"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting Rid Of Hiccups

Have you ever had a terrible case of hiccups that you just can't get rid of?  I have had several occasions of hiccups that seem to last forever.  Not only are they annoying but after a long period of time, your muscles start to get sore and this can actually become painful.

A couple of days ago, my husband had the hiccups for several hours.  And similar to how I discover most of the things that I post, this came out of need.  My suggestion to him of "Just hold your breath" wasn't working....so I decided to look into other options.  

Of course there are tons of so called 'cures' ranging from eating a spoon full of sugar, drinking water upside down, to .... standing on your head.  And although I was tempted to ask my husband to stand on his head...I didn't.  :-)

Here is what I found that was the only thing that seemed to work, it is called the "Hughes/Green HiccupsCure"© 1997.

The basic instructions are: 
  • Take a large glass of water
  • Hold your breath being sure to sure to PINCH YOUR NOSE CLOSED
  • Slowly take 10-20 swallows of water (keeping your nose pinched while holding your breath)
  • Don't stop drinking until you have a sensation that you cant breathe at all and if you continue, you would drown. (I know this sounds bad but it doesn't work if you don't do it long enough)
  • When you've reached that point, stop drinking, you will automatically gasp for air.  Take a deep breath and relax.
  • For tough cases, you will need to try to EXHALE before taking your 10-20 swallows of water. 
For more information you can follow the link above.  

According to the "Hughes/Green HiccupsCure"© here is why it works:

    Hiccups are caused by an uncontrollable spasm in the diaphragm, (the "breathing" muscle). Often, this spasm is triggered by irritable conditions in the smooth muscles of the stomach or the esophagus. The "Hughes/Green Hiccups Cure" forces an increase in the carbon dioxide levels in the diaphragm itself, as well as in the stomach and esophagus. By swallowing, you are making the muscles work -- so they use up their available oxygen and replace it with carbon dioxide. By temporarily discontinuing to breath, you prohibit new oxygen from entering your body and thus create an anaerobic condition in the spasming diaphragm muscle. When the spasming diaphragm and stomach are deprived temporarily of oxygen and encounter the higher levels of carbon dioxide ... you feel that scary drowning sensation! BUT this causes the spasming muscles to relax! The hiccups go away! Essentially, you are "tricking" your body into thinking that it's drowning ... and it decides to use it's resources for something other than hiccuping. The rather "scary" drowning sensation caused by this method is NECESSARY for the method to work. If it's not just a little bit difficult ... it doesn't work. 
For my husband, his case was so bad that this method had to be repeated about 5 times throughout the day as his hiccups kept returning.  Neither of us had ever experienced such a bad case of hiccups, but this method was the only thing that worked.  And even though it had to be repeated, it worked immediately after he did it.  I imagine with a 'normal' case of hiccups, this process should cure them with one try.


  1. This really does work! I am the husband who was afflicted. Likely best to do this in private because it may look a bit odd to an onlooker.

  2. Ahhhh - nice. Here are some cures for hiccups that we came up with at The Top 7 - http://thetop7.net/2011/08/12/the-hiccups-cure/

  3. After spending 3 hours in the ER after my husband had the hiccups for 9 hours straight, I wanted to post an update and warning regarding hiccups:

    Having persistent and intractable hiccups can have more serious causes and if you have suffered from intermittent hiccups for more than 48 hours, or consistently for over an hour or two, you should seek medical attention.

    Although it is a small percentage, persistent hiccups can be an indication of heart attack, central nervous system problems (such as cancer, infections, stroke, or injury), metabolic problems (such as kidney function or hyperventilation), irritation of the nerves in the head, neck and chest (vagus or phrenic nerve), or various other serious conditions that require medical attention.

    Hopefully you will never have to deal with prolonged hiccups...


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