Friday, September 12, 2008

13 Techniques to Treat Hiccups

My dad was experiencing hiccups the whole day that prompted me to read about hiccups and how to treat it. According to The Home Remedies Handbook by Renner there are 13 techniques worth to try.

1. Play “hear no evil.” You put your fingers in your ears - and not because they don’t want you to hear yourself hiccup. It seems that branches of the vagus nerve also reach into the auditory system, and by stimulating the nerve endings there, the vagus nerve goes into action. “The pressure you create in the ears”, “is similar to the gag reflex of your mouth”. Remember not to put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear to avoid irritating or damaging the ear canal.

2. Get scared silly. Having someone surprise you may be the one method that overwhelms the vagus nerve more than anything els. “It’s similar to the method an adult uses to quiet a child who’s crying endlessly. Out of frustration, a parent may yell at the child to stop, and sure enough, the child who’s crying endlessly. Out of frustration, a parent may yell at the child to stop, and sure enough, the child will stop, almost as if on cue,”. Scaring the vagus may shut it up.

3. Drink Water. Swallowing water interrupts the hiccuping cycle, which can quiet the nerves. Gargling with water may also have the same hiccup-stopping effect.

4. Sweeten the hiccups. “The nerve endings in the mouth become overloaded with the sweet sensation” Have a teaspoonful of sugar, and if you can, place the sugar on the back of the tongue, where “sour” is tasted. This way, the sugar overloaded will pack the most punch.

5. Pull on your tongue. Sticking out your tongue and yanking on it may stop hiccups.

6. Tickle it away. Tickling the soft palate of the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab may do the trick. Or, if you’re the type who enjoys getting tickled, it may be more fun to have someone find your ticklish spots.

7. Hold your breath. Hold your nose and close your mouth-like when you jump in a pool.

8. Bag those hiccups. Breathing into a paper bag is believed to work on the same principle as breathholding. They increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, and the body becomes preoccupied with getting rid of it.

9. Take an antacid. “One or two tablets may help, especially if you take the kind that contains magnesium”. Magnesium tends to decrease the irritation and quiet the nerves.

10. Eat more slowly. “People who eat too fast tend not to chew well, which can cause hiccups”

11. Don’t pig out. Overloading the stomach with food is another cause of hiccups. If you’re eating too much or too fast, hiccups may be the body’s way of stopping you from continuing to binge, which gives the digestive system a chance to catch up and recover.

12. Avoid spicy foods. Some spices can irritate the lining of the esophagus and stomach.

13. Drink only in moderation. Excessive drinking can damage the lining of the food pipe.

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