Everybody at least once in the lifetime experienced the hiccups problem. They happen when the muscles of the diaphragm are contracted unconsciously, and they continue that action for about the same periods of time.
The hiccups are usually caused by the various things that provoke the reaction of the nerve endings of the diaphragm, such as eating something hot or spicy, any surprising and stressful act, or the irritation from the cigarette smoke and alcohol. Also, the other actions that can cause hiccups are those which involve any sudden stress on the digestive system.
For instance, eating too fast and without chewing the food enough times combining the cold and hot drinks, and showering with cold and hot water alternately, can lead to the hiccups. Any abrupt intake of the foods or drinks can cause the hiccups since there will probably be a lot of the air swallowed between the bites or sips.
But, sometimes the hiccups are not likely to stop, and in those cases, one should seek the medical advice, especially if the problem lasts more than two days, because it can be the sign of some severe disease (e.g. stroke, malignant tumors, various tumors of the gastroenterological system, different kidney problems, pneumonia, the bladder and the bowel-related diseases, hepatitis, etc.)
Although the drug for this condition doesn’t exist, there are fortunately a lot of traditional ways and remedies that the people have come up with through the time to deal with this annoying problem.
Some of them are based on the breathing techniques, such as holding the breath after exhaling or inhaling the air, breathing into a bag or with a cloth that should be put over the mouth and nose and even breathing deeply while the arms are extended.
Besides the techniques, there are the remedies that are based on the water and those which are based on the sugar. The teaspoon or the cube of sugar should be put on the tongue until it melts, and sometimes it should be followed by the sip of water or lemon juice, as the surprising moment which will disrupt the cycle of hiccups. And, when it comes to water, it has been pointed out as the most commonly used remedy for this condition.
The most popular ways of drinking a glass of water to stop hiccups are drinking it rapidly, or in the opposite position (with the head over the glass). It is also better if the water is cold. Surprisingly, the hiccups sometimes stop when someone pulls upward the affected individual’s ears, while he or she drinks the water with the nostrils blocked.
Also, very beneficial are the remedies that are based on the intake of different drinks and foods, such as the mixture of honey and water, the juice of a lime or of pickles, camphor oil, the mixture of red pepper and water (the water should be cooked previously), the apple cider vinegar, etc.
The foods that are likely to stop the hiccups are peanut butter, Marshmallow (which should be swallowed at once), lemon, honey, and the ice cream. The evident thing is that the food should have that surprising effect; either there is the case of coldness, sweetness, or sourness.
And finally, there are some homeopathic remedies and the most popular is nux vomica. And the most commonly performed action which stops the hiccups is the one of pulling out the tongue.