Hiccups can be defined as the involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle that separates your chest from the abdomen. It also has a marked role in breathing. Each contraction results in sudden closure of vocal cords which produces a characteristic “hic” sound. 

On a general note, hiccups usually occur due to a change in food patterns or excessive food intake. In some cases, the underlying diseases can result in triggering hiccoughs.  For most individuals, hiccups occur for a few minutes and disappear. If it persists more than a few days’ medical cares should be approached. If it continues for a long time, it can result in weight loss and exhaustion.

What are the Causes of Hiccups?

Hiccups can be resulted due to various reasons. 

1. Eating the food too fast

If the food intake is too fast and not properly chewed, the air tends to swallow along with food and results in Hiccups.

2. Overeating

Overeating can increase the risk of getting Hiccups. Food laced with fat, carbonated drinks, sugar-rich beverages and even excessive consumption of alcohol can also trigger the chances of hiccups. 

3. Reflex actions

In a few cases, the stomach is stretched and when an excess amount of food reaches the stomach, air tends to hiccups. It can also happen as a reflex action to prevent choking. 

4. Medical Disorders

Rarely hiccups can occur as a symptom in many diseases like renal failure, encephalitis, brain trauma, stroke, and brain tumor. 

5. Nerve Damage

Damage to phrenic or vagus nerve leads to unusual long bouts of hiccups.

6. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is one of the foremost reasons for causing hiccups. Some medications such as Valium, Ativan, etc. are known to trigger the issue of hiccups. Long-time usage of medicines like levodopa and nicotine can also result in hiccups.

7. Toxic Fumes

Inhalation of toxic fumes or any poisonous gases can result in hiccups.

8. GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux)
People who suffer from GERD are more likely to get hiccups. 

9. Stress

Hiccups can also be a result of stress. Anxiety is a known cause that results in hiccups. 
Hiccups that occurs for more than 48hours is called persistent hiccups. In rare cases, this can last up to one month which is called intractable hiccups. Both kinds of hiccups are associated with health risks.
What are the causes of persistent or intractable hiccups?

1. Nervous System Disorders

Sometimes, nervous system problems like stroke, nerve injuries, cancer, and other infections can lead to hiccups.

2. Metabolic Problems

People with high or low metabolic rate are more likely to suffer from hiccups. Other situations like hyperventilation or reduced kidney function can also lead to hiccups. 

3. Mental Health Problems

Individuals facing mental health issues like autism, obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety, depression, etc. pave a path towards hiccups.

Symptoms of Hiccups

Hiccupping is the symptom. In most of the cases, there occurs a slight tightening sensation in the chest, abdomen and throat region.  


Prolonged hiccups may interfere with:

  • Eating
  • Breathing
  • Sleeping
  • Speech
  • Wound healing after surgery

How to Get Rid of Hiccups With Natural Home Remedies

1.  Asafoetida for hiccups

Add the asafoetida powder to the butter and mix well. Swallow this mixture immediately.  Use this remedy whenever you experience hiccups. 

Asafoetida is a powerful remedy that relaxes the muscles of the diaphragm. The drug also helps in releasing the excess air inside the body and helps in getting rapid relief from hiccoughs. 

2.  Ginger

Chew the freshly cleaned ginger and swallow the juice. 

Ginger helps to relieve the hiccups. Its anti-inflammatory properties relax the diaphragm muscle and resolve the trouble of hiccups. 

3.  Cardamom Powder for Hiccups

Boil freshly ground cardamom powder in water in very low heat. Allow it to cool and strain. Allow the liquid to cool and strain it. Drink the recipe. 

Powdered cardamom is known to relieve the complaints of hiccough instantly. Cardamom powder has the properties which relax the muscles of the diaphragm and betters the signs of hiccups.

4.  Cumin seeds 

Add cumin seeds to water and boil it. Drink it warm.  

Cumin prevents gas formation in the body and also helps to eliminates the excess gas in the body. They help to relax the diaphragm and relieves hiccups.

5.  Hold the breath

Inhale a large gulp of air and try to hold the breath for about 20seconds. Then breath out slowly. Repeat as necessary.