2023 Author: Josephine Shorter | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 04:34
Hiccups: causes and treatment methods
Hiccups is a reflex reaction of the body, which occurs as a result of the influence on the body of a wide variety of factors. In most cases, it is not dangerous and goes away on its own after a short period of time. However, sometimes hiccups are a symptom of certain diseases; they can last for a long time, exhausting a person.
Controlling hiccups with an effort of will is impossible. It leads to short-term breathing problems. During hiccups, a person takes a spontaneous breath as the diaphragm and muscles between the ribs contract. In this case, air does not enter the lungs, since the respiratory organs are blocked by the epiglottis. With hiccups, a person has a kind of shortness of breath.
- Hiccup and some facts about it
- How does hiccups develop?
- Causes of hiccups
- Complications of hiccups
- Ways to get rid of hiccups quickly
- Preparations to combat hiccups
- Hiccups during pregnancy
- 5 ways to get rid of hiccups in 30 seconds
Hiccup and some facts about it
Most scientists are of the opinion that hiccups are a reflex reaction of the body, which is needed exclusively by the fetus, while it is in the mother's womb. Thanks to hiccups, the amniotic fluid moves through the child's respiratory organs. When he is born, the need for this reflex disappears. However, it persists and arises in response to irritating factors.
Science knows cases when hiccups in humans lasted for several years and even decades. There is a man in the UK who has been hiccupping for 22 years. During the examinations, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but this fact did not allow explaining such a prolonged hiccup. It's hard to imagine, but there was a man in the world who suffered from hiccups for 68 years. On average, he hiccupped 15-40 times a minute (about 400 million times in 68 years).
You can get hiccups. In the Arkhangelsk region in the village of Pinega, many women suffer from hiccups. According to scientists, they simply infect each other. They were even nicknamed "Pinega hiccups."
Hiccups is a topic that has become the basis for the writing of a huge number of scientific papers and books. There are various conspiracies against her. Even psychics and wizards are involved in getting rid of people from hiccups.
How does hiccups develop?
It is possible to understand the mechanism of the occurrence of hiccups by studying the process of human respiration.
When a person takes a breath, his diaphragmatic and intercostal muscles contract. In this case, the air flow passes through the oral and nasal cavity, entering the larynx, trachea, bronchi and their small branches - alveoli.
During inhalation, the diaphragmatic muscles tense, and the sternum and rib cage are lifted. A pressure drop occurs and air enters the lungs. When the muscles relax, air leaves them.
When a person swallows, the airway is blocked by the epiglottis. This mechanism protects the respiratory system from food particles entering them. Thanks to this, they go down the digestive tract without blocking the trachea and bronchi.
The vocal cords are located in the larynx. They close during a conversation, due to which the person makes a sound.
The nervous system is responsible for the movement of the respiratory muscles. The respiratory center is located in the medulla oblongata. Normally, it works automatically.
The brain receives signals that a large amount of carbon dioxide has accumulated in the body and the blood needs to release it. He gives the command to the respiratory muscles and it contracts, thus the person inhales. When the lungs are filled and stretched sufficiently, the vagus nerve sends a signal to the respiratory center, which causes the person to exhale.
This same vagus nerve is involved in the hiccups. It departs from the brain and is responsible for various functions. Thanks to the vagus nerve, a person's heart beats, the vessels maintain the tone they need. If necessary, it makes a person cough, and also provides the mechanisms for vomiting. The vagus nerve controls the digestion of food. If he gets irritated, the person starts to hiccup.
Mechanisms of development of hiccups
A variety of factors can cause irritation of the vagus nerve.
- Eating large amounts of food.
- Alcohol abuse.
- Hypothermia, etc.
The irritated nerve directs impulses to the brain, which also go to the spinal cord. The central nervous system causes the respiratory muscles to contract. In this case, the respiratory center for some time is unable to control the work of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. They begin to contract like seizures. At the same time, the epiglottis closes the airways and the vocal cords close.
The person breathes in, but the air does not penetrate into the lungs, since they are blocked by the epiglottis. The air flow hits the vocal cords, so the person makes a hiccup sound. Thus, the mechanism of the occurrence of hiccups is implemented.
When the vagus nerve calms down, there is an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood. The respiratory center is again able to control the work of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles. Breathing stabilizes, hiccups disappear. If the factor that caused the irritation of the vagus nerve has not been eliminated, then the hiccups will continue.
The main reasons that can provoke irritation of the vagus nerve include:
- Disturbances in the work of the nervous system.
- Disorders in the work of the digestive tract.
- Irritation of larynx and pharynx.
- Inflammatory processes in the pleura and lungs.
- Providing mechanical pressure on the vagus nerve.
- Disturbances in the work of cardiac activity.
Hiccups are the result of irritation of the vagus nerve. It can indicate both banal reasons and be a symptom of a violation in the work of internal organs.
Video: "About the most important thing" - hiccups:
Causes of hiccups
Hiccups can occur both in an absolutely healthy person and in people with certain diseases.
Hiccups as a natural reaction of the body
Hiccups can be temporary. However, it does not indicate any disease.
The causes of physiological hiccups:
- Eating large amounts of food. If a person overeats, then he may experience hiccups. Sometimes it develops after taking carbonated drinks, as well as foods that can cause flatulence.
- Violation of the rules of food intake. Hiccups can occur when a person speaks while eating or eats too quickly. Drinking water with meals can provoke an attack of hiccups.
- Alcohol abuse. Hiccups develop when a person has taken too much alcohol or ate a lot of snacks. In addition, drinking alcohol through a cocktail tube or drinking alcohol on an empty stomach can provoke an attack.
- Air ingress into the organs of the digestive system. If there is too much of it, it will cause hiccups. Often this situation is observed during strong laughter or shouting, after singing, or a long monologue.
- Exposure to the body with cold, which led to hypothermia.
- Smoking. Often people note that hiccups develop if they smoke a cigarette on an empty stomach, with ARVI, or while drinking coffee.
- Inhalation of air that contains dust, smoke, or other contaminants.
- Overstrain of the nervous system. Sometimes hiccups are neurogenic. It develops against the background of severe fright, stress.
Hiccups develop in a healthy person when the vagus nerve becomes irritated. After he comes to his usual state, the hiccups disappear. As a rule, the attack does not last long - no more than 20 minutes. Most often, hiccups go away after a person has belching (if the hiccups were caused by a large amount of air entering the stomach). Sometimes even the stress or fright that has been suffered causes the hiccups to stop.
Pathological causes of hiccups
If hiccups are a symptom of an illness, then they will occur frequently. Such attacks last for a long time and it is difficult to cope with them.
Diseases accompanied by hiccups
|Name of the disease||Features of hiccups||Other symptoms|
Disorders in the work of the digestive tract:
|If a person suffers from one or another disease of the digestive system, then he will often hiccup. The attack does not last long, although sometimes it can last for a day. In this case, doctors talk about persistent hiccups. To get rid of it, you need to follow a therapeutic diet and follow medical recommendations.||
Diseases of the respiratory system are most often not accompanied by hiccups, that is, it cannot be called a characteristic symptom. However, in some cases, irritation of the vagus nerve occurs, which causes the development of an attack. As a rule, such hiccups are prolonged. It ceases to bother a person when a full recovery occurs. You can eliminate the attack by drinking a lot of warm liquid. Breathing techniques sometimes help. It is important to provide fresh air.
||Hiccups in diseases of the neurological sphere persistent, lasts a long time, sometimes for several years. To get rid of such hiccups, you need to completely treat the underlying disease. You can reduce the frequency of seizures by taking sedatives and drugs to relax your muscles.||
Increased heartbeat, which the person will clearly feel.
Intoxication of the body:
Science knows many reasons that can lead to the development of hiccups, but sometimes it is not possible to establish them. Therefore, it is not always possible to cope with the problem.
Video: hiccups as a symptom of a serious illness:
Complications of hiccups
If hiccups rarely occur, then it does not pose any threat to human health and life. However, in some cases it points to serious violations. For example, if hiccups are a symptom of a cancer or heart disease. By itself, it does not affect the course of the underlying disease, does not worsen its prognosis, but requires an immediate visit to the doctor. This will allow you to detect the existing problem in time and start treatment.
It is impossible to die from hiccups, but death can occur from the disease that provoked it. To date, not a single case of a patient's death from an attack of hiccups is known. However, it worsens a person's quality of life, especially when it lasts a long time and is repeated regularly. It disrupts sleep, does not allow eating normally, communicating with other people. The longer the attack of hiccups lasts, the stronger the psychological discomfort a person experiences.
Ways to get rid of hiccups quickly
Since hiccups are not an independent disease, it cannot be cured. A person cannot start and end hiccups by an effort of will. However, there are many ways that you can quickly get rid of an attack. Each of them can be applied at home.
Measures to get rid of hiccups:
- It is necessary to "calm" the irritated vagus nerve.
- Relax your breathing muscles.
- You should relax as much as possible, switch the nervous system.
- The respiratory center, which is located in the brain, can be stimulated.
Scientists argue that it is necessary to take measures to get rid of hiccups as early as possible from its onset. As practice shows, it will be much easier to cope with an attack if the person has not yet hiccuped 10 times.
Practical tips to combat hiccups
An effective way to combat hiccups is breathing exercises.
Several exercises need to be adopted:
- Breath. You need to breathe quickly for a minute.
- You can use the Valsalva technique. To do this, take several deep breaths, and as you exhale, you need to hold your breath. At this time, you should silently count to 10-30, you can jump, make a few bends, or some other feasible exercise. You can also hold your breath and take a few sips of water, or simply strain the peritoneal wall. After completing any of the proposed actions, you need to slowly and calmly exhale the collected air.
- You can try to inflate a balloon or a soap bubble (one or more). This exercise is great for relaxing the diaphragm and relieving stress. A person is charged with positive emotions, which in itself helps to stop hiccups.
- You can try breathing into a paper bag. All of these exercises can increase the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, which will cause the respiratory center to activate. He will quickly rebuild and again begin to control the work of the respiratory muscles. Also, breathing exercises helps to relieve irritation from the vagus nerve.
Drinking plain water is another way to combat hiccups. However, you need to drink it correctly:
- You should hold your breath and take several small sips of water (about 12). Alternatively, you can take 4-5 gulps.
- You can quickly cope with hiccups if you complicate the process of taking water, for example, pinch a regular ballpoint pen with your lips or scroll a glass of liquid while drinking.
- You can get rid of hiccups by stretching the body while drinking water. To do this, they do not pour it into a glass, but drink it from the tap, or simply tilt the body forward.
Water has a beneficial effect on the vagus nerve, helps relieve tension from the diaphragm, and soothes the nervous system as a whole.
You can "switch" the brain and quickly get rid of hiccups if you have an effect on the taste buds:
- You can suck a lump of sugar or a few grains of salt in your mouth. You can replace salt and sugar with regular peppermint candy.
- You can suck a spoonful of honey.
- Sometimes eating a lemon wedge helps to cope with hiccups. Alternatively, you can take an ascorbic acid tablet.
- You can put some mustard on the root of your tongue.
- Eating spicy food, but in small quantities, allows you to get rid of hiccups.
Acting on the taste buds causes the vagus nerve to take its mind off the hiccups. Such measures are effective if the attack was caused by hypothermia, nutritional errors, or nervous overstrain.
There are simple gymnastic exercises that allow a person to get distracted and deal with hiccups:
- Try to shake the press. This can be done in any way, the main thing is not to overdo it.
- You can do push-ups or pull-ups.
- You can kneel down and lean on your elbows. You should stand in this position for several minutes. This will quickly get rid of the hiccups.
- You can stand in the "birch" pose with your legs raised up.
All of these exercises can eliminate hiccups, but you need to breathe correctly. In the course of their implementation, the abdominal muscles are strained, and the diaphragm, on the contrary, relaxes. A person can more easily cope with emotional stress, the respiratory center begins to do its job better. In addition, the activity of the digestive system is activated, excess air comes out of the stomach. As a result, the person gets rid of hiccups.
However, it is not always possible to do the exercises. If a person suffers from diseases of the musculoskeletal system, or he has stones in the gallbladder, then it is best to refuse such gymnastics. Exercise is contraindicated for pregnant women and people who have recently undergone surgery.
Other methods of dealing with hiccups include:
- Tickling. You can ask another person to tickle you. This will distract the nervous system and deal with the hiccups.
- An attempt to induce a gag reflex. In this case, there is no need to bring to vomiting. You just need to tickle the root of the tongue so that excess air comes out of the stomach.
- Breathing with open mouth and tongue extended forward.
- Tongue Twisters. By pronouncing them, a person holds his breath and distracts the nervous system.
- Raising the tongue. You can pull on the tip with your fingers, which will make it possible to divert the vagus nerve.
- Eating a crust of bread or a small piece of ice.
- Taking a shower or bath. Warm water relaxes and soothes the nervous system as well as the respiratory muscles.
- Stimulation of active points. You can put pressure on closed eyelids, on the earlobes, on the clavicle hollows. Sometimes applause to yourself can help you cope with hiccups.
- Stimulation of the enrichment reflex. You can argue with a hiccuping person for money that in a minute he will continue to hiccup. Often this technique can help you deal with hiccups.
- Anal massage. This is a proven method of fighting hiccups for which scientists have received the Nobel Prize. They rarely resort to this method, since it is difficult to call it pleasant.
Preparations to combat hiccups
If it was not possible to cope with the hiccups with improvised methods, and it haunts for a day or more, then you need to go to see a doctor.
Medicines to combat hiccups are prescribed in the following cases:
- It is not possible to get rid of hiccups for more than a day.
- Hiccups are not a one-time, but a regularly recurring phenomenon.
- A person was previously diagnosed with a disease that could cause an attack of hiccups.
- Hiccups are accompanied by heartburn and pain in the esophagus.
The doctor may recommend the following procedures to the patient to cope with the attack:
- Inhalation of carbon dioxide at a concentration of 5-7%. This measure will activate the respiratory center.
- Acupuncture and reflexology are aimed at distracting the nervous system.
If these measures do not bring relief, then the person is shown taking medications.
|Drug group||Drug name||When should you take?||How should you take?|
Sedative medicines that are designed to stabilize the nervous system. In addition, they have an antispasmodic effect.
This group of drugs allows you to get rid of hiccups, which are neurogenic in nature, or develops against the background of cardiovascular pathologies. The drug has an antispasmodic effect, which can relieve a person of the unpleasant sensations that accompany hiccups with reflux esophagitis and gastritis.
|If the drug is in the form of drops, then the patient is prescribed 20-40 drops at a time. Before taking them, they need to be dissolved in a small amount of water. If the drug has a tablet form of release, then it is taken 1-2 tablets 2 times a day.|
|Valocormid||Valocormid is taken 10-20 drops 2-3 times a day before meals.|
|Local anesthetic drugs. They prevent the nerve impulse from passing along the nerve fibers.||Novocaine.||Novocaine can be taken not only for hiccups provoked by diseases of the digestive tract, but also for other disorders.||2 ampoules of Novocaine with a concentration of 0.25% or 0.5% are diluted in water (the volume of one ampoule is 10 ml). Such a solution is taken during hiccups, but no more than 2 times a day. The course of treatment should not exceed 3 days.|
|Preparations to eliminate vomiting. They affect the vagus nerve, removing irritation from it and reducing its sensitivity. As a result, neurons transmit impulses to the cerebral cortex and respiratory center more slowly.||
||Preparations of this group allow you to get rid of hiccups, which was provoked by disorders in the work of the digestive tract. They can help with hiccups of other etiologies, but the effect will not be as pronounced.||Take 1-2 tablets 3-4 times a day (10 mg). They drink the drug half an hour before meals. The treatment can take a long time. Since drugs affect the functioning of the central nervous system, they can only be taken with the permission of a doctor.|
|Antipsychotics and psychotropic drugs. They affect the nerve receptors of the vagus nerve, as well as various parts of the brain.||
||These drugs are prescribed for persistent hiccups, when it is not possible to cope with it with the help of other drugs. They have a positive effect on hiccups, which were triggered by disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system. Including with damage to the vagus nerve.||These drugs have a very serious effect on the functioning of the nervous system, so only a doctor can recommend them. It is impossible to purchase them without a prescription at a pharmacy.|
|Muscle relaxants allow you to relieve muscle tension, reduce their excitability, and relax the diaphragm.||
||If hiccups are the result of damage to the vagus nerve and other drugs are unable to cope with it, then muscle relaxants come to the rescue. They are excellent at fighting hiccups, which develops against the background of multiple sclerosis.||The drugs affect the central nervous system, so a doctor should prescribe them. They are not recommended for self-administration.|
If a person suffers from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, then the additional drugs that can be prescribed to him are:
- Creon, Mezim, Pancreatin are enzyme preparations.
- Almagel, Rennie, Maalox - drugs that reduce the acidity of gastric juice.
- Cisapride or Peristil are drugs that stimulate the contractility of the intestinal wall.
- Ranitin, Omeprazole, Famotidine are drugs that reduce the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
- Atoxil, Enterosgel and other sorbents.
- Espumisan, Riabal, dill water - all these drugs help to reduce bloating.
Sometimes even the strongest medications will not help you to cope with the stubborn hiccups. Most often, it is not possible to establish its cause. As a rule, such hiccups start suddenly and also end spontaneously.
Hiccups during pregnancy
During the carrying of a child, the body of every woman undergoes many changes. Hormonal changes affect the state of the psyche, and the enlarged uterus puts pressure on the internal organs. Therefore, pregnant women often suffer from hiccups. As a rule, it does not pose any threat to the life and health of the expectant mother and child, and after its birth it passes on its own.
If the hiccups are accompanied by pain, are stubborn in nature, then you need to seek the advice of a specialist. It can indicate serious health problems that need to be addressed immediately.
Causes of hiccups in pregnant women
Depending on the length of pregnancy, the causes of hiccups can vary.
If a woman has the first trimester, then hiccups can be triggered by the following factors:
- Errors in nutrition and indigestion. Most women have an increase in appetite, and enzymes are produced in smaller quantities. As a result, the digestive tract can hardly cope with the digestion of large amounts of food, which leads to irritation of the vagus nerve and the person begins to hiccup. If a woman leads a sedentary lifestyle, then hiccups can become her constant companion.
- Emotional stress. A woman's psyche is influenced by hormones, and any experience can provoke hiccups.
- Increased flatulence in the intestines. The cause of flatulence, and consequently hiccups, is not only overeating, but enzymatic insufficiency, as well as a weakening of intestinal motility, which is associated with the effect of progesterone on it.
- Toxicosis, which can develop in the early stages. In addition to nausea and vomiting, weakness and dizziness, a woman may suffer from hiccups.
- Other reasons that are not related to pregnancy.
If hiccups develop in late pregnancy, then the following reasons can provoke it:
- Errors in power supply, increased gassing.
- Increased nervous tension.
- Pressure on the diaphragm by the growing uterus. Often for this reason, a woman hiccups during a night's rest, especially when she sleeps on her back. The uterus can significantly constrict the vena cava, which will lead to poor circulation. In severe cases, even loss of consciousness is possible.
- Toxicosis and preeclampsia in late pregnancy is a dangerous condition that threatens the life of the mother and child. A woman's blood pressure rises, severe edema is observed, and the central nervous system suffers, which can lead to bouts of persistent hiccups.
- Other health problems not related to pregnancy.
How to get rid of hiccups during pregnancy
To get rid of hiccups during pregnancy, you can follow these guidelines:
- If a woman feels that she is cold, then it is necessary to warm the body. You can drink warm tea.
- You need to eat right, eat food in small portions, do not eat at night.
- It is important to learn to stay calm. Household little things are not a reason for frustration. The more positive emotions a woman experiences, the better for her and for the child.
- If a woman suffers from heartburn, then you can drink mineral water without gas, for example, Essentuki or Borjomi.
- Oranges and lemons can help control hiccups, but you should not overeat citrus fruits.
- You can do breathing exercises, but the exercises should be feasible, and also designed specifically for women in position.
- You can drink water using different techniques: small or large sips.
- You should not exercise during early pregnancy. To cope with hiccups, you can take a knee-elbow position and stand in it for several minutes. This lesson allows you not only to get rid of an attack of hiccups, but also reduces the load on the back, joints, and veins. In general, this position is good for the body. When hiccups develop during a night's rest, you just need to lie on your side.
- You can hold honey or sugar in your mouth.
- Breathing in the pleasant aromas helps to calm the nervous system. For this purpose, you can use the oil of lavender, sandalwood, pine needles, etc. It is important that they do not provoke the development of allergies.
- A pregnant woman should not be scared to help her deal with hiccups. This can lead to serious consequences, up to the fact that the child will take the wrong posture.
You should not take medications if the woman is in the position. This is especially true for early pregnancy. If you cannot cope with hiccups with simple methods, then you need to consult a doctor. Only he can recommend medicines that will be as safe as possible during this period.
Medicines for the treatment of hiccups in pregnant women
If a woman suffers from indigestion, then she may be prescribed medications such as:
- Enzymes (Mezim, Pancreatin, Festal).
- Activated carbon.
- Rennie, Maalox, Almagel.
- Dill water and Espumisan.
If the hiccups in a pregnant woman are neurogenic in nature, then she may be prescribed drugs such as:
- Magne B6.
- Motherwort and Valerian.
Drugs to stop vomiting or muscle relaxants are most often not prescribed to pregnant women. They are used only in case of emergency.
A woman should lead a measured life, eat right and get enough rest. This will avoid many health problems and minimize the likelihood of hiccups.
5 ways to get rid of hiccups in 30 seconds
5 quick ways to get rid of hiccups:
- Reflex. To do this, press on the root of the tongue with your fingers. Spasm of the esophagus will eliminate the spasm of the diaphragm. Alternatively, you can stick your finger in your mouth as if you want to induce vomiting, but you should not push it to the extreme.
- You can eat a spoonful of honey and wash it down with a large glass of water through a straw.
- You can argue with a person for money that in a minute he will stop hiccuping. This usually works very well.
- You can start pumping the press or doing push-ups. It helps to deal with hiccups quickly, but should not be practiced if the person has just eaten.
- You can press on the points where the phalanx of the middle finger connects to the joint. The pressure should be applied from both sides until a slight sensation of pain appears. Girls should press on the right hand, and the guys on the left.
Video: 5 ways to get rid of hiccups in 30 seconds:
The author of the article: Gorshenina Elena Ivanovna | Gastroenterologist
Education: Diploma in the specialty "General Medicine" received at the Russian State Medical University named after N. I. Pirogova (2005). Postgraduate studies in the specialty "Gastroenterology" - educational and scientific medical center.
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