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Hiccups (cont.)

Hiccups Home Remedies

Patient Comments

Numerous home remedies for hiccups exist. The reason that these remedies are thought to work is that carbon dioxide build-up in the blood will stop hiccups, which is what happens when a person holds their breath. Stimulation of the vagus nerve (the nerve that runs from the brain to the stomach) is stimulated, hiccups can also be alleviated (this is what is happening when a person drinks water or pulls on their tongue).

Try these methods at home to get rid of the hiccups:

  • Hold your breath.
  • Drink a glass of water quickly.
  • Have someone frighten you (or better, surprise) the person
  • Use smelling salts.
  • Have the person pull hard on their tongue.
  • Place one-half teaspoon of dry sugar on the back of the tongue. (Repeat this process 3 times at 2-minute intervals, if necessary use corn syrup, not sugar, in young children.)

There are many other suggestions such as "name 10 famous bald men" (this distracts the person with the hiccups and may help the diaphragm relax), "a finger in the ear," tickling the palate with a swab, swallowing a tablespoon full of honey, but a person should only try those methods they feel comfortable with and be aware that some are not suitable for infants (honey, sugar methods), elderly with swallowing problems and others with health problems. Call the doctor for further information if individuals have any questions about home remedies or if they fail to stop the hiccups.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/16/2013

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hiccups »

The term "hiccup" derives from the sound of the event. "Hiccough" erroneously implies an association with respiratory reflexes.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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