    raise your arms above your head and someone else has to give you water, as much as you can drink with one breath.
    This really helps, relaxing the N. frenicus.

    Take care, Renee
  11. by   RNforLongTime
    Brian,

    Whoever made the suggestion about drinking from the opposite side of a cup is right! It really does work as I have tried it before!

    Good Luck,

    Kelly
  12. by   Brian
    Wow, thanks for all the great advice! Last night I did a little research and found the info below in the merck manual. BTW, I tried the breathing in/out a paper bag and it worked great.


    FYI, the following info was found at
    http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/se...pter21/21h.htm

    Hiccup
    (Hiccough; Singultus)
    Repeated involuntary spasm of the diaphragm, followed by sudden closure of the glottis, which checks the inflow of air and produces the characteristic sound.

    Etiology
    Hiccups follow irritation of afferent or efferent nerves or of medullary centers that control the respiratory muscles, particularly the diaphragm. Afferent nerves may be stimulated by swallowing hot or irritating substances. High blood CO2 inhibits hiccups; low CO2 accentuates them. Hiccups are more common in men and often accompany diaphragmatic pleurisy, pneumonia, uremia, alcoholism, or abdominal surgery.

    The cause of most prolonged or recurrent attacks can be determined, but the cause of other episodes may never become apparent. Causes include disorders of the stomach and esophagus, bowel diseases, pancreatitis, pregnancy, bladder irritation, hepatic metastases, and hepatitis. Thoracic and mediastinal lesions or surgery may be responsible. Posterior fossa tumors or infarcts may stimulate centers in the medulla oblongata.

    Treatment
    Many simple measures may be tried: increasing PaCO2 and inhibiting diaphragmatic activity by a series of deep breath-holdings or by rebreathing deeply into a paper bag (Caution: Not a plastic bag, as it may cling to the nostrils). Vagal stimulation may work: drinking a glass of water rapidly, swallowing dry bread or crushed ice, inducing vomiting, or applying traction on the tongue or pressure on the eyeballs. Carotid sinus compression (massage) may be tried with proper precautions. Strong digital pressure may be applied over the phrenic nerves behind the sternoclavicular joints.

    Other maneuvers include gastric lavage, galvanic stimulation of the phrenic nerve, and esophageal dilation with a small bougie. Gastric overdistension can be relieved by continuous suction. Inhalation of 5% CO2 in O2 is of value, particularly in postoperative patients. In diaphragmatic pleurisy, tight adhesive support of the lower chest may help. Drugs that control persistent hiccup include scopolamine, amphetamine, prochlorperazine, chlorpromazine, phenobarbital, and narcotics. Metoclopramide 10 mg po bid to qid appears to help some patients. Nevertheless, successful treatment with drugs is often elusive.

    In troubling, refractory cases, the phrenic nerve may be blocked by small amounts of 0.5% procaine solution, with caution being taken to avoid respiratory depression and pneumothorax. Even bilateral phrenicotomy does not cure all cases.
  13. by   canoehead
    Yeah, but that medical gobbledegook is is just a PIA

    After doing a little research what I finally came up with was that hiccups are a self perpetuating cycle, and if you can break the cycle, you get rid of the hiccups. So all of the remedies will work
    You just need to find a way to break the cycle.

    Of course, it could also be an abdominal abcess. Well, enjoy your day.
  14. by   butterfly1722
    Quote from TracyB,RN
    I have a great trick that my aunt taught me. She was pregnant,
    married to an Army man stationed in Japan. She learned this one from a nurse Get a glass of water. Hold it firmly. Put your mouth to the opposite side of the glass that you would normally drink from. Then bend over slightly, while taking a sip. This is the only thing that works for me. It works best witha small ( 4 0z.) glass. The first time will be messy I think it works, b/c you are concentrating so hard on not dumping the water down the front of your shirt.
    BTW hiccups are caused bya stimulation of the phrenic nerve that runs through the diaphragm. Ex: drinking too quickly & swallowing too much air can be just enough to stimulate the phrenic nerve.
    Hope this helps
    thank you so much! i had hiccups this morning really bad and could not get rid of them, so i went on the wb on found this site and try what you said and it really did work. thank you again.

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How to get rid of the hiccups?