Indian man’s 4-month HICCUPS bout ‘triggered by a brain tumor’

Doctors believe an Indian man’s four-month-long hiccups could be caused by a brain tumor.

The unidentified man, in his mid-30s, sought medical treatment for a headache that had plagued him for more than two weeks.

He also complained of vomiting caused by bullets up to three times a day, according to a case report of his illness.

Doctors in Rishikesh, located at the foothills of the Himalayas, also heard the man’s health began to deteriorate four months earlier, when he started having frequent hiccups.

His hiccups eventually became ‘continuous’, affecting both his sleeping and eating patterns.

Brain scans were conducted to get to the bottom of his mysterious illness.

The results showed that he had diffuse intrinsic glioma, a very severe and difficult to treat brain tumor.

The man’s hiccups began to subside after starting cancer treatment, it was revealed in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Experts theorized that the tumor had affected the part of the brain stem responsible for controlling nerves and muscles that normally triggers the hiccups response.

This MRI scan identifies a tumor on an Indian man's brain stem that doctors have identified as the source of his constant hiccups.

This MRI scan identifies a tumor on an Indian man's brain stem that doctors have identified as the source of his constant hiccups.

This MRI scan identifies a tumor on an Indian man’s brain stem that doctors have identified as the source of his constant hiccups.

Hiccups: What Are They and What’s Normal?

Hiccups are caused by involuntary contraction of the diaphragm.

The diaphragm is a muscle in your chest that plays an important part in breathing.

This involuntary contraction causes your vocal cords to briefly close as you breathe, causing a ‘hic’ sound.

Hiccups are usually caused by something that irritates the diaphragm like eating or drinking too quickly or stress or anxiety.

Most hiccups usually only last a few minutes and are not a sign of anything serious.

However, the NHS advises people who have had hiccups for 48 hours or more to talk to their GP.

They can then discover if the hiccups are related to your medical condition or to medications you may have been taking.

Dr. Nagasubramanyam Vempalli, of the All India Institute of Health Sciences, wrote the medical report.

The man told A&E paramedics that he had previously asked doctors for help with hiccups, but to no avail.

After a series of blood tests and physical examination that did not provide immediate answers, the doctors decided to send the man in for a CT scan.

They found a lesion in his brain, then doctors would ask the man to take a more detailed MRI.

This revealed a mass of tissue that showed signs of a pontine glioma, a type of brain tumor that grows on the brain stem, the part that connects the organ to the spine, as well as bleeding inside the brain itself.

Pontine gliomas cannot be surgically removed because of how they are linked to the actual brain stem.

The man was sent to an operation in which surgeons cut into his brain to normalize the pressure in his skull, caused by a buildup of fluid in the brain.

After eight days of recovery, the man underwent a six-week course of radiation therapy to try to destroy the tumor.

Dr Vempalli said: ‘The patient’s hiccups began to go away after starting radiation therapy and after 1 month of radiation therapy, the patient’s hiccups were significantly reduced.

The incident report did not detail exactly when this happened but the man eventually died, although it is unclear if this was due to cancer.

Although intermittent hiccups have been observed in brain cancers before the authors note that rarely hiccups are the only symptom of this tumor type.

Dr Vempalli added, “This case demonstrates how important it is for the clinician to identify the cause of intermittent hiccups in a timely manner to ensure the patient does not develop further complications.”

The NHS advises people to talk to their GP if they have had hiccups for more than 48 hours.

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