Hiccups is a condition when the diaphragm is malfunctioning or irritated. The major function of the diaphragm which is a dome shaped muscle in the chest is to pull and push air in and out of the lungs while inhaling and exhaling respectively. This condition generally last from few minutes and in extreme conditions it can last for days or weeks. Hiccups is not a serious condition however is is an indication for some medical problem in the body.
The common symptoms are contraction of the diaphragm and a continued “hic” sound from the throat.
Causes of hiccups are overstretching of the neck, laryngitis, heartburn, irritation of the eardrum, general anesthesia, surgery, bloating, tumor, infection, diabetes, drinking too much alcohol, consumption of hot and spicy food, smoking and eating fast.
Home remedies to cure hiccups instantly are holding your breath for few seconds, gargling with water, placing an ice bag on the diaphragm for sometime, sipping ice water quickly, closing the eyes and gently pressing the eye balls, drinking a glass of soda water quickly, eating some sugar or eating a tablespoon of peanut butter.
It is recommended that patients suffering with regular hiccups should avoid hot and spicy food as this can irritate the lining of the esophagus.
Furthermore, it is also recommended that patients should avoid over eating as this can overload the digestive system. Hiccups is not at all serious, however if the condition is persistent for over 24 hours it is advisable that the patient visits the doctor but the condition worsens.