A hiccup (हिचकी) means “to catch one’s breath while sobbing”; also spelled hiccough) is an involuntary contraction (myoclonic jerk) of the diaphragm that may repeat several times per minute. The hiccup is an involuntary action involving a reflex arc. Once triggered, the reflex causes a strong contraction of the diaphragm followed about a quarter of a second later by the closure of the vocal cords, which results in the “hic” sound. Hiccups may occur individually, or they may occur in bouts. The rhythm of the hiccup, or the time between hiccups, tends to be relatively constant. A bout of hiccups generally resolves itself without intervention, although many home remedies are often used to attempt to shorten the duration. Medical treatment is occasionally necessary in cases of chronic hiccups.
Hiccups affect people of all ages, even being observed in utero. They become less frequent with advancing age. Intractable hiccups, lasting more than a month, are more common in adults. While males and females are affected equally often, men are more likely to develop hiccups lasting more than 48 hours. Dogs may also get hiccups.
Symptoms of Hiccup
A hiccup consists of a single or a series of breathing diaphragm spasms, of variable spacing and duration, and a brief (less than one-half second), unexpected, shoulder, abdomen, throat, or full body tremor. Hiccups may present as an audible chirp, squeak, “Hupp”, or if controlled, a quick inhaling gasp, sigh, or sniff. They may also present as brief but distracting or painful interruptions in normal breathing, with sudden momentary pain of the throat, chest, or abdomen.
- Swallowing air excessively,
- Gastroesophageal reflux,
- Hiatal hernia,
- Rapid eating,
- Carbonated beverages, alcohol, dry bread, and some spicy foods,
- Opiate drug use, and
- Laughing vigorously or for a long time.
Hiccups may be triggered by a number of common human conditions. In rare cases, they can be a sign of serious medical problems. In rare cases, a hiccup can be the sole symptom of myocardial infarction.
Pre-phrenic nucleus irritation of the medulla:
- Damage to the vagus nerve after surgery
Other known associations:
- Although no clear pathophysiological mechanism has been described, hiccups are known to have been the initial symptom of Plasmodium vivax malaria in at least one documented case.
A leading hypothesis is that hiccups evolved to facilitate greater milk consumption in young mammals. The coordination of breathing and swallowing during suckling is a complicated process. Some air inevitably enters the stomach, occupying space that could otherwise be optimally used for calorie-rich milk.
Presence of an air bubble
The hypothesis suggests that the presence of an air bubble in the stomach stimulates the sensory (afferent) limb of the reflex through receptors in the stomach, esophagus, and along the underside of the diaphragm. This triggers the active part of the hiccup (efferent limb), sharply contracting the muscles of breathing and relaxing the muscles of the esophagus, then closing the vocal cords to prevent air from entering the lungs.
This creates suction in the chest, pulling air from the stomach up into the esophagus. As the respiratory muscles relax the air is expelled through the mouth, effectively “burping” the animal.
Number of characteristics
There are a number of characteristics of hiccups that support this theory. The burping of a suckling infant may increase its capacity for milk by more than 15-25%, bringing a significant survival advantage. There is a strong tendency for infants to get hiccups, and although the reflex persists throughout life it decreases in frequency with age.
The location of the sensory nerves that trigger the reflex suggests it is a response to a condition in the stomach. The component of the reflex that suppresses peristalsis in the esophagus while the airway is actively blocked suggests the esophagus is involved. Additionally, hiccups are only described in mammals – the group of animals that share the trait of suckling their young.
An international respiratory research group composed of members from Canada, France, and Japan proposed that the hiccup is an evolutionary remnant of earlier amphibian respiration. Amphibians such as tadpoles gulp air and water across their gills via a rather simple motor reflex akin to mammalian hiccuping.
The motor pathways that enable hiccuping form early during fetal development, before the motor pathways that enable normal lung ventilation form. Thus, the hiccup is evolutionarily antecedent to modern lung respiration.
Episodes of hiccups usually last under 30 minutes. Prolonged attacks, while rare, can be serious. Root causes of prolonged hiccup episodes are difficult to diagnose. Such attacks can cause significant morbidity and even death.
An episode lasting more than a few minutes is termed a bout; a bout of over 48 hours is termed persistent or protracted. Hiccups lasting longer than a month are termed intractable. In many cases, only a single hemidiaphragm, usually the left one, is affected, although both may be involved.
Prevention of Hiccup
Let’s alter some of the lifestyle and dietary regimens in order to suit a hiccup-free life:
- Abstain from extremely cold or hot food or drinks, aerated and carbonated as well.
- Keep away from spicy foods, ice creams, etc.
- Decreasing the intake of alcohol and fasting is not recommended.
- Exercising and practicing yoga, and stressing on pranayama aids in no trouble due to hiccups.
- Regulation of emotional stress or extreme excitement.
Hiccup Medical Treatment
Hiccups are normally waited out, as any fit of them will usually pass quickly. Folk ‘cures’ for hiccups are common and varied. Hiccups are treated medically only in severe and persistent (termed “intractable”) cases.
Numerous medical remedies exist but no particular treatment is known to be especially effective, generally because of a lack of high-quality evidence. Many drugs have been used, such as:
- Gabapentin, and
- Various proton-pump inhibitors.
Secondary hiccup treatment
Hiccups that are secondary to some other cause, like gastroesophageal reflux disease or esophageal webs, are dealt with by treating the underlying disorder.
The phrenic nerve can be blocked temporarily with an injection of 0.5% procaine, or permanently with bilateral phrenicotomy or other forms of surgical destruction. Even this rather drastic treatment does not cure some cases, however.
Intractable hiccup treatment
Haloperidol, metoclopramide, and chlorpromazine are used in cases of intractable hiccups. Effective treatment with sedatives often requires a dose that renders the person either unconscious or highly lethargic. Hence, medicating with sedatives is only appropriate short-term, as the affected individual cannot continue with normal life activities while under their effect.
A vagus nerve stimulator has been used with an intractable case of hiccups. “It sends rhythmic bursts of electricity to the brain by way of the vagus nerve, which passes through the neck. The Food and Drug Administration approved the vagus nerve stimulator in 1997 as a way to control seizures in some patients with epilepsy.” Persistent digital rectal massage has also been proven effective in terminating intractable hiccups.
Folk remedies for Hiccup
There are many superstitious and folk remedies for hiccups, including head standing, drinking a glass of water upside-down, being frightened by someone, breathing into a bag, eating a large spoonful of peanut butter, and placing sugar on or under the tongue. Infants rarely hiccup in the feeding position, and one trick that works well is drinking water slowly in a 45-degree laying position. It is also possible to mentally meditate and relax the muscles causing the hiccup and thus stop the hiccup.
Acupressure, either through actual function or a placebo effect, may cure hiccups in some people. For example, one technique is to relax the chest and shoulders and find the deepest points of the indentations directly below the protrusions of the collarbones. The index or middle fingers are inserted into the indents and pressed firmly for sixty seconds as long, deep breaths are taken.
A simple treatment involves increasing the partial pressure of CO2 and inhibiting diaphragm activity by holding one’s breath or rebreathing into a paper bag. Other potential remedies suggested by NHS Choices include pulling the knees up to the chest and leaning forward, sipping ice-cold water, and swallowing some granulated sugar.
A breathing exercise called Supra-supramaximal inspiration (SSMI) has shown also to stop persistent hiccups. It combines the three principles of hypercapnia, diaphragm immobilization, and positive airway pressure.
First, exhale completely, then take a deep breath. Hold your breath for 10 sec. After 10 sec, take another small breath without exhaling. Hold your breath for 5 sec. Again, without exhaling, take another small breath and hold for 5 sec. Exhale and your hiccup should be gone.
Drinking through a straw
Drinking through a straw with the ears plugged is a folk remedy that can be successful. In 2021 a scientific tool with a similar basis was tested on 249 hiccups subjects; the results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
This device is named FISST (Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool) and branded “HiccAway“. This study supports the use of FISST as an option to stop transient hiccups, with more than 90% of participants reporting better results than home remedies. HiccAway stops hiccups by forceful suction that is generated by diaphragm contraction (phrenic nerve activity), followed by swallowing the water, which requires epiglottis closure.
A hiccup in Society and Culture
The word hiccup itself was created through imitation. The alternative spelling of hiccough results from the association with the word cough.
- American Charles Osborne (14 December 1892 – 1 May 1991) had hiccups for 68 years, from 1922 to February 1990, and was entered in the Guinness World Records as the man with the longest attack of hiccups, an estimated 430 million hiccups.
- In 2007, Florida teenager Jennifer Mee gained media fame for hiccuping around 50 times per minute for more than five weeks.
- British singer Christopher Sands hiccupped an estimated 10 million times in a 27-month period from February 2007 to May 2009. His condition, which meant that he could hardly eat or sleep, was eventually discovered to be caused by a tumor on his brain stem pushing on nerves causing him to hiccup every two seconds, 12 hours a day. His hiccups stopped in 2009 following surgery.
In Baltic, German, Hungarian, Indian, Romanian, Slavic, Turkish, Greek, Albanian, and among some tribes in Kenya, for example in the folklore of the Luo people, it is said that hiccups occur when the person experiencing them is being talked about by someone not present.
Home remedies for Hiccup
Hold your Breath
This is one of the simplest hiccups home remedies. There’s even a special technique called supra-supramaximal inspiration that doctors recommend.
Take a deep breath. Hold it for 10 seconds. While still holding your breath, inhale another sip of air and hold for 5 seconds. Inhale one more sip and hold 5 more seconds. Then exhale. This technique works by relaxing your diaphragm, increasing carbon dioxide levels, and creating positive airway pressure that helps cure the hiccups.
Stick your fingers in your Ears
This home remedy for hiccups is fun and funny looking. The next time you’re hiccupping, stick your fingers in your ears for 30 seconds.
You can also press your fingers into the soft area right behind your earlobes at the base of your skull. Touching your ears this way signals your vagus nerve to relax which will relax your diaphragm spasm and hopefully stop your hiccups.
Stretch your Diaphragm
Since your spasmodic diaphragm is what’s causing your hiccups, stretching this muscle should stop them in their tracks. This stretch is easy to do.
Take a very deep breath so that your belly and lungs feel completely full of air. It should feel like you can’t inhale any more air. Hold the air in for as long as you can. When you need to breathe, exhale slowly. Are your hiccups gone? If not, try this diaphragm stretch a few more times—or switch to the “hold your breath” hiccup remedy.
Suck on Sugar
One of the sweetest ways to stop hiccups is by sucking on a spoonful of sugar. Most recommendations suggest pouring dry sugar directly onto your tongue from a spoon or sugar packet. Then close your mouth and suck on the sugar until it dissolves.
This action disrupts the nerve impulses to the vagus nerve that cause the spasms that lead to hiccups. It also changes your breathing pattern which can stop the spasms. As a bonus, it tastes good! (Just brush your teeth afterward!)
Drink water in a weird way
One home remedy suggests drinking water in an uncomfortable body position. It sounds silly, but it confuses your nervous system enough to stop the diaphragm spasms that cause hiccups. What positions should you try? Drink from the sink faucet or from the opposite side of a glass with your head upside down.
If you’re feeling adventurous, drink a paper cupful of water by picking it up with your pinky fingers while simultaneously sticking your index fingers in your ears.
Use your Hands
Some remedies suggest that increasing the carbon dioxide levels in your body causes your brain to focus on that issue and makes it stop signaling hiccup spasms. Do this by cupping your hands over your mouth and nose and taking normal breaths until your hiccups stop. Another hands-on technique is to firmly press into the palm of one hand with the thumb of the other hand. The discomfort provides a distraction for your nervous system.
Ice your Hiccups
Icing your body isn’t just for sports injuries. Tell your hiccups to cool it by holding an ice pack over your diaphragm in the area just below your rib cage and above your navel.
Be sure to wrap the ice pack with a towel to protect your skin. Hold it there until your hiccups go away. The theory behind this remedy is that cooling the diaphragm stops the spasms. It may also be a mental distraction for your nervous system.
Sip Pickle Juice
Here’s one for the list of “it’s so crazy, it might work” remedies. Drink a small amount of dill pickle juice. It must be dill and not sweet pickles. Sour flavors are often recommended in hiccup remedies and you can try taking a sip of vinegar as an alternative. The sensation of the sour taste in your mouth disrupts the signal to your vagus nerve and hopefully interrupts your hiccup pattern long enough for them to go away.
Put paper behind your Ear
Distracting the signal to your vagus nerve (which connects to your diaphragm muscle) is key to stopping your hiccups and this remedy does the trick. This clever mental distraction is also easy.
Simply tear off a piece of paper and twist it, so you can hang it behind your ear. Your brain gets so busy wondering “why does this person have a piece of paper behind their ear?” that it forgets to hiccup. Grandmothers swear by this remedy, so it’s definitely worth a try.
Hit the hot Sauce
Sometimes curing a bad case of hiccups calls for a brave move. This home remedy for the hiccups will get your nervous system fired up fast. Shake a few drops of your favorite hot sauce onto a teaspoon and pour it into your mouth.
You’ll quickly feel a burn on your tongue, nose, and eyes. This discomfort shifts your body’s focus to what’s happening in your head and it’ll forget all about hiccupping.
Ayurveda treatment for Hiccups
In Ayurveda, hiccups are labeled as ‘hikka roga’ and regarded as a major indicator of several concealed disorders and are duly dreaded by many. Ayurveda also considers hikka (hiccup) as a correlation to kasa and swasa in terms of uniform etiology and similarity in origin.
Let’s follow some authentic herbal remedies rather than ensuing internet- myths with no due scientific backing to them.
- Asafoetida: Commonly found in our Indian households, asafoetida fried for about 10-20 seconds blended with a teaspoon of ghee and a dash of salt consumed with buttermilk once or twice daily. A combination of asafoetida, black pepper, and black salt rectifies hiccups.
- Food and Drinks: For those who are troubled by constant bouts of hiccups, the diet should be prepared by infusing black pepper, long pepper, salt, asafoetida, ghee, and ginger.
- Nasya:- administration of saline drops – (a pinch of salt dissolved in about 5 tablespoons of water) on an empty stomach alleviates hiccups.
- Dhumapana: Dhumapana is known as the inhalation of smoke, the wick is specially put together by ghee, cinnamon leaves, and turmeric.
- Ajaksheera (Goat Milk): Refined with sugar and ginger can be administered.
- Liquorice barks with an equivalent quantity of honey and 10-12 drops of ghee served with a glass of water.
- For children: Let a teaspoon of sugar dissolve into their tongues slowly.
- Yoghurt and salt: Blend them together and administer them in order to cure hiccuping.
Siddha remedies for Hiccups
1. Siddha Preventive Measures
Everybody must practice Siddha preventive measures, whether affected by hiccups or not, but they are the primary steps for switching on to any other Siddha energy remedies, and hence they are important. It helps in one’s capability, effectiveness, productivity, decision-making power, intellectualism, and removing minor health problems.
Earthing, Field Cleaning, and Siddha Brain Exercise/Energizing are three types of preventive measures. Everybody’s tendency is to get attracted toward the word ‘free‘, however, don’t neglect even these Siddha preventive measures are free. Avail of the benefits by practicing them regularly. For ease of understanding of Siddha preventive measures, please watch a video for a live demonstration.
2. Siddha Shaktidata Yog
This unique Siddha Shaktidata Yog can solve problems related to Hiccups with free Siddha energy remedies. Training in ‘Swami Hardas Life System’ methods is not a compulsion, but it would help achieve faster results. This not only gives benefits to self but also can be used for other affected persons, whether a person is in the same house, distantly available in the same city, same nation, or maybe in the corner of the world, however, both procedures have been explained here.
3. Siddha Kalyan Sadhana
Recite this Sadhana with a Sankalp “My hiccup problems are solved as early as possible and I should gain health”, which should be repeated in mind 3 – 3 times after each stanza. Any person irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith, sex, and age can recite this Sadhana for free, which should be repeated at least twice a day. To know more about it, please click on this link.
4. CCPE products for Hiccup
These products work on the concepts of ‘Conceptual Creative Positive Energy’ (CCPE) within the provisions of ‘CCPE Life System’ and the theory of Quantum Technology to a certain extent. However, the products get activated only whenever touched by a human and then they become capable of solving the problem and achieving health.
The use of CCPE products, being Energy Therapy, is one of the most effective free Siddha energy remedies for persons, who could not undergo training in Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System. However, please use these products for hiccup problems as mentioned below:
The CCPE Extractor should be gently moved over the Agya Chakra in a circular motion at least for 30 to 60 seconds, thereafter, follow the same process on the head, chest, and naval for another 30 to 60 seconds, which will convert negativity into positivity. This is how the process of using extractor finishes within almost 2 – 3 minutes. It is so simple.
Keep one Booster over the Agya Chakra and another over the head, chest, and novel for 3 to 5 minutes. You may need to have 3 Boosters and the process would finish within almost 3 – 5 minutes, which establishes positivity. This is how the process of using CCPE Booster finishes within almost 3 – 5 minutes. It is so simple.
Wrapping boosters in a thin cloth and tying them around the head, chest, and naval overnight to achieve faster results is permissible but after the use of the CCPE Extractor as explained above.
UAM (Understanding, Awakening & Movement): It is an energy-based process that can be applied by persons who have undergone training for touch therapy. One should have attended a minimum age of 18 years to avail of this golden opportunity. A desirous person can undergo training-process irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith, and sex. Trained persons can follow the tips explained below for how to apply these free Siddha energy remedies:
- Touch therapy – UAM/leveling as per the symptoms of the disease
- Distant therapy – Siddha Shaktidata Yog, Sight healing
- Sankalp therapy – Siddha Kalyan Sadhana, Vishwa Kalyan Sadhana
- Energy therapy – Use of CCPE products e.g. CCPE Extractor, Booster, and Booster powder
- There are various reasons behind health, peace, and progress-related problems, but effective free Siddha energy remedies would help solve all of them.
Training of Swami Hardas Life System
Any problem with regard to health, peace, and progress can be solved independently without money and medicines by undergoing training in Swami Hardas Life System. Any person irrespective of religion, caste, creed, faith, sex, and age can undergo this unique training.
A daily routine for Hiccup
In general, a daily routine to manage the problem may look like this:
- Perform Siddha Preventive Measures in the morning soon after you wake up
- After taking a bath, do brain exercise (energizing), and Siddha Kalyan Sadhana
- Do regular breathing exercises
- With the help of CCPE Extractor, Boosters apply the remedy as explained above
- Do light exercises routinely
- Adopt the Sattvik diet in your daily life
- Before going to bed, repeat Siddha Kalyan Sadhana and remedies as suggested
And be sure to sprinkle in some fun during the day: Don’t forget to relax and laugh in between. Laughing is a great way to boost your immune system.
Along with all the above activities, apply free Siddha energy remedies minimum 3 times a day, the more is good. Just try methods of Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System, and I am confident that you will surely find improvements within 15 days.
In view of the above, I am confident that you have learned the basics of what is hiccup, its symptoms, causes, prevention, medical treatment, folk remedies, home remedies, Ayurveda treatment, and free Siddha energy remedies without money and medicines. As a bonus, you also learned free Siddha energy remedies. Now is the right time to use acquired knowledge for solving related problems for free. Hence, please undergo training, learn Siddha energy remedies, and apply them instantly to get or give instant relief to the needy.
Frequently asked questions
Before posting your query, kindly go through the:
|What is Hiccup incidence?
Hiccups affect people of all ages, even being observed in utero. They become less frequent with advancing age. Intractable hiccups, lasting more than a month, are more common in adults. While males and females are affected equally often, men are more likely to develop hiccups lasting more than 48 hours.
|How much duration of a Hiccup is critical?
Episodes of hiccups usually last under 30 minutes. Prolonged attacks, while rare, can be serious. Root causes of prolonged hiccup episodes are difficult to diagnose. Such attacks can cause significant morbidity and even death. An episode lasting more than a few minutes is termed a bout; a bout of over 48 hours is termed persistent or protracted. Hiccups lasting longer than a month are termed intractable. In many cases, only a single hemidiaphragm, usually the left one, is affected, although both may be involved.
|When medical treatment is required for Hiccup?
Hiccups are normally waited out, as any fit of them will usually pass quickly. Folk ‘cures’ for hiccups are common and varied. Hiccups are treated medically only in severe and persistent (termed “intractable”) cases.