Why do we get the hiccups?

Causes and cures for the hiccups and what they really are.

Have you ever been having a perfectly fine and normal day until, out of the blue, you have a momentary convulsion originating from somewhere in your belly that you have no control over and seemingly no ability to stop? Where do these uncontrolled noises come from and what causes them? We are about to find out. The part of your body that you can blame the next time you come down with terrible case of the random and awkward convulsions is your diaphragm.

I know what you're thinking now. What does your diaphragm do in the first place? I sure hope it does a dang important job to cause me all of this hassle. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your stomach that helps you breath. So, unfortunately, it's kind of important. The good news is that it does its job properly a majority of the time.

For each breath you take in and out, you can thank your diaphragm. It pulls down when you inhale to pull air into the lungs. Then, when it's time to exhale, your diaphragm relaxes and allows the air to flow out your nose and nostrils.

Unfortunately, every now and then our diaphragms get screwed up and irritated, causing them to majorly irritate us as well. Some of the things that can anger this muscle are feeling excitement, feeling nervous, eating too much or too fast, or having another irritation in your stomach. When something happens to irritate this muscle, it jerks downward quickly causing you to inhale quickly. As the air rushes into your throat and over the vocal chords, it causes the vocal chords to make some noise leading to the "hiccup" sound!

The good news for us is that we only get the hiccups for short amounts of time. Usually just a few minutes are all the longer they will last. But during this time, they can really wreak havoc on our lives, making us feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, and annoyed. But it's just a natural part of the body and you can hope that they will pass quickly!

…Or you can also do something about it if they are really driving you crazy and you would like to do something about it! Many people know the method of holding your breath for an extended amount of time. Another common method to get rid of the annoying hiccups is to get scared or startled. Some less conventional methods of getting rid of this annoying ailment are putting sugar under your tongue and drinking water. In addition, an off-the-wall but extremely successful cure is to drink water while plugging both of your ears and your nose. It sounds absurd, but almost always works!

So next time you get the hiccups, I hope you can laugh at the noise, pinpoint what may have caused them, and embrace your normal bodily annoyance. Because you will have several plans of attack to kick this ailment to the curb.


Activities to try next time you get the hiccups:

1) The best way to prevent the hiccups is to not overeat!

2) If you find yourself with the hiccups, try plugging your ears with your thumbs, plugging your nose with your pinkie fingers, and drinking water simultaneously!

3) Have a friend jump out and scare you when you're not expecting it.

4) Hold your breath while counting to 30 (or however long you can comfortably hold it).

Here are even more creative and silly ways to try and get rid of the hiccups! Hopefully at least one of these will work for you. http://www.readersdigest.ca/health/ask-your-pharmacist/7-ways-get-rid-hiccups/