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Hiccups (medical term: singultus) are caused by the involuntary movement of  the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle at the bottom of  the chest, which help in inhalation and exhalation of  air during breathing. If the diaphragm is irritated, the air hits the voice box, resulting in the hiccupping sound. Usually hiccups last for a few minutes.

Sometimes hiccups develop suddenly, but usually they develop due to a specific situation

1. Due to eating and swallowing food too fast

2. Eating sour, very hot or spicy food

3. Eat hot food and drinking a cold drink simultaneously

4. Coughing or laughing loudly

5. Cancer and other kidney diseases

6.  Drinking a large amount of  alcohol

 

 Usually hiccups get cured automatically, but remedies can used to shorten the duration of the hiccups. If the hiccups do not stop after an hour, medical attention may be required. Some of the home remedies for hiccups are:

1. If  you get hiccups after eating food, try to drink plenty of water, till the hiccups subside

 

2. Sit down and take slow and deep breaths for a few minutes. Alternately hold your breath for 10 s , it may stop your hiccups.

 

3. Being startled or surprised by someone, so that you jump, will interrupt the breathing and stop the hiccups.  This is a popular folk remedy.

 

4. Putting sugar, jaggery or some sweet food in your mouth will stop hiccups.


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