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Tips for stemming the spasms

(HealthDayNews) -- Hiccups are generally harmless and usually don't last very long. They occur when your diaphragm goes into spasm.

Still, they can be annoying and embarrassing, especially if you start hiccupping in the middle of a business meeting or when you're in unfamiliar company.

According to the University of Michigan, one study found that a teaspoon of ordinary table sugar, swallowed dry, cured hiccups in 19 out of 20 people.

Here are some other popular folk remedies:

  • Hold your tongue with your thumb and index finger and gently pull it forward.
  • With your neck bent backward, hold your breath for a count of ten. Exhale immediately and drink a glass of water.
  • Breathe into and out of a paper bag.
  • Swallow a small amount of finely cracked ice.
  • Massage the back of the roof of your mouth.
  • Eat dry bread slowly.
  • Drink a glass of water rapidly. Young children should drink a glass of milk slowly.
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