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 Coach. She helps clients with parenting issues, the challenges of college and young adulthood and issues related to health and habits. Email her at to learn more. She is the author of the Audible Original, Take Back the House -- Raising Happy Parents.


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