Hiccups

It’s hard to concentrate when every few seconds a hard contraction of my diaphragm causes a sharp intake of air into my lungs and an upward jerk of my body.  The action is so abrupt and harsh that I find it difficult to continue typing when it happens.

Hiccups are rare occurrences for me but when they happen, they aren’t the dainty type many women have. They are full blown and hard, producing a loud “huck” or, “hickuh” that’s embarrassing, irritating, and eventually becomes painful.

For the past 10 minutes I’ve hiccuped my way into this post, through half a cup of hot coffee, and to the front door to peek at the baby birds.

And, would you believe as I typed that last sentence they stopped?

My diaphragm feels tired and my throat tight – and I feel like I could hiccup, but I don’t.

I’m relieved the hiccups stopped on their own.  Had they not, my next paragraph would have provided my remedy for hiccups. 😉

Of course, had Daughter or Son been here they would have take care of my hiccups. They would have scared them out of me!

If you’re like me – an info junkie – you might be wondering, “What are hiccups/what causes them?”

According to Medical News Today, the correct term for hiccups is “synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF) or singultus. A hiccup occurs when the diaphragm suddenly contracts involuntarily, while at the same time the larynx (voice box) contracts too and the glottis closes, effective blocking the flow of air.”  (The glottis is the opening between the vocal cords.)

What does one do if they have hiccups?  For most, it’s a simple matter of waiting it out. As in my morning bout with them, they run their course and stop on their own. (For some cases, medical conditions/illnesses cause hiccups and medication is required to quiet them. If your hiccups last several hours, contact your doctor.)

Here are some How To Stop Hiccups tips gathered from various online sites. (Feel free to add your own in the comment section below.)

  • Breath in and hold your breath for about ten seconds, then breathe out slowly. Repeat several times.
  • Squeeze the ball of your left thumb between the thumb and forefinger of the right.
  • Take a deep breath and hold it as long as you can, then exhale slowly.
  • Breathe into a paper bag (do not cover your head with the bag).
  • Bring your knees to your chest and and pull them close.
  • Gargle with iced water (be careful, don’t inhale any).
  • Stick your fingers in your ears for 20 to 30 seconds. Or, put pressure on the soft areas behind your earlobes, just below the base of the skull.
  • Drink from the far side of the glass – stand up, bend over and put your mouth on the opposite side of the glass.
  • Gently compress your chest (best done by leaning forward).
  • Put a few drops of vinegar in your mouth.
  • Place gentle pressure on your nose while you swallow (don’t clamp your nostrils shut).
  • Place granulated sugar in your mouth. Allow it to melt, then swallow it.
  • Stick out your tongue – way out.
  • Sip very cold water slowly.
  • Drink a glass of warm water very slowly, all the way down without taking a breath.
  • Take a thin slice of lemon, place it on your tongue and suck it.
  • Drink a fizzy drink and BURP.
  • Cup your hands over your mouth and nose and continue to breathe normally.
  • Pull your tongue – hold the end of your tongue with your fingers and tug.
  • Take 10 sips of water in a row while holding your breath.
  • Have someone sneak up behind you and scare you.
  • Eat grapes (or raisins).
  • Apply pressure just above the center of both eyebrows for 10 seconds.
  • Eat a spoonful of peanut butter (if you are NOT allergic)

What’s my chosen method for stopping my own hiccups?

Take a deep breath – filling your lungs as much as possible – then while holding it, suck in one more breath. (You may be surprised by the shallow use we give our lungs in normal breathing and how much they can expand.)  Hold your breath for as long as possible (at least 30 seconds) while tightening and pressing “down” with your chest/abdominal muscles (similar to when you’re on the toilet) with the idea of putting pressure on your diaphragm which lies below your lungs and divides your chest from your abdomen.  When you feel you must take a breath, slowly exhale and then slowly breathe in your next. You may feel the urge to hiccup for several seconds, but continue to breathe slowly. This works 99+% of the time for me.

What’s your favorite hiccup remedy?

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