The cause and function of hiccups has baffled medical practitioners since the time of Hippocrates. Although no one has figured out the exact science behind these "abrupt diaphragmatic contractions," we have come up with a few home remedies that might be able to help.
- Swallow 1 teaspoon of white table sugar, dry. A study found that this stopped hiccups immediately in 19 out of 20 people. Repeat up to three more times at 2-minute intervals if necessary.
- Gulp down a glass of water if the sugar doesn't work.
- Eat a piece of dry bread slowly.
- Gargle with water.
- Right after a hiccup, breathe in as DEEPLY as possible, hold it as long as you can and exhale as much as possible.
- Lie on your side and relax for a few minutes. If the hiccups do not go away, lay on your other side.
- This is my favorite one: Ask the person with hiccups their middle name. They say it works every time!
Keep in mind that hiccups can be caused by eating too fast and subsequently swallowing a lot of air or drinking too much alcohol.
See a doctor if you have severe pain, if your hiccups last longer than a day (or 3 hours in the case of a small child), or if they started after you took a prescription medication.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.