While cleaning up some computer folders, I stumbled onto a file titled “hiccups”, that I created after a co-worker’s morning-long case of hiccups generated a long list of suggested cures. (Yes, I know I’m weird for writing these things down.) Finding the file was quite serendipitous as I woke up this morning with hiccups!
Hiccups generally occur when the diaphragm spasms or contracts involuntarily. Common triggers are eating too quickly, overeating, swallowing air, drinking carbonated beverages, or eating certain foods. (Strange Cammy Fact: When I was obese, eating potatoes in any form always resulted in a case of the hiccups. I don’t eat potatoes very often these days, but when I do, I don’t have hiccups.) Some medical conditions can also cause hiccups, sometimes severe cases lasting for months or years!
There are almost as many methods for getting rid of hiccups as there are causes, with most centered on two schools of thought:
- Change up your breathing. The theory, I think, is that this will change the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, and the body will focus on fixing that instead of hiccuping.
- Stimulate the nerves in the mouth and/or throat by eating or drinking something. Either the taste sensation or the act of trying to actually swallow the “cure” distracts the brain (and diaphragm) from the hiccup nonsense.
Some folks even use both approaches at once:
I have no idea if that worked, but I do have it on good authority that the following tips worked for former co-workers:
* Hold your breath and count to ten.
* Breathe deeply and slowly into a paper bag.
* Eat a spoonful of sugar.
* Take a teaspoon of vinegar.
* Eat a spoonful peanut butter.
* Sip some hot sauce.
* Chew some dill seeds. (I wonder if eating a dill pickle would work?)
* Eat powdered cocoa directly from the spoon.
* Pull on your tongue.
* Tickle the roof of your mouth with a Q-tip.
* Put your fingers in your ears.
When I have the hiccups, my first choice is to hold my breath. If that doesn’t do it, I drink some water. If even that doesn’t work, I go for the sugar spoon. I’ve never had to go beyond that.
Do you have hiccups very often? Feel free to add your own cures to the list!