Hiccups: Causes and How to Treat

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Playing How to Get Help for Your Hiccups

Hiccups - we've all had them, but do you know what actually causes them and how to best treat the unconformable involuntary spasms of the diaphragm?

Dr. Ian Smith explains hiccups can be caused by:

  • Eating too much
  • Eating too quickly
  • Eating foods too hot or spicy
  • Drinking carbonated beverages or alcohol
  • Excitement or emotional stress
  • Swallowing too much air, also called aerophagia

In addition to holding your breath, Dr. Ian suggests trying the following to treat your hiccups:

  • Take 20 small quick sips
  • Drink from the other side of the glass 
  • Pull on your tongue
  • Press on the carotid arteries on either side of your neck 
  • Gently press on your closed eyes

He says all of these can help to interrupt the body's reflex spasm and calm your body down.

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