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Are repeated sharp inhalations of breath caused by involuntary spasms of the diaphragm.

What to look for

The repeated, involuntary short intakes of breath.
Hiccups is a minor problem and only last for a shot time. And it can effect anyone, and most pregnant women will tell you that they have even felt their unborn child hiccup in the womb.



It is caused by the irritation of the diaphragm, for example by an overfull stomach or inflammation of the membrane around the heart.

Personal Care

Doctors believe that high blood levels of carbon dioxide restricts hiccups, and low levels will provoke it. Doctors sometimes recommend inhalation of increased concentrations of carbon dioxide - an easy way is to cover your nose and mouth with a paper bag never a plastic one) and breathe in and out into it for a couple of minutes. Or a tranquillizer may be prescribed to control the symptoms.

You can also try to hold your breath for a while.
When a child has hiccups tell him or her to hold there breath and not to laugh while you gently tickle them.
You can also try to drink a teaspoon of raspberry cordial with no water.

When to seek further professional advice

If your hiccups persist for more than a day;
If hiccups and fever happen after major surgery in the upper abdomen

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Herbal Therapies - To help stop hiccups, a herbalists recommend warm chamomile (Matricaria recutita) tea, which is said to act like as an antispasmodic agent. Sipping peppermint or lemon balm tea may reduce the spasms.

Homoeopathy - try taking Ignatia, Cuprum metallicum, or Nux
vomica this might help with the spasms. But make sure you get the right medicine and right doses from a homoeopath.

Traditional Treatment


Traditional and folk remedies for hiccups are numerous. Here are some popular ones: breathe in deeply and hold your breath while slowly counting to ten, or as long as possible. Gargle for a couple of minutes with hot or cold water. Sip several cups of cold water slowly. Brink a glass of water slowly, from the side of the glass farthest from you. Surprise the sufferer with, for example a sudden slap on the back or by dropping something cold down the back of the neck - a door key or an ice cube often works.

If hiccups tend to recur frequently or an attack lasts longer than a day, you should consult your doctor.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-22