Hiccups are the sudden and involuntary contraction of your diaphragm, the sheet of muscle that lies between the thoracic cavity and the abdominal cavity. Our diaphragm is the muscle that allows our chest to expand and contract when we breathe. Most of the time, hiccups are merely an annoyance and do not signify a serious health problem. There are several home remedies that have been suggested to cure hiccups, some more successful than others.
You can sometimes stop an episode of hiccups by holding your breath.
Hiccups and Breath Holding
- Hold your breath for as long as you can (try counting slowly to ten).
- Should hiccups recur, repeat breath holding again.
- The maneuver can be repeated several times if necessary.
Why It Works
Holding your breath is thought to cure hiccups by causing carbon dioxide to build up in your blood stream.
People with cardiac problems, particularly heart arrhythmias should use caution when holding their breath for prolonged periods of time. Breath holding may cause a vagal response, in which heart rate slows.