| Last updated
A doctor with three million TikTok followers has explained why we get hiccups - and more importantly, how we can really get rid of them. Watch here:
We all experience a bout of the hiccups from time to time - some of us more regularly than others - and the involuntary little mouth farts can be frustrating, humiliating and unrelenting.
But what even is a hiccup? Thankfully, Dr Karan Rajan is on hand to break them down.
In a video shared with LADbible, he explained that it's all about the diaphragm - a thin sheet of muscle that sits directly below the lungs and just above your stomach.
He said: "When it contracts it moves down, your lungs expand and you breathe in. When it relaxes, it moves up and you exhale.
"Sometimes, that goes wrong. Anything that can irritate your diaphragm from above or below causes hiccups."
Simple pleasures such as spicy food and eating too quickly can p*** off your diaphragm, as well as unpleasant experiences such as coughing and choking.
Dr Karan continued: "All those things can cause your diaphragm to flutter. This causes air to rush into the throat and lungs, resulting in the glottis - a flap of tissue near the vocal chords - to snap shut."
The sound of your flappy little glottis snapping shut is the embarrassing chirp by which we identify a hiccup.
So, now we know what exactly hiccups are, how the hell do we destroy them?
There are all kinds of old wives' tales about this: drink water upside down, somehow scare the s*** out of yourself, or knock on at your neighbour's completely naked.
But why listen to the advice of an old wife when we've got TikTok Doc Karan? He proposed a number of methods.
He said: "Deep breathing - breathe in for five seconds, hold, and breathe out for five.
"Or you could imagine you're on a toilet trying to squeeze one out. You know, like holding your breath and bearing down?
"This is known as a Valsalva manoeuvre. If you've got a heart problem don't do this - that's how Elvis went out.
"Another Valsalva manoeuvre is gently pressing on your eyeballs - don't do it too hard."
There are also a few more exciting solutions you could try.
Dr Karan continued: "You could use ice, or lime or lemon in your mouth. These work because the sudden shock to your body distracts you from the hiccups.
"How about dunking your head in cold water? This activates the mammalian dive reflex, a survival mechanism built into our software in response to cold water submersion.
"The vagus nerve is activated, which lowers your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate, and more importantly, your diaphragm is now under control.
"You can stop all that going upside down nonsense."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read