Hiccups and heartburn may or may not be interrelated but each has individual cures that help relieve the discomfort created by them respectively. However in case of chronic difficulties with either hiccups or heartburn, it is advisable to meet a doctor at the earliest.
Hiccups are caused by involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, which generally occur on one side of the diaphragm at a time, and in most cases, the left one. Hiccups can affect everyone at any time, including babies that are still in the uterus. People will hiccup normally anywhere from four to sixty times a minute.
Cures For Hiccups
- Swallow something bitter.-Try sucking on a lemon or swallowing a teaspoon of vinegar.
- The gag method – Put your finger down your throat as if you’re forcing yourself to throw up, but don’t go so far as to actually vomit. This will disrupt the rhythm of your hiccups.
- Drink water – Steadily drinking a large glass of water with regular, evenly paced swallows could disrupt the hiccups’ rhythm and also wash away any food at the bottom of your throat that might be irritating the nerve down there.
- Drink upside down – Bend at the waist over a sink and drink water from the side of the glass farthest from your body.
- Startle the victim – A momentary jolt that can interrupt the spasm
- Divert attention by hanging a thread -. A popular cure for infant hiccups by placing a red thread or strip of red cloth in the middle of baby’s forehead, near the bridge of the nose.
- Sweeten it. Sprinkle some sugar on the back of your tongue and swallow
- Pull on your tongue – Open your mouth wide the next time you’re under a hiccup attack, grasp your tongue, give it a gentle yank and hold on to it for several seconds.
- Bet on it – The next time someone starts to hiccup, take money place it on the table and bet the hiccupper that he or she can’t hiccup again in the next minute. Without fail, the person can’t release another real hiccup as once you stop trying to make them go away, you bring a whole other set of muscles into play, and the spasms stop
- Go for tests. If hiccups are irritatingly frequent or the spells exceptionally long, your doctor probably will take x-rays after giving you some barium liquid to drink to highlight any obstruction in your esophagus, and prescribe medcation if necessary.
Heartburn is the burning sensation that occurs in the chest due to reflux of stomach acids back into the esophagus. Heartburn occurs as a result of irregular and unhealthy eating habits, certain medical conditions such as pregnancy, or as a result of certain medications.
Natural Cures for Heartburn
If it is absolutely obvious that you suffer from heartburn, you can follow the following tips to prevent and cure your heartburn.
- Monitoring of eating habits – Monitoring what you eat every day can help to rule out the foods that trigger heartburns in your body. These foods can therefore be avoided to prevent and alleviate heartburns. Some of the most usual culprits are
- Caffeine – Avoid drinking too much of coffee. Try decaffeinated coffee instead.
- Chocolates and sweets – Control your intake of sweets and chocolates as much as you can.
- High acid content fruits like oranges, sweet lime, etc. – Reduce their intake
- Large diets – Taking smaller diet size rather than 3-4 large diets a day would not stress your stomach into digesting the whole new lot. Hence, lesser acidic juices will be secreted in stomach.
- Spicy foods
- Junk food like soda, burgers, pizza, frozen foods invite heartburns and oily foods – Switch to organic foods, which help you lower the acid effect in your stomach.
- Monitoring medications – Certain medications such as heart and blood pressure medications and asthma medications, can kick your stomach’s acid production into high gear. This causes frequent bouts of heartburns in those who already suffer from occasional heartburn. Therefore by monitoring and listing out your prescription and over-the-counter medications to your doctor, he may be able to suggest some alternatives.
- Antacids – These are short term solutions which contain chemicals that work as a
- a shield against the harmful acids that cause heartburn. When the antacids reach the stomach, they form a covering over the harmful acid and shield the tender esophagus against the harmful acids.
- Stop smoking – Smoking increase the acid production as well as weakens the esophageal sphincter muscle, the muscle at the end of the esophagus that prevents the stomach acids from creeping in.
- Exercise – Exercise can help heal heartburn. Hence it is advisable to walk sufficiently each day.
- Lose weight – Pressure from excess weight pushes stomach acids into the esophagus. Hence it is advisable to lose weight.
- Improve sitting posture – Always sit up straight.
- Do not lie down immediately after having food – Lying down within a few hours after eating a meal can cause stomach acid to creep into your esophagus and attack sensitive nerve endings there, causing pain.
- Improve sleeping posture – If you have had a meal just before bed, prop the head of your bed up about six inches with a couple of bricks or wooden blocks (not pillows) to prevent heartburns. This ensures that stomach acid does not work its way into your esophagus due to gravity.
- Wear comfortable clothes – Avoid skin-tight clothes and severely cinched belts as they push acid from the stomach into the esophagus.
- Quick natural remedies – The following are some natural cures that can help ease heartburns.
- Drink Peppermint Tea to relieve heartburn.
- Note– Should not be given to children under five since it can cause a choking sensation.
- Taking a mixture of 1 to 2 teaspoons equally of natural apple cider vinegar and raw honey in a glass of distilled water before meals prevents heartburn.
- Eating several almonds relieves heartburn.
- Eating lemons or lemon rind before meals prevents heartburn.
- Lying on your left side can help relieve heartburn by keeping the stomach below the esophagus and acid-free.
- Bananas and such natural vegetables relieve heartburn
- Special teas like Kukicha tea – a Japanese tea made of special twigs, served with lemon, at least 3 or more cups daily can help relieve as well as prevent heartburn
- Chewing gums – Chewing gums lead to more saliva secretion in mouth that goes down to stomach and dilutes the harmful excess stomach acids. The effect of the acids on the esophagus is therefore much reduced.
- Drinking three to four ounces of skim milk – This temporarily neutralizes stomach acid
- Try a glass of water– This temporarily washes the acid out of your esophagus.
The Hiccups and Heartburn Link
There has been no documented evidence pointing in the direction of a link between hiccups and heartburn. Hiccups can precede heartburn, and they can also follow the condition, which makes it difficult to determine the exact link between hiccups and heartburn.. Hiccups could lead to heartburn as in the case of persistent and intractable hiccups, where the condition can last for hours, days or even years in some people. This occurs particularly with those that are suffering from a chronic heartburn condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.