ha ha hic oh shit
June 25, 2010 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Really specific circumstances always lead to hiccups. Why?

YANAD, but this is such a minor thing that I'd feel awkward asking a doctor. (I don't have a family doctor, so this would essentially entail waiting at a clinic for a couple of hours just to ask about my fucking hiccups, and, well, no.)

I only get hiccups when I am a) lying down, and b) laughing. And when I say "only", I mean I do not ever get hiccups under any other circumstances (just laughing doesn't do it; just lying down doesn't do it - it has to be the combination of the two), and whenever I happen to laugh while lying down, I will get the hiccups without fail. Sometimes it happens when I am not necessarily lying down, but rather in a semi-reclining type of position... and laughing. The hiccups will go away if I sit up or stand, but if I stay lying down, they will linger on after I stop laughing.

I have tried googling this but every page I turn up just tells me that lying down is suppose to stop hiccups. What is up with my hiccups? Additionally, can I make it stop? How?
posted by ellehumour to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hiccups are your diaphragm spasming. The diaphragm is like any other muscle; sometimes certain motions can make it unhappy.

Stretching it might help it relax and let go of its tendency to spasm. Like any other muscle, to stretch the diaphragm you'd position it and then hold the stretch for a while. Physiotherapists I've seen have disagreed on what constitutes a good stretch time; I've been told everything from 12 seconds to a minute. Stretching the diaphragm would basically be inhaling deeply, and then holding your breath for the duration of the stretch.
posted by galadriel at 7:09 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

There are certain things that always make me hiccup as well. I always hiccup after my first sip of a soda. And I always hiccup after eating something spicy. Maybe everyone has specific, recurring circumstances that incite hiccups.

Someone once told me a home remedy to stop hiccups. (I've never actually tried it out, so I can't vouch for it.) Fill a glass with water before dropping in a spoon, head first. Holding the handle of the spoon away from your face, drink the entire glass of water. Supposedly this will eliminate the hiccups. I know this sounds like crazy BS, and it may very well be exactly that -- but the source said it works every time. It's worth a try.
posted by fignewton at 9:15 PM on June 25, 2010

I don't have an explanation, but I can almost guarantee getting hiccups if I eat rice, hard boiled egg, or raw carrots.
posted by ellenaim at 4:41 AM on June 26, 2010

Response by poster: fignewton - I've gotten rid of hiccups by drinking water before, but I'm not sure where the spoon comes in. Water is a pretty common hiccup cure, though, and fairly reliable.

galadriel - I actually tried stretching my diaphragm, and then my partner and I tested the theory (I lay down, he said something funny). No hiccups! Amazing! You are awesome.
posted by ellehumour at 5:16 AM on June 26, 2010

I usually get hiccups when I eat bread or fries or chips or rice without sipping a liquid in between bites I also get hiccups if I breath in and twist my torso down - like while I'm filing paperwork in a low drawer. I've gotten hiccups while yawning.

My hiccups are definitely air related and it sounds like yours might be too. I can feel the pocket of air during the (very painful sometimes) hiccups and always burp several times while attempting the 99.9% cure.

If you have a straw, take long slurps of water while holding your ears closed*. If you have a good friend, have him/her hold your ears closed while you take long drinks of water. If you have no friend & no straw - plug your nose closed while taking long drinks of water. I usually have to take 4 or 5 long swallows of water to "clear the air".

*tips of fingers blocking your ear holes but not inside the ear holes please.
posted by jaimystery at 3:18 PM on June 26, 2010

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