HiccoughThis curious and unpleasant affliction is due to a sudden in¬voluntary jerky contraction of the diaphragm associated with a simultaneous closure of the glottis. The spasm of the diaphragm produces an inspiration and the approximation of the vocal cords interrupts the incoming stream of air with the resultant 'hie' sound.
An attack of hiccoughs may appear out of the blue for no apparent reason. In many instances there is some form of irrita¬tion at the lower end of the gullet which fires off the reflex. At other times the cause is deeper, in the nervous system or associated with a toxic state. Usually an attack is short-lived but sometimes the spasms may persist and prove obdurate, and cause great distress and exhaustion.
Hiccough in infants can usually be relieved by feeding a little water or milk. In older subjects a variety of manoeuvres are recom¬mended as possibly efficacious in cutting short the attack. Hippo¬crates suggested a pinch of snuff to induce sneezing. Simple dodges often employed are: holding the breath as long as possible; breath¬ing rapidly and deeply; breathing in and out of a paper bag; drinking cold water while holding the breath; and pulling the tongue forward. Fn severe cases other medical measures may have to be used, and possible causes investigated.
Remedies which may be used homoeopathically (a few doses of 30, at intervals of a quarter to half an hour apart) are :
ARSENICUM ALBUM attack brought on by taking cold drinks, or during fevers, at the time when the temperature is expected to rise.
CAJUPUTI obstinate attacks on slightest provocation, such as laughing, talking or taking food: (one or two drops of the oil on sugar; or 3rd potency).
CICUTA attacks violent and noisy, possibly associated with con¬vulsions.
HYOSCYAMUS onset after eating; possibly associated with con¬vulsions; attack occurring at night; post-operative hiccough.
IGNATIA attack brought on by eating, by smoking, or by emotional upset.
MAGNESIUM PHOSPHORICUM very obstinate type, associated with
NICCOLUM very severe attack associated with thirst; may come on in evening.
Nux VOMICA attack associated with digestive disturbance; may follow indiscretion in diet, either solid or liquid.
PULSATILLA attack caused by taking cold drinks or by tobacco smoke.
RANUNCULUS BULBOSUS hiccough associated with alcoholism.
STRAMONIUM follows taking hot drinks, violent.
TABACUM attack brought on by coughing.
VERATRUM ALBUM attack follows taking hot drinks or after a bout of vomiting.
siloutec on 2010-11-04
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