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Hiccups are simple to explain. The diaphragm (the major muscle which sits like a cap over the stomach) goes into spasms. The vocal cords close rapidly. This causes the “hiccup” sound.



•  Eating too fast. Swallowing air with the food.

•  Drinking carbonated beverages. Drinking too much alcohol.

•  Doing things to make the stomach full enough to irritate the diaphragm, such as eating a lot of fatty foods in a short period of time.


Hiccups seldom cause harm. Usually, they don’t last very long. Self-Care treats most cases of hiccups. Hiccups that persist could be a sign of a nervous system problem. A doctor needs to diagnose and treat this.


Questions to Ask

Self-Care / Prevention

Common Remedies for Hiccups

•  Swallow 1 teaspoon of dry table sugar. If this doesn’t stop the hiccups right away, repeat it 3 times, at 2-minute intervals. {Note: For young children (that do not have diabetes), use a teaspoon of corn syrup.}

•  Hold your tongue with your thumb and index finger and gently pull it forward.

•  Drink a glass of water rapidly. {Note: Young children should drink a glass of milk slowly.}

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