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Hiccups are "synchronous diaphragmatic flutters" that happen when the diaphragm contracts involuntarily. They can be caused by eating or drinking too quickly or drinking carbonated beverages, which result in excess air in the stomach. Excitement, emotional stress, some disorders, and medications can also cause hiccups. In most cases, they go away on their own, but over the centuries, people have come up with various home remedies that could help.

Take Some Sugar

A spoonful of sugar could stop hiccups in their tracks. Ingesting such a grainy substance slightly irritates the esophagus, essentially interrupting the hiccups and resetting your body.

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Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a popular home remedy for hiccups. The act of chewing and swallowing this sticky substance interrupts your breathing patterns, and hiccups take a hike. Be aware that peanuts are a common food allergen. If you do not eat peanuts, try to eat a small amount a peanut butter first to make sure you do not react to this food.

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Hot Sauce or Vinegar

Eating hot sauce gives the body a minor shock, which can take your focus away from the hiccups and cause them to pass. Swallowing vinegar may also help get rid of hiccups.

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Hold Your Breath

Holding your breath is a tried and effective way to get rid of hiccups. This can work because it increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, which stops the contractions. You may have to hold your breath for several cycles for this method to work.

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Drink Water Upside Down

Some experts suggest drinking water from the opposite side of the glass. After filling a glass with water, drink it from the "fingers side" rather than the "thumb side" as usual. This method is suggested by It works because it forces the abdominal muscles to contract and thus stops the hiccups.

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Paper Bag

A paper bag can help stop hyperventilation, but it may also stop hiccups. Breathing in and out of a paper bag increases the carbon dioxide levels in the blood because you are not taking in any fresh oxygen, just recycling the carbon dioxide you breathed out. This forces your diaphragm to contract to try to get more oxygen, which could stop the hiccups.

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Drink Through a Paper Towel

Drinking through a paper towel is an old wives tale for getting rid of hiccups. To do this, place a piece of paper towel over a glass of water and secure it with a rubber band. Then, drink the water through the paper towel. This will cause your diaphragm to work harder to pull the liquid through the barrier. Giving your diaphragm a new task counteracts the spasmodic movements that cause hiccups.

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Dill Seeds

Dill seeds are a home remedy for getting rid of hiccups. All you need to do is chew slowly on a teaspoon of the seeds. Doing so stimulates the vagus nerve and stops the hiccups.

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Honey

A spoonful of honey stirred with a small amount of warm water can alleviate hiccups. Dilute the honey with warm water, place it on the back of your tongue, and let it trickle down your throat. This will stimulate the vagus nerve and make the hiccups stop.

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Cold Water

Cold water shocks the system a bit and gives your esophagus a wake-up call. Drink a glass of very cold water, gargle with cold water, or even suck on an ice cube until the hiccups go away.

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Lemon

A lemon's sourness can naturally interrupt the hiccup reflex, and sometimes, stopping the condition can be as simple as drinking a glass of water with lemon squeezed into it. Sucking on a lemon wedge, however, sends a stronger sensory signal to the brain, which can overshadow the hiccup signal, providing immediate relief. This method is particularly effective for those who find the sharp, tangy flavor of lemon to be a welcome distraction from the annoyance of hiccups. Just cut a lemon into a wedge, place it in your mouth, and suck on it as if it were a candy. The intense flavor is often enough to stop hiccups in their tracks.

Close-up of a woman tasting sour lemon and smiling.

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Tongue Tactics

Pulling on your tongue can be an effective way to stop hiccups, and this quick, simple, and surprisingly easy remedy is something you can do anywhere, at any time. This technique works by stimulating the nerves and muscles in the throat, which can alter the hiccup pattern. To try this method, reach for your tongue with your fingers, grasp it firmly, and gently pull it forward. This action may help reset your diaphragm and cease the hiccup cycle.

asian child point at the part of body, she point at her tongue

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The Nose Pinch Method

Combining two physical actions — pinching your nose and swallowing water — can be an effective way to stop hiccups, though it's a bit tricky to master at first. This method works by disrupting the normal hiccup cycle through a coordinated effort that focuses on controlling your breathing and swallowing mechanisms. To try the breath and swallow technique, fill a glass with water, pinch your nose shut with one hand, and then drink the water normally. The act of swallowing water while closing your nasal passage forces your diaphragm to reset, potentially stopping the hiccups.

Woman drinking a glass of water

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Distraction or Relaxation Techniques

Sometimes, the best way to tackle hiccups is by not directly addressing them at all, especially if you experience the condition due to stress or excitement. Engaging in distraction or relaxation techniques can help relax the diaphragm and stop the hiccups without any physical intervention. Techniques you can use to break the hiccup cycle include deep breathing exercises, meditation, or even engaging in a task that requires concentration, like solving a puzzle or reading. The key is shifting your focus away from the hiccups, allowing your body to reset naturally.

mid aged man listening music with headphones on phonograph, relaxed in sofa at his home

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.

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