Hiccups are experienced by most people at some point in their life. They’re involuntary contractions of the diaphragm - the muscle that operates th
Hiccups are experienced by most people at some point in their life. They’re involuntary contractions of the diaphragm – the muscle that operates the chest from the abdomen. Most hiccups are short-lived but can be annoying. So what can you do to get rid of them?
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating too much
- Excitement or emotional stress
- Sudden temperature changes
- Swallowing air with chewing gum or sucking on candy
Hiccups that last more than 48 hours may be caused by a variety of factors, says the clinic, with nerve damage or irritation being one.
It explains: “A cause of long-term hiccups is damage to or irritation of the vagus nerves or phrenic nerves, which serve the diaphragm muscle.”
The NHS advises you see a GP if your hiccups last longer than 48 hours or come back very often and are affecting your life.
It states: “Your GP will want to find out if your hiccups are caused by a health condition or medication you’re taking – treating the condition or changing your medicine should stop your hiccups.
“If there’s no obvious cause, they might be able to prescribe medicine to treat your hiccups. This doesn’t work for everyone.”