Hiccups Can Be a Migraine Aura Symptom

Teri Robert @trobert Health Guide
  • It's always interesting when researchers connect the dots and confirm that something patients have been asking about can indeed be a Migraine symptom.


    A poster presentation at this year's International Headache Congress did just that. Dr. Pushpi Chaudhry and Dr. Deborah Friedman confirmed a case of a young woman who often has hiccups as a Migraine aura symptom.


    For this patient:

    • Hiccups occur during the aura phase in 90% of her Migraine attacks.
    • The hiccups last 30 to 60 minutes.
    • The rate of the hiccups is constant during their duration.

    Chaudry and Friedman reported that:

    • Intractable hiccups have been associated with various nervous system causes.
    • The pathophysiology of hiccups is not well understood, but many of the nervous system structures involved in hiccups are also involved in Migraine.

    Chaudry and Friedman concluded:

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    "Hiccups can present as a primary aura symptom in patients with Migraine."

    Many people are unaware of the wide array of symptoms that can occur during the aura phase of a Migraine attack. Most people think of the visual symptoms that can occur, but there are many other possible symptoms, including:

    • Aphasia: loss or impairment of the power to use or comprehend words.
    • Auditory hallucinations: hearing sounds that aren't really there.
    • Olfactory hallucinations: smelling odors that aren't really there.
    • Allodynia: hypersensitivity to feel and touch.
    • Paresthesia: often described as numbness or as a prickly, stinging, or burning feeling.
    • Confusion
    • Dizziness
    • Decrease in or loss of hearing.
    • Reduced sensation.
    • Motor weakness. This must be distinguished from numbness or tingling and is a symptom of hemiplegic Migraine only.
    • Hemiplegia (unilateral paralysis). This also is a symptom of hemiplegic Migraine only.

    We can now add hiccups to this list.


    For more information about Migraine aura, see Migraine Aura Can Have Many Variations.


    Do you experience hiccups or other unusual symptoms during Migraine aura? If so, please post a comment below and share with us!





    Chaudry, P.; Friedman, D.I. "Hiccups as a Migraine Aura." Poster Presentation P279. International Headache Congress. June, 2013.

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    Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert, 2013.
    Last updated July 29, 2013.

Published On: July 29, 2013