Hiccups is a characteristic sound ‘Hic’ produced when there is sudden, involuntary and repeated contraction of the diaphragm (the breathing muscle situated below the lungs) which causes violent sucking of air into the lungs and forces immediate closure of the glottis above the voice box. The sound thus produced is called hiccups.
Usually hiccup is an isolated symptom, which stops on its own after some time. Continuous hiccups which lasts for more than a day or two, needs medical attention.
In chronic systemic diseases, hiccup is not the presenting symptom, but it follows other symptoms of that disorder.
Patient having continuous hiccups becomes anxious, he feels chocked. This makes him panicky and there comes fear of death. Restlessness and anxiety ultimately makes him tired and fatigued.
Causes Of Continuous Hiccups
Reasons for continuous hiccups include
- Eating in a hurry.
- Eating food that is too spicy.
- Excessive laughing and tickling.
- Alcohol in excess.
- Ear irritation.
- Drugs such as chlorpromazine, valproic acid, amantadine, etc.
- Excessive hot and cold drinks.
- Hepatitis and other liver diseases.
- Gastric distension.
- Peptic ulcer.
- Recent abdominal and thoracic surgeries.
- Reflux esophagitis.
- Brain tumor.
- Kidney failure and uremia.
- Infections such as pneumonia.
- Hysterical hiccups usually occur in a young girl when she is awake. They disappear during sleep.
- Epidemic hiccup: it is a viral infection occurring during the influenza and encephalitis. It affects mostly to persons over the age of 40 and at times followed by Parkinsonism.
Remedy To Get Rid Of Continuous Hiccups
Treatment of this common symptom is often frustrating. However there are many home remedies and solutions that you can try to get rid of continuous hiccups. If hiccups persist too long, you have to seek a medical opinion.
- Drink water without stopping to breathe. Drink it in one go.
- Hold your breath for a while.
- If you want to get rid of continuous hiccups, suck one teaspoon of granulated sugar promptly. See that you are not suffering from diabetes.
- Take half teaspoon of mustard seeds and half teaspoon of butter, mix them together and gulp them in one go.
- Ginger is a simple home remedy for continuous hiccups. Suck a small piece of fresh ginger for a while; it helps to get rid of continuous hiccups abruptly.
- Take few cardamoms; boil them in plain water for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the water and drink it. This is the most effective home remedy for treating continuous hiccups.
- Divert your mind to other activities; it will help you to get relief from continuous hiccups.
- Acupressure is another alternative therapy often found successful to get rid of continuous hiccups.