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How To Get Rid Of The Hiccups: Which Tricks Really Work?

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We've all had them -- and chances are, we all swear by a different way of getting rid of them. But do your favorite hiccup cures really work?

First, we have to understand where hiccups come from. That pesky noise is the result of involuntary diaphragm contractions, which make the vocal cords spasm.

The contractions can be caused by everything from eating too much, drinking carbonated beverages, or overdoing it on the alcohol, as well as stress or even sudden changes in the temperature, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There may be some survival benefit to hiccups: In the process, the windpipe is closed off, according to Dr. Oz, so you can't breathe food particles into the lungs.

Albeit annoying, hiccups are rarely much of a health concern, and most of the time stop on their own in a matter of minutes. But in rare cases, hiccups have lasted longer -- and have even been signifiers of a more serious health issue. One patient hiccuped continually for 60 years, according to "Today." A man who claimed to have hiccuped for three years straight was found to have a tumor pinching nerves that controlled his breathing, the Sun reported. And earlier this year, a man with a nonstop case of the hiccups was found to have actually suffered a small heart attack.

You likely have your own favorite method for getting rid of the hiccups when you really just can't wait them out. You probably even have a remedy you swear works 100 -- okay, maybe 95 -- percent of the time. But there's really only anecdotal evidence that any of these methods truly works. We asked Brian Udermann, Ph.D., an exercise and sports science professor at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and the author of “25 Ways to Cure the Hiccups: Uncovering the Truth Behind 101 Common Myths and Misconceptions” to take a few guesses.

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