Most people have gotten an annoying case of the hiccups at some point in their life. Sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere and go away as quickly as they came. Although doctors know a little bit about why hiccups happen and how to get rid of them, there is still a bit of debate.
If you are someone who drinks heavily you have probably experienced the drunk hiccups at some point. When I was in my addiction I frequently got hiccups and were painful and uncomfortable. If you are constantly getting the hiccups from alcohol it might be time to consider getting help for alcohol addiction.
There are is a lot of medical jargon usually used in order to explain what hiccups are. However, I will try to make it as simple as possible. They are caused by the sudden and uncontrollable tightening of the diaphragm. This in turn causes the voice box to tighten. When this happens it blocks the intake of air. The whole process causes the funny “hic”.
They are generally harmless but if they last for more than 48 hours you should see a doctor. These prolonged hiccups can be a symptom of something else going wrong in the body.
The main reason people get the drunk hiccups is because they are consuming carbonated drinks. Research has demonstrated that such sparkling drinks can cause hiccups. So, drinking things like beer, champagne, or mixed drinks with soda might end up giving you a case of the hiccups.
The other reason people get the drunk hiccups is because they drink too quickly. Both carbonated drinks and drinking too quickly cause cause the stomach to become distended. When the stomach is distended it irritates the diaphragm which in turn causes those hiccups. If you are someone who drinks too much and chugs those drinks you might end up with the hiccups.
One lesser known fact is that some drugs have been linked to hiccups. Benzodiazepines and opiates are both known to cause them. If you are drinking and using these types of drugs recreationally, this could also be causing your hiccups. Or you might be mistaking drunk hiccups for drug hiccups.
Combining opiates or benzos with alcohol can be incredibly dangerous and even life threatening. Please seek help if you or someone you know is showing other symptoms of drug overdose such as vomiting, loss of consciousness, sweating, drowsiness, or seizures.
The best way to get rid of hiccups is to let them go away on their own. After a few minutes or a few hours they will eventually subside. It might be uncomfortable dealing with them until then but it is really the best way to get rid of them. You might also want to slow down on the drinking and stop drinking any carbonated drinks in order to take the pressure off your diaphragm.
If you really cannot stand the hiccups there are some other things you can do. One study found that acupuncture or breath holding techniques might be helpful for stopping hiccups. While it might be difficult to run off to an accupuncturist you can easily do some breathing techniques to hold your breath or slow your breathing down.
While some people suggest cures like drinking water upside down or pressing on your belly there is no research to suggest that these methods actually work. Although many people swear by these home remedies they have not been proven effective. You can try them and they might help. However, there is a risk that some of these methods might actually increase the pressure and make things worse.
If you are experiencing hiccups that won’t go away they are probably not caused by alcohol. Like I mentioned at the start of this post, if they last more than 48 hours there is probably an underlying problem. If this is happening you should see a doctor.
There are causes and treatments for these kinds of persistent hiccups. Often they involve taking muscle relaxers in order to relax the diaphragm.