How to Get Rid of Hiccups or Heartburn - What Really Works
We've all heard the old home remedies and old wives tales for getting rid of hiccups. Getting scared, holding your breath, drinking water, fake burping (yeah, I've heard that one). Most of us have tried most of them with little or no success. So what does work? This:
For adults or children - Get a tablespoon of sugar, put it in your mouth, grin and bear it while it dissolves.
For toddlers or infants - Mix a teaspoon of sugar with half an ounce of water and have them drink it. For infants still on a slow-flow or medium-flow nipple, please be careful. Water is much thinner than formula/milk and comes out much faster, so let your baby get a sip or two, take a couple second break, and go in again.
That's all... Really. My son had horrible hiccups when he was a baby - bad enough to make him cry - and this always worked like a charm. I've also never had the "Spoonful of Sugar" remedy fail for myself or friends and family.
For heartburn, obviously you can simply take a few Rolaids or Tums, but some doctors recommend against one or both of these if you're pregnant. Many people also don't like the taste or texture of these two products, and taking them regularly can be bad for you. Here are some tips for avoiding heartburn and getting rid of it once you have it.
Don't drink milk- This is a very common suggestion, and while it may feel very good to drink milk when you have heartburn, you're actually making your problem worse. The fat and calcium in milk actually cause your stomach to make *more* acid.
Don't lie down - This just makes the acid's upward travel easier. Try to stay upright, or at least prop your upper half up a little.
Try Ranitidine - This is just the generic name of Zantac. You can get it OTC for fairly cheap, and it's a pill, not something you have to chew up, so it's easier to take than a chewable or liquid antacid.
What what/how much you eat- Avoid spicy and greasy foods. Spicy foods cause more acid, and greasy foods sit in your stomach longer, keeping it fuller longer. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine as well. Also avoid over-eating. If there isn't enough room in your stomach, it's going to push acid upward.
Relax - Stress can cause heartburn.
Don't eat before bed - You should really wait a minimum of 2 hours after eating to lie down for the night, so try eating dinner earlier or avoiding late night snacks.
What Causes Hiccups
The hiccups are basically an involuntary contractions of the diaphragm — the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and plays an important role in breathing. And then seem to come on out of the blue and are certainly annoying.
Knowing the cause of getting the hiccups can possibly keep you from getting the hiccups. Drinking too much alcohol is one of the main causes of getting the hiccups. Getting drunk, especially with hard liquor can easily cause the hiccups.
Eating a heavy meal can also cause the hiccups, not to mention eating too fast can also cause the hiccups. Combined with alcohol, being drunk, eating a heavy meal and eating too fast can certainly cause the hiccups.
Stress and being nervous can also cause the hiccups, mixing alcohol with nerves or stress almost always cause the hiccups. Excitement and stress also cause the hiccups.
Chewing gum and sucking in air also causes the hiccups, combine chewing gum with excitement and or stress can cause hiccups to occur.
Eating while upset is another way to get the hiccups. Having an argument at the table while eating can certainly cause the hiccups as can watching something on TV like the news or other upsetting shows can cause the hiccups. Talking while eating, especially when you are upset will also cause someone to get the hiccups.
The bottom line with hiccups is to not eat too fast, chew every bite 100 times, and that is very important. And if drunk while eating, this can be hard to remember. Drunk and eating fast is almost a sure way to get the hiccups.
You should see a doctor if the hiccups last longer than two days. If there is also burning in the stomach area, you can try taking something like Tums or Rolaids, but if this continues and or turns into acid reflux, you need to talk to a doctor. Diet is important, spicy foods and heavy red meat meals can also cause the hiccups.
In my experience, the best remedy for hiccups is to sit down, relax, calm down and breathe in and out in a slow calm manner. The hiccups can cause an anger response, just by getting mad at having the hiccups, especially if drunk. Relaxing, and not thinking about stressful thoughts and breathing in an out in a calm manner can really help.
Do not fret if at first your breathing techniques do not help, stick with steady breathing and before you know it, the hiccups will be gone.