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Hiccups can be very annoying, and they tend to appear at the worst possible time. But there are a number of simple ways to get rid of your hiccups – and you won’t even have to move to do them.
Hiccups are caused by an involuntary reaction in the body, and there’s often no reason for them.
Some people may find that they develop hiccups if you’re feeling stressed or excitable.
Eating or drinking – particularly drinking alcohol – has also been claimed to instigate hiccups.
Hiccups usually last no longer than a few hours, but on some rarer occasions, may also last for a few days.
You don’t need to speak to a doctor if you have hiccups occasionally, said the NHS.
But, if they last longer than 48 hours, or if they start to affect your everyday life, you should consider seeing a GP.
Your doctor will try to find the root cause of the hiccups. They may be caused by an underlying medical condition or medication.
If there isn’t any obvious cause, there are some medicines available to help soothe your hiccups.
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“Almost everyone’s had hiccups at one time or another,” it said. “While hiccups usually go away on their own within a few minutes, they can be annoying and interfere with eating and talking.
“People have come up with an endless list of tricks to get rid of them, from breathing into a paper bag to eating a spoonful of sugar. But which remedies actually work?
“There aren’t many studies that evaluate the effectiveness of different hiccup remedies. However, many of them are backed by centuries of anecdotal evidence.
“In addition, some of the most popular remedies actually stimulate your vagus or phrenic nerves, which are connected to your diaphragm.”
The easiest way to try and stop your hiccups is by doing some breathing exercises.
A quick change to your breathing or posture may be enough to relax your diaphragm, according to medical website Healthline.
Breathe in deeply and slowly for five seconds, before gently exhaling for five seconds, and repeat until the hiccups have disappeared.
Alternatively, try holding your breathing for around 10 to 20 seconds after inhaling a large gulp of air.
Some people find that hugging their knees helps to get rid of hiccups.
Bring your knees to your chest, and hold them for around two minutes, or until the hiccups have stopped.
Sipping on an ice-cold water has also been claimed to be a natural remedy for hiccups.
A similar option is to simply suck on an ice cube for a few minutes, or to gargle ice-cold water.
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