How to pass the hiccups? The most effective solutions

If hiccups are often not serious, it can quickly become unpleasant. Websites are full of tips to pass the hiccups but are they all good to take? Which ones are really effective? We take stock.

Hiccups can affect both adults and children. Generally, without gravity, it lasts only a very short time. But this phenomenon of contraction of the diaphragm can sometimes become restrictive. Here are all the effective solutions to try to prevent it and especially make it disappear.

How to define hiccups and what is it used for?

Let us first recall what hiccups are: the health Insurance describes it as an“uncontrollable respiratory reflex”, caused by an“involuntary, spasmodic and coordinated contraction” of all the inspiratory muscles.

Most of the time, hiccups are benign and last on average only a few minutes: they are then called acute. If its cause is most of the time not identified, hiccups can be caused by different factors such as:

  • Excessive or too fast consumption of food
  • Ingestion of soft drinks or alcohol
  • Aerophagia,the act of ingesting air while chewing gum for example
  • Stress or emotions

In an article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Peter Kahrilas, professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Feinberg School of Medicine (Chicago, USA) said that hiccups in adults do not necessarily have any use. Hiccups, however, continue to manifest themselves naturally. So, what are the most effective solutions to get it through?

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The best solutions to make hiccups disappear

Most solutions to pass hiccups rely on two mechanisms, which are a voluntary suspension of breathing and a surprise effect intended to divert attention. Here are, according to Vidal, several solutions that can be effective in making hiccups disappear:

  • Drink a glass of cold water without breathing
  • Hold your breath as long as possible and then exhale slowly
  • Scare or make the person with hiccups laugh

Health Insurance also recommends inhaling and exhaling very quickly in a paper bag. This maneuver must be repeated a dozen times. If it is a child who has hiccups, it must be carried out under the supervision of an adult.

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Drinking with a straw, the miracle solution to pass the hiccups?

But a brand new trick, which may well prove revolutionary to make hiccups disappear, has recently been unveiled. It is the result of a study conducted by American researchers and published last June in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The scientists presented a“forced-inhalation suction and swallowing tool”, in other words, a system close to a straw. Called “Hiccway”, this device“stimulates the phrenic and vague nerves, inducing respectively a contraction of the diaphragm and a closure of the epiglottis”, as explained by James Alvarez, a researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center (USA) and lead author of the study. According to him, this straw would therefore be a tool of formidable efficiency to quickly and simply pass the hiccups.

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When is it necessary to consult in case of hiccups?

If you are prone to a regular hiccup, also called chronic, it may be interesting to analyze what triggers it: this will allow you to prevent it. For example, you can:

  • Avoid overly large meals
  • Take the time to eat slowly
  • Reduce your consumption of soft drinks, alcohol and chewing gum

But as soon as hiccups persist, it can be synonymous with more severe pathology, such as irritation of the esophagus, gastritis, or neurological disease of the larynx or abdomen. Some signs that may accompany hiccups should alert you:

  • Pain in the stomach and/or chest
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing and/or swallowing
  • Regurgitation and/or vomiting

If you experience any of these symptoms in addition to hiccups, it is imperative to go see a doctor. The latter will be able to have you perform more advanced examinations, in order to make a diagnosis and therefore to determine the origin of your hiccups.

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