10 very effective cures for hiccups that won't stop

A tried-and-true treatment for hiccups is to drink cold water. Picture from Pexels

A tried-and-true treatment for hiccups is to drink cold water. Picture from Pexels

Published Feb 23, 2023


You've probably had the hiccups at some point and tried your hardest to get rid of them.

Also, they can linger longer than desired because none of the home cures seem to be effective.

Sadly, there isn't a proven treatment for hiccups that works for everyone. In the scientific world, both the cause and the treatment of hiccups are still unknown.

But, research suggests a number of scientifically supported treatments for the hiccups, and we've compiled a couple that have been proven effective.

Hold your breath

According to Dr Gina De Bruyn, hiccups are uncontrollable spasms or contractions that happen in your diaphragm. A "hic" sound is produced when the space between your voice cords suddenly closes during inhalation. Vocal cords are what cause the "tightening" sensation people experience in their throats when they hiccup.

Holding your breath is one of the most popular treatments for hiccups and is one of the first things you should do, according to Dr De Bruyn, along with other physical exercises. By allowing carbon dioxide to accumulate in your lungs, this approach may relax your diaphragm.

Sip on some cold water

In the event that the aforementioned remedies fail, Dr De Bruyn advises that you try drinking ice-cold water. The irritation that is created in the diaphragm is lessened by using cold water.

In essence, drinking cold water aids in relaxing the diaphragm, restoring normal function to the muscle.

Pop your ears

You have probably used the Valsalva manoeuvre if you've ever tried to pop your ears. Exhaling while squeezing your nose and keeping your lips shut constitutes it. Well, you may use it to burst your ears, but it's also a really effective method for curing the hiccups. This manoeuvre may be able to stop the hiccup reflex, according to a research report titled "Hiccups: a Common Problem with Some Unusual Causes and Cure".

It needs to be kept up for 10 to 15 seconds. Ear, nose, and throat expert Dr Ryan Karro recommends against using excessive force and against repeatedly using this technique if it doesn't work.

Use the ice-cube technique

The ice cube trick is another tried-and-true technique, according to chiropractor Dr Melissa Crestani.

The vagus nerve disruption, according to Dr Crestani, is crucial. "You hiccup because the vagus nerve, also known as cranial nerve X, causes the diaphragm to contract."

Put an ice cube on the top of the jutting bone on the back of your neck to momentarily block the signal. Place a second cube two inches below your jaw and hold it there for 30 seconds at the same time. According to Dr Crestani, this brief disruption of the nerve flow will block the signal that tells your body to hiccup.

Eat some sugar by the spoonful

A teaspoon of sugar, as advised by Mary Poppins to assist the medicine going down, could also help you get rid of your hiccups. A teaspoon of sugar relieved the hiccups for 19 out of 20 patients, according to a 1971 research titled "Granulated sugar as therapy for hiccups in conscious individuals."

The vagus nerve, which connects your brain and stomach, is thought to be affected by sugar, which is one of the theories as to why it works. The spasms are broken up by the sugar because it irritates the back of the throat.

Take a bite of a bitter lemon

Strangely enough, this hiccup cure was originally popular among bartenders before spreading to the scientific world. A lemon slice with a few drops of bitters on top is consumed or chewed as a cure.

14 out of 16 individuals who received this treatment experienced a stop to their hiccups in under a minute, according to Dr Jay Howard Herman and bartender David S. Nolan's experiments. Afterwards, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of their investigation.

Inhale via a paper bag

Breathing into a paper bag has also been said to assist with hiccups, similar to holding your breath. This treatment increases blood carbon dioxide levels, which stops diaphragm spasms.

Bring your knees up to your chest

Pulling your knees up to your chest is another exercise you might attempt. Repeat by giving them a hug or holding them there, then letting go. Dr De Bruyn notes that doing this aids in relieving pressure on the diaphragm.

A rectal massage is one of the strangest treatments

The digital rectal massage technique can be used to treat persistent hiccups, a more severe form of the hiccups. The rectum is punctured, and a tube is introduced that travels slowly and circularly. With this technique, seven out of seven patients were healed of their hiccups.

According to the hypothesis behind its effectiveness, the massage activates the rectum's nerves, which ends hiccups.

Hiccups can also be alleviated by medications

According to the hypothesis behind its effectiveness, the massage activates the rectum's nerves, which ends hiccups.