Hiccups are a common and usually harmless condition that occur when the diaphragm, a muscle in the chest that helps with breathing, involuntarily contracts.
Hiccups could be a funny reaction in ones body you know. Many of us would have this same question our lips ‘What are Hiccups?’
Well, that’s one of the reasons why i have decided to treat this topic in and out. Humans and most people in Africa especially Nigerians, experience this strange but normal occurence. Some may get hooked by Hiccups immediately after eating while some say it is due to lack of Water intake after eating.
Which of these reasons do we believe?
Any way I believe so much in science and i would approach it through a scientific manner.
So, What is hiccups or What are hiccups?
Hiccups is some kind of forced intake of breath caused by muscle spasm in your chest and throat. There are several causes of hiccups but the most popular is irritation of the stomach or oesophagus, and for those of us who don’t know the meaning of oesophagus, its simply a passage or tube which connects the throat and the stomach.. Imagine you with no oesophagus, after mastication, where would your chimed food go?
So Back To The Topic.
When you get hit by hiccups, you tend to make a funny noise that tend to be like a Hic sound right? Well its just because the breath is cut off while snapping shut the glottis.
Is Hiccups A Good Thing For The Body?
Truth be told, no one really knows the use for hiccups and they don’t have any known function in the body(other than to make us look silly).
Hiccups are not useful to us at all but our ancestral lineage of four legged mammals actually found hiccups useful to them. Weird right?
They actually used hiccup as a means of swallowing food that got stuck in their throats.
Things are so much better now because we have the luxury of gravity and quadrupeds (animals that walk on four legs) have to shift in an horizontal manner to get their food into stomach. This means its easier for food to get stuck in their stomach.
Did you know that Dogs ‘Canis domestica’ swallow food rapidly and in huge chunks? Thus needing hiccups to force the food into their bellies..
Ok, enough weird stuff..
Why doesn’t Hiccups go away after drinking water?
The reason is becasue most cases of hiccups occur naturally and they tend to go away naturally. The worst case of acute Hiccup is just 48hrs but eventually it will stop. But it can also be cared by the use of drugs.
There was a case in 2007, U.S.A where a teenager actually had hiccups for five weeks non-stop. There after, it stopped but in a case where it is prolonged in such a way, it is classified as a Diabolic Hiccups which could be a symptom to some sickness.
How To Cure Hiccups In 10 Effective Ways
Ok, no money to buy drugs for almighty hiccups that came naturally. One of the cures I would be listing, is sure going to take hiccups away. And if it comes back another day, simply repeat the process.
1. Stop It By Breathing and swallowing: Breathe in as much as possible without letting any out and try to swallow in the process. Repeat this process until you get tired and your forced to breathe at a normal pace. Hopefully the hiccups will stop.
2. You Also Try the Open Mouthed Method: Open your mouth wide(Don’t let flies enter tho’). When they are open and you feel a need to swallow, please do so but try as much as possible to keep your lips apart. You should swallow must especially when you feel the hiccup is about to come up. If you are wearing anything tight around your chest, kindly loosen it. Repeat till hiccups vanish.
3. Try To Stretch Your Diaphragm: Breathe in slowly for about a minute, and forcefully breathe in deeply. While doing this, you trying to stretch your diaphragm and also trying to interrupt the hiccups.
Also, you can hold your breathe for 30 seconds, exhale slowly until the lungs are empty. Repeat this four to five times till you feel relieved.
4. Use Your Ears and Tongue: All these methods are associated with breath so don’t get tired of reading and find the one that works best for you.
Inhale and exhale once slowly. As you exhale, push out as much air as possible until your body forces you to inhale again. Inhale deeply, and hold your breath for 40 seconds, stick out your tongue, stick your fingers in your ears. Exhale slowly and if you feel it aint working, do it two more times.
5. Take A Deep Breath: Take a deep breath, hold it and close your mouth. Now, begin to move your diaphragm as if your were breathing in and out rapidly. Once the hiccups disappears, exhale and inhale properly.
6. Fill Up A Cup: Fill a cup of water. Now, using a straw, gulp down the water slowly but in the process of gulping, you must plug your ears with your fingers to send hiccups away. Younger people tend to get it once or twice but elderly people should do it three times. No one really knows why this works but it looks like you are actually swallowing your hiccups.
7. Play Bartender: This one is actually funny but it works. You have to look for a bitter liquid that’s consumable(For Nigerians, use Alomo or YoYo bitters) and put some drops on one half of a lemon that has been cut in two. Then, suck deeply on the lemon. The lemon simply acts as a mix to the bitters. The taste of the whole thing is similar to someone scaring you because you are just shocked about the taste. If you don’t like bitters or don’t have, take the lemon like that.
8. Take A Spoon Full Of Sugar: This could also make the hiccups subside and eventually stop. Alternatively, you can use honey. Hold the spoon in your mouth for some seconds and follow with a sip of water.
9. Drink Water Upside Down: Fill up a glass of water halfway, lay on your bed or rug and take two sips from it in an upside down position. Don’t straighten yourself till you finish gulping. Sip and swallow very slowly. Didn’t stop? Take abit more water.
10. Stand up, Sit Down: Now, you can send away the hiccups by body movement or body alert. Lay down on your bed and then suddenly stand up like your heard the roof of your house about to crash down. You can also do it the other way round of you so please.
One of these unique ways will surely make the hiccups go away.