Will surgery cure Bo Jackson’s chronic hiccups?


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Former baseball and football star Bo Jackson has had hiccups for nearly a year and will undergo medical procedures this week to treat an unexplained phenomenon.

“I’m busy in the hospital shining a light on my throat and examining me in every possible way to figure out what’s causing my hiccups,” the former professional football player and former baseball player said on his radio show. told the referee.Morning McElroy and KubelikOn WJOX 94.5 FM

Chronic hiccups are rare, but unfortunately for Jackson, they are mostly a medical mystery.

Josh Silverman, M.D., an otolaryngologist at Northwell Health in New York, has experienced only six to eight cases of this insanity in his ten years as a doctor.

The underlying cause of chronic hiccups can be brain, chest, or lung tumors that compress the diaphragm. “Someone has hiccups for a while, and for a good amount of time the body tells them something is happening in their chest, lungs, or abdomen,” Silverman says.

“This has been around for a long time in mankind and has perpetually puzzled doctors,” Silverman said. “The fact that Jackson is having surgery means this is really debilitating for him and basically all other root causes have been ruled out.”

Most people end up in the emergency room if the hiccups persist for a few days and don’t go away, Silberman said. At this point, people are already trying common tricks like holding their breath or being scared. Both can change breathing patterns and hopefully stop labor. The emergency physician will usually check the lab for electrolyte imbalances and order an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI to see if a tumor or other condition is causing the hiccups. is often

However, if they are all found to be negative, the patient is referred to a specialist, often an otolaryngologist such as Silberman.

Professionals can treat hiccups with a variety of medications, from pills designed to treat gastrointestinal problems to anti-anxiety drugs and drugs for psychiatric purposes. Silberman said the dopamine receptor antagonist metoclopramide (Reglan) could be one possible treatment.

Last resort is surgery. One surgical option is to place Botox in the esophagus or upper part of the vocal cord. Another is to stop overstimulation of the vagus nerve.

Silberman said phrenic nerve resection, the most common surgery, comes at a cost. “If you cut that nerve, you would hopefully be able to stop the hiccups process, but you would also paralyze half the diaphragm, which is terrible from a breathing point of view,” he says. . “It’s an extreme scenario, especially since Jackson is an athlete.”

Silverman said about two-thirds of people respond to one type of surgery.

He noted that chronic hiccups can ruin a patient’s life. A member of his own family suffered from chronic hiccups for months after a brain tumor.

“When I see patients suffering from this condition for months, they are distraught,” he says. “They are afraid to go out in public, they are shy, they feel pain from muscle contractions.

In a radio interview, Jackson expressed similar frustration that his hiccups prevented him from living a normal life and attending events.

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    Rachael Robertson is a writer for MedPage Today’s enterprise and research team, which also covers obstetrics and gynecology news. Her print, data, and audio Her stories have appeared in Everyday Health, Gizmodo, the Bronx Times, and multiple podcasts. follow





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