The Sure-Fire Way to Get Rid of Hiccups

Why do you get the hiccups?
They happen when the muscles and nerves that control our breathing cause little bursts of inhalation, mistimed with your normal rhythm. They occur most frequently from eating or drinking too much. In this case, the stomach distends and irritates with diaphragm, our largest breathing muscle.

Sometimes, a change in temperature or a stressful situation cause the nerves stemming from our brain to misfire. In either case, these type of hiccups are benign and simply annoying. Hiccups that do not go away or occur very often can be the sign of something more serious.

How can you get rid if them?
Shock away your hiccups by confusing your taste buds.

There are lots of theories to get rid of them, but here is a technique I have yet to see fail. I learned it from my dad, and perfected it when I was a bartender. (It is amazing how often the skills I learned as a bartender supersede those I learned in med school.)

Put this all in a spoon:
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
a few drops of aromatic bitters

Bottoms up. If you don’t have bitters, you can try just the sugar and lemon juice, but based on experience, the efficacy drops to 75%.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Dr. Latimer is a Family Physician and Wellness & Parenting Coach. She works with parents who want to feel more confident when helping their children and coaches young adults to help them better navigate college life and transitions. Contact her at to learn more. She is the author of two Audible Originals, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents and Worry Less, Parent Better. She is also the co-founder of the app that makes your life easier and puts social in a healthier place -- List'm.


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