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:
“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.
- 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.
Chaudry, P.; Friedman, D.I. “Hiccups as a Migraine Aura.” Poster Presentation P279. International Headache Congress. June, 2013.
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Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.