Nobody enjoys hiccups. They are caused when vagus nerves, nerves that link the brain to the abdomen, are irritated during common digestive disturbances. Hiccups occur about three to five times a year, every year, during an average person’s lifespan. There are many remedies that people believe help stop hiccups, some of them work and some of them are downright ridiculous. However, the concepts behind them almost always have the same goal: to overwhelm the vagus nerve with another sensation. The next time you find yourself in an awkward hiccup situation, a teaspoon of sugar may do the trick. Overwhelming inner mouth nerve endings with a surprising flavor is believed to work wonders. Another technique of swallowing water is proven to work as well. It interrupts the hiccup cycle, and calms your nerves. Those who gargle with water may also experience the relieved effect. If you get hiccups while eating, it means you are probably not chewing your food thoroughly. Eating more consciously and slower will prevent air to get trapped between pieces of food, irritating the vagus nerve. Take more deliberate chews and sips, minimizing air intake.
October 13, 2012