Hiccups are medically known as synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF) or singultus and are caused by a sudden contraction or spasm in your diaphragm. During a hiccup, your diaphragm contracts (spasm) causing you to take a quick breath in. This breath in is then interrupted by the epiglottis closing and causing a “hic” sound.
Here are a few things you can try to stop a hiccup:
. Sugar: The graininess of sugar could slightly irritate the esophagus, causing the phrenic nerves to reset themselves and stop the hiccup.
. Bitters: Place 4 or 5 drops of Angostora Bitters on a lemon wedge and bite into the wedge, sucking in the juice. Sugar may be added to the lemon to ease the taste.
. Salt: Swallow 1 teaspoon (5 g) of salt, followed by a small sip of water. Make sure to follow it up with slow breaths, staying relaxed.
. Peanut butter: Eat a big spoonful of peanut butter, in the process of chewing and getting it off your tongue and teeth, your swallowing and breathing patterns will get interrupted and the hiccups will stop.
. Ice water: Gargle with Ice water.
. Hot sauce: The heat and burn are distracting for your body and the hiccups may stop.
. Rock forward: Bring your knees to your chest and hug them for a couple of minutes.
. Dill: Slowly chew a teaspoon of dill seeds. Swallowing the seeds may stimulate the vagus nerve to make the hiccups stop.
. Honey: Put 1 teaspoon of honey, stirred in warm water, on the back of your tongue, and swallow it. Like dill, honey could potentially tickle the vagus nerve to make the hiccups stop.
. Cocoa: Eat some powdered chocolate drink mix (Cocoa or Ovaltine) right off the spoon. Swallowing the spoonful isn’t easy and should stop the hiccups.
. Brown bag: Breathe slowly and deeply into a small paper bag. This will increase the carbon dioxide level in the blood and make the diaphragm contract more deeply to bring in more oxygen, which may stop the spasms.
. Eat slowly: Not chewing our food well enough can lead to hiccups as the air gets trapped between pieces of the food, gets swallowed, and results in the side effect. Eating more slowly means you’ll chew more, eliminating the possibility.
. Stretch: Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Lock one thumb in the palm of your other hand with fingertips outstretched. Then, lift your chin, look up and stretch your arms over your head (reaching for the sky). Pull your abs in as if trying to let your pants fall off your hips and breathe deeply several times.
. Paper towel: Place a single layer of paper towel over the top of a glass, then drink through the towel. You’ll have to pull harder with your diaphragm to suck up the water, and concentrated gulping counteracts spasmodic muscle movements.
. Neck: Tap or rub the back of your neck.
. Throat: Gently poke the back of your throat with a long cotton swab.