Hiccups after alcohol is it always as harmless as it seems

Hiccups are known to everyone, regardless of age and status, as well as other indicators, for example, health. Hiccups most commonly affect pregnant women, the elderly, and people who have problems with digestive system function. This phenomenon is common because it is caused by physiological processes in the body.

Traditional methods of eliminating heartburn are known to everyone. But what to do when a person is tormented by hiccups after alcohol? Do you get by with proven prescriptions or do you need special remedies? To answer these questions, it is worth understanding what alcoholic hiccups are and how they occur.

What is hiccups?

Hiccups are voluntary contractions of the diaphragm caused by the movement of excess air from the stomach. When the muscles of the diaphragm move, the vocal cords are compressed – this causes the characteristic hiccupping sound to occur. Some believe that the tendency to hiccup is due to a hereditary factor, but this statement is not supported by scientific evidence.

Several factors lead to the occurrence of hiccups that are difficult to get rid of, for example:

– chronic gastritis and colitis; – pathology in the work of the digestive system; – congenital muscle weakness; – endocrine diseases; – harmful lifestyle (smoking and alcohol).

Causes of hiccups

People often have hiccups after heavy drinking. From this it can be seen that the first cause of occurrence is intoxication with ethyl alcohol and poisons.

The second common cause is an enlarged liver. The fact is that when the organ expands, the prere on the diaphragm muscles increases, which leads to unpleasant hiccups.

Alcoholic hiccups

Not everyone attaches enough importance to the hiccups that occur after drinking. Meanwhile, this is the first sign of a serious disease that, if left untreated, can lead to a person's death – alcoholic polyneuritis. This pathology occurs as a result of severe poisoning with ethanol vapors and toxic compounds. Polyneuritis is a multiple nerve damage that can lead to paralysis, seizures and confusion.

Getting rid of the alcoholic hiccups is half the battle. The main task is to accurately determine the cause that caused the appearance of the symptom and make every effort to eliminate it. What happens in the body with frequent and excessive consumption of intoxicating beverages?

The liver, which is the most important "filter is slowly poisoned by toxins and increases in size (in 90% of people who drink, an increase of the organ by 1.5 to 2 times can be observed), as a result of which it begins to press on the diaphragm. This causes their contractions and hiccups. It must be understood that the liver cannot get rid of a large amount of toxic substances by itself, so detoxification measures are a prerequisite for the treatment of hiccups in people who drink.

The nervous system suffers no less. Destruction of nerve cells sensitive to the effects of alcohol and other alcoholic beverages leads to irreversible consequences, including weakness of muscle fibers. For this reason, it is difficult to get rid of hiccups after taking large doses of alcohol – weak muscles are simply unable to hold the air currents.

Prolonged hiccups

After severe alcohol intoxication in the human body occurs a strong muscle spasm, the duration of which can exceed 48 hours. It is possible to cure such injury of the body only in a medical hospital. First and foremost, health care professionals will treat alcohol addiction. Special procedures are used for this. Medications prescribed.

First aid

There are many ways to stop hiccups. Will they be effective in cases where hiccups are caused by alcohol consumption? No, they will not. The main reason for the occurrence of hiccups is acute intoxication of the body. Therefore, the main task is to cleanse the body of harmful toxins as soon as possible. This can be done by vomiting the person (by light prere on the base of the tongue, closer to the palate). In this case, you must carefully monitor so that the patient does not fall asleep.

Important! To prevent vomit from entering the respiratory tract, a person should lie on their side or sit with their head bent down to their knees. Don't forget the drinking regimen – consuming large amounts of water or special saline solutions (z. B. "Regidron") helps to get rid of the intoxication symptoms much faster.

How to fight?

After taking the necessary measures, you can try one of the methods to stop uncontrolled hiccups when drinking alcohol.

– Chamomile or linden decoction. A universal remedy to get rid of alcoholic hiccups. Chamomile and linden coat the stomach walls, promote the gentle evacuation of air, soothe irritation, eliminate heartburn and relieve muscle cramps. – Sugar. Pure unrefined sugar (or powdered sugar) can help stop hiccups within minutes. Sugar increases the production of the hormone of happiness (endorphin), which has a relaxing effect by eliminating increased smooth muscle activity. To achieve the result, you need to put 2 tablespoons of sugar on the tip of the tongue and dissolve it slowly. The hiccups usually disappear in 5-10 minutes. – Physical activity. Not the most effective way to get rid of hiccups, but in some cases it proves to be very effective (only suitable for mild to moderate intoxication). Stretching upward with a sharp exhale while bending forward can help resolve the problem within 5 minutes. You should not use this method if the person does not feel well or feels pain when moving around. – Rye bread crotons. The principle is the same as in the sugar method. Crackers need to dissolve as long as possible – usually a person stops swallowing after 3-5 minutes. – Ice. A piece of regular ice from the freezer can also be a real salvation for those who want to get rid of annoying hiccups. Put a medium-sized piece in your mouth and hold it until the ice melts.

When medication is needed?

It is understood that toxic hiccups are not always due to the physiological characteristics of the body after ingesting various doses of alcohol. This is often the first sign of severe neurological disorders, the most dangerous of which is polyneuritis. If you do not pay attention to your health, other signs of neuralgia may combine with hiccups, z. B. Trembling of the limbs, impaired coordination of movement, spasm syndrome, etc.

In which cases you should see a doctor immediately:

– if hiccups persist for 3 days after onset; – if this condition is accompanied by pain in the stomach area or in the right hypochondrium; – if, in addition to hiccups, there are other symptoms that indicate diseases of the digestive tract, endocrine system and nervous system.

Hiccups in themselves are not cured. It is important to understand that the therapy is aimed at eliminating the cause that caused the cramps – only in this way can prevent the progression of pathology and possible complications. As part of a complex therapy, the patient may be prescribed the following medications (depending on the main diagnosis):

– Hepatoprotectors (medicines to restore the liver). They are necessary to protect the organ from harmful influences and restore damaged cell structures. Care should be taken to ensure that the liver returns to its original size and does not compress the edges of the diaphragm. – Antipsychotics. They are used to treat neuralgia of various origins, including alcoholic lesions. – Antidepressants. They restore the patient's emotional state and reduce cravings caused by depression or other psychoemotional disorders. – Enzymes. They regulate the work of the stomach, gastrointestinal tract, accelerate metabolism, eliminate irritation of the gastric mucosa.

Hiccups that occur after drinking alcohol are a serious problem and indicate a malfunction of the major internal organs. If you can not get rid of it yourself, you should consult a specialist – this will help to avoid complications and maintain the normal functioning of the nervous system.

How not to help with hiccups?

Oddly enough, there are methods that not only do not help to cope with hiccups, but can easily make things worse. These include:

– Fright. It is not clear who came up with the idea to scare people with hiccups. This method is dangerous, because it can lead to a nervous shock. Especially when a person is after a strong drink. Its organs are already exhausted. It is better not to risk it. – Drinking carbonated beverages. Many people mistakenly believe that carbonated drinks minimize muscle strain. But in reality, this only makes the situation worse. – There is also an opinion that when hiccups begin, you can drink one or even two glasses of alcoholic beverage. In fact, this method also does not help, but on the contrary leads to the duration of the binge.

Here's a tip: don't eat too much when you're hungover. This can also cause uncomfortable hiccups.

If you feel unwell and the hiccups do not disappear within an hour or are repeated several times a day, it is better to see a specialist immediately.


After the hiccups have passed, we still recommend that you see a doctor. It is important to understand what is happening to the body. There are a sufficient number of pathologies that are asymptomatic. However, to avoid an unpleasant situation with hiccups, it is better to control the amount of alcohol consumed.

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