What Are Hiccups?
Hiccups are the involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, which is the sheet of muscle that separates the chest cavity and the abdominal cavity. When the diaphragm suddenly contracts, the vocal cords close up momentarily which creates the accompanying hiccupping or “hiccoughing” sound.
That is the official definition of the hiccups. But for everyone who has experienced them they can be a bothersome, often painful malady that seems to have a life and will of its own. The entire stomach region leaps up suddenly, the esophagus tightens and the sound seems to echo off from every available wall. This can be particularly embarrassing when occurring in public places.
What Causes Hiccups?
There are several possible digestive causes of the hiccups. These are:
•Distended Stomach: Overeating, drinking carbonated beverages or swallowing air (this can easily occur when chewing gum or gulping food or drink) can cause the stomach to bloat, or distend creating a spastic diaphragm.
•Spicy Foods: Spicy foods may have an effect on the nerves that control normal contracting of the diaphragm and may send them into spasms.
•Alcohol: Drinking alcoholic beverages relaxes the diaphragm, LES (lower esophageal sphincter) and vocal cords making them vulnerable to the factors listed above.
Other causes of the hiccups are: a sudden shift in environmental temperature, smoking or sudden stress or shock. If your hiccups are unrelenting, there may be an underlying medical cause.
What is the Cure for Hiccups?
Everyone seems to have their own cure for the hiccups. Old remedies include sipping water, sipping water backwards, holding a spoon in your mouth, holding your breath, eating peanut butter, eating sugar or scaring the bejeezus out of someone who is hiccupping. People tend to stand by their cures, because they have worked at one time or another throughout their lives, but rarely stand up to their promise.
But there is an “Ultimate Hiccup Cure”. This one works. Every time….Ready?
Hold your breath, tightly. Still holding it in, swallow hard, once or twice. Slowly let your breath out. Good bye, hiccups!
*Please know that I am not a medical doctor or a health practitioner. I cannot diagnose your stomach problems nor can I guarantee a cure. I am here to share my knowledge, which applications have worked for me and to offer suggestions of where you may go physically, emotionally and spiritually for healing and self-empowerment. If you choose to explore alternative medicine, do not independently stop taking your prescribed medications. Always consult with your current doctor as well as your new practitioner when changing your medical program