Almost everyone’s had hiccups at one time or another. While hiccups usually go away on their own within a few minutes, they can be annoying and interfere with eating and talking.
People have come up with an endless list of tricks to get rid of them, from breathing into a paper bag to eating a spoonful of sugar. But which remedies actually work?
There aren’t many studies that evaluate the effectiveness of different hiccup remedies. However, many of them are backed by centuries of anecdotal evidence. In addition, some of the most popular remedies actually stimulate your vagus or phrenic nerves, which are connected to your diaphragm.
Read on to learn about the most popular and effective ways to get rid of hiccups.
Hiccups happen when your diaphragm begins to spasm involuntarily. Your diaphragm is a large muscle that helps you breathe in and out. When it spasms, you inhale suddenly and your vocal cords snap shut, which causes a distinctive sound.
In most cases, they come and go quickly. Lifestyle factors that may cause hiccups include:
- eating too much or too quickly
- carbonated drinks
- spicy foods
- being stressed or emotionally excited
- drinking alcohol
- being exposed to quick changes in temperature
Getting rid of hiccups
This tip is meant for short bouts of hiccups. If you have chronic hiccups that last for more than 48 hours, talk with your doctor. This may be a sign of an underlying condition requiring treatment.
Introducing: Peanut (or almond or sun) butter!
Get a teaspoon of peanut, almond or sun butter (depending on food allergies) to stop harmless but annoying hiccups. Just a teaspoon or so; consume slowly. A very smart nurse practitioner shared this trick with me, so of course I’m immediately sharing it with you.
This is especially useful with kids! Kids can get really frustrated when hiccups persist, so what are your other tried and true ways to stop them?
So there you have it folks! Next time that annoying hiccups hits you, run for that jar of butter have a teaspoon of it. You can thank me later.