What Causes Hiccups: Remedies to Stop Hiccups

What Causes Hiccups: Remedies to Stop Hiccups

Mar 26, 2022

Did you know? A person named Charles Osborn began to hiccup in 1922 after a pig fell on top of him. He wasn’t cured until 68years later which means he hiccupped for some 595,680,000 and is now listed by Guinness as the world record holder for the longest bout of hiccups.

The main culprit behind hiccups is Diaphragm. It is a dome-shaped muscle below the lungs that we use to inhale and exhale air.

It begins with an involuntary spasm or sudden contraction of the diaphragm to take a quick breath of air. The sudden rush of air causes the glottis a flap inside your vocal cords to shut abruptly stopping the air from entering the windpipe and reaching the lungs causing the strange little sounds without any warning: “Hic” “Hic” ”Hic”

The most common causes of hiccups are:

  • Eating and drinking too fast
  • Overeating
  • Consuming alcohol
  • Swallowing air while chewing
  • Emotional stress
  • Excitement
  • Eating spicy food
  • Drinking carbonated drinks
  • Consuming very hot or very cold foods
  • Certain medications
  • Abdominal Surgery


Most of the time the hiccups go on its own but sometimes it gets tough to get rid of it and we try home remedies to stop hiccups.

Some of the easy and common home remedies to stop hiccups are:

  • Drinking a glass of water quickly.
  • Swallowing granulated sugar or dry pieces of bread.
  • Eat ice
  • Sit down and lean forward on your knees
  • Gently pulling on your tongue.
  • Gargling water.
  • Holding your breath.
  • Breathing into a paper bag (do not use a plastic bag).
  • Biting on a lemon.
  • Ask someone to give you a fright
  • Eat a bit of fresh ginger

Same as adults babies also get hiccups though it just happens and cause no harm to the baby’s health, there are certain things you can do to relieve your baby from hiccups.

  • Let your baby burp in the middle of feeding
  • Rub your babies back
  • Use a pacifier

Despite all the remedies for curing hiccups, there is no guarantee that any of these temporary solutions work better than the other or will surely help to stop hiccups.

When are hiccups a topic of concern in babies?

It's typical for a baby under the age of 12 months to have a lot of hiccups. However, if your baby's hiccups are bothering him or making him upset, you should consult your doctor.

When should I contact a doctor for hiccups?

It is said that hiccups do not cause any harm to the health and most cases of hiccups resolve themselves in a short time and rarely need medical attention.

You can seek help from a doctor in case your hiccups last for more than 3 hours or cause disturbance in your eating and sleeping habits. Also, if you have stomach pain, fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, or cough up blood with your hiccups, see your doctor immediately.

Hiccups that lasts for days, weeks, or even years might be a sign of something more serious. Certain lung or brain diseases can occasionally impair the diaphragm's function, making the person prone to hiccups. Hiccups can also be caused by surgery or certain drugs.

The following are some of the diseases, conditions, and medications that can cause hiccups to occur often or for an extended period of time:

  • An overactive thyroid gland
  • Pleurisy (inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs)
  • Pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs)
  • Kidney disease
  • Brain damage, such as stroke or tumour, that affects the area of the brain which controls the diaphragm
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus)
  • Chest surgery
  • Certain epilepsy medications
  • Nicotine gum

Medications used to stop serious hiccups:

  • Gabapentin.

  • Baclofen.

  • Chlorpromazine

Things to remember

  • Hiccups, often known as hiccoughs, are involuntary noises produced by diaphragm spasms.
  • Hiccups usually stop itself. Most stop without treatment, or with simple home remedies.
  • Remember to keep an eye on how long they last. Hiccups may be a symptom of a serious illness, or they could just be annoying.