Hiccups and Belching (Burping) Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

Hiccups and belching, although both release gas, are different. Here is a list of some of the differences between hiccups and burping:

  • Hiccups usually produce repeated, small “hic” sounds, while belching releases gas in one blow, and produce the loud “burp” sound.
  • When the diaphragm contracts involuntarily, it immediately shuts the vocal cord, thus resulting to the “hic” sound of hiccups.
  • Hiccups can at last for a few minutes or so, while belching can only occur once or twice.

Causes of Hiccup and Belching

Hiccups and belching both dispel gas out of the body. So here are the causes that can trigger both hiccups and burping:

  • Eating spicy foods.
    Spicy foods can irritate the nerves that control the diaphragm. When nerves get irritated, it will result to spasms in the diaphragm which makes the diaphragm contract suddenly.
  • Chewing gum. This can result to unnecessary gas intake which can accumulate in the body.
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can result in constant burping or belching. GERD is a condition wherein the acidic liquid of the stomach regurgitates back to the esophagus.
  • Eating too fast can also cause excessive intake of gas and indigestion.
  • Hot and spicy food.
  • Eating hurriedly.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol without diluting with water.
  • Irritation of ear drum.
    This is due to the vagus nerve irritation.
  • Hepatitis and other liver disease.
  • Pregnancy and heartburn.
  • Stressful events.

Symptoms of Hiccup and Burp

Hiccups are characterized by the following:

  • Continuous “hic” sound
  • Sudden contraction of the diaphragm
  • Release of gas during the “hic” sound
  • Choking of breath.
  • Panic
  • Fear of death.
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue.

Belching has the following symptoms:

  • Once or twice “burp” sound
  • Release of gas, even if without the “burp” sound
  • Awful smell. The smell usually is similar to the food recently eaten by the person belching.
  • Bloating. This is the result of accumulated gas in the stomach.

Remedies for Burping & Hiccups

Hiccups and burping can put a person in an embarrassing situation, aside from their annoying sensations. So here are a few remedies that can help stop or prevent both hiccups and belching:

  • Drinking a glass of cold water in one gulp is believed to stop hiccups.
  • Controlled breathing can also stop hiccups. Holding the breath for 10 seconds is said to be effective in stopping hiccups.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up inside the body. This gas accumulated inside have to be dispelled through hiccups or belching.
  • Avoid spicy foods as it can irritate the esophagus as well as the nerves on the diaphragm.
  • Breathing in through a paper bag can also relieve hiccups.
  • More Tips
    • Hold your breath for a while.
    • Gulp water in one go.
    • Sucking small pieces of fresh ginger.
    • Pineapple juice cures continuous hiccups to a large extent.
    • Drink curd or yogurt mixed with 1 to 2 tsp of salt.
    • Drink boiled water mixed with cardamom
    • Avoid spicy food.
    • Avoid over eating.