Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – Learn the ABCDEs of Hiccups

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Three question sets on hiccups of all things

Why do I get hiccups?

You get hiccups because everyone gets them.  You get them because basically you’ve agitated your main breathing muscle (You have one on both sides, between the chest and abdominal cavities.).  Something’s caused it to spasm, which produces a reflex vocal cord closure.  That sound you hear is the reflex air going down your windpipe.  Here’s some of those ‘somethings’…

You smoke too much.

You’re overstressed.

You’re agitating your stomach.

  • You eat too much too quickly.
  • You drink too much.
  • You swallow too much air.
  • You alternative between hot and cold foods too quickly.

Are hiccups ever serious?

Absolutely.  In fact, hiccups can go on for more than 48 hours.  In these instances, you need to get evaluated.  Several things can cause this, but I’ll be particularly worried about your nerves and nervous system.

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What about all those hiccup cures?

Some things never hurt to try.  What you’re actually trying to accomplish through multiple variations of the same theme is to increase your carbon dioxide level (the gas you exhale in breathing), which tends to stop the hiccups.  Here’s a few oldies but goodies – think ABCDE.

  • Achoo!  Sneeze even if you don’t need to.  It may additionally stimulate the diaphragm out of hiccupping.
  • Breathe into a paper bag for 30-60 seconds.
  • Count to 10 while holding your breath.
  • Drink a cold glass of water – fast (Notice you’re holding your breath while doing this, and no, you don’t need a pencil in your mouth.).
  • Eat a teaspoon of sugar or honey.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

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