The secret kitchen remedy for getting rid of hiccups – and fast
HICCUPS can be a weirdly distressing experience for people.
Given enough time and patience they usually vanish on their own.
Yet, there is something oddly unbearable and eternal when you’ve just hiccuped and are waiting, helplessly, for the next one to strike.
Many claim to know the secret to stopping hiccups, whether that be holding your breathe, biting on a lemon or sipping on vinegar.
But now, one expert has claimed to know of a cure which you can make at home using ingredients you probably already have.
Dr Jennifer Caudle, a family doctor in the US, suggested people eat one teaspoon of sugar and drink a “gulp” of water to get rid of hiccups quickly.
“For me, this works,” the expert explained while speaking on the Today Show.
“Although some people don’t bother with the water and just eat the teaspoon of sugar,” she said.
According to the NHS – who also endorse this hiccup-curing technique – swallowing sugar stimulates the vagus nerve, which tricks the body into focusing on food and digestion rather than hiccuping.
When can hiccups be serious?
The NHS recommends anyone who has suffered with the hiccups for more than 48 hours seek medical advice.
In very rare cases it can be a sign of an underlying illness or injury.
The longest ever recorded case of hiccups was Charles Osborne, an Iowa farmer who hiccupped continuously for 68 years, according to the Mail Online.
When he was 29 he fell over while working on his farm and, when he stood up, he began to hiccup.
They continued for the next seven decades, about 24,000 times a day.
In the last 1970s a specialist determined his fall had “destroyed a small area in the brain stem, inhibiting the hiccup response.”
Another reason you may experience prolonged hiccups is damage to your vagus or phrenic nerves – the nerves that serve your diaphragm muscle.
This may be caused by a tumour or cyst in your neck, a hair or something else touching your ear drum, reflux or laryngitis, according to the Mayo Clinic.
They may also be caused by central nervous system disorders like meningitis, encephalitis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, traumatic brain injury or tumours.
Anxiety, stress and other mental health problems can also cause prolonged hiccups.