Abdominal Migraine


Hypnotherapy Offers Superior Treatment For Abdominal Migraine

A pioneering study authored by a few of my colleagues in The Netherlands was published in Gastroenterology (2007, Issue 133, pages 1430-1435), a well-respected mainstream medical journal.   This was a prospective, randomized controlled study of 53 patients with functional abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome. The patients were assigned to receive either hypnotherapy or standard medical treatment. Each group had six sessions over three months. Pain intensity, pain frequency, and associated symptoms were scored at baseline, weekly during treatment, and at 6 and 12 months.  Hypnotherapy was highly superior, with a significantly greater reduction in pain scores compared with standard medical therapy. The results were noticeable after only one week of treatment. In addition, at one-year follow-up, the success rate was 85% in the hypnotherapy group compared with 25% in the standard medical therapy group.

(GI) Disorders Respond To Medical Hypnosis

Abdominal Migraine (AM) may cause recurrent abdominal pain. These patients typically also have migraine headaches, but not always.**

Some Conditions Can Be Treated With Same Medication as That For Migraine Headaches

It is interesting that patients with Abdominal Migraine are often treated with the same medication that is used to treat migraine headaches.  And, the time frame may be similar.  For example, patients with migraine headaches often experience an “aura.”  This is a sensation, a warning sign of some sort, that in 10 to 30 minutes, the migraine headache will occur.

IBS and AM patients may also experience an aura.  Often, their pain begins slowly and then escalates.  If the pain starts slowly, that can be the equivalent of an aura.  So, in the past, the aura was the signal that the IBS episode or AM or migraine headache was going to occur.  Patients who learn self-hypnosis can use the aura or beginning of the episode to use this technique to prevent the episode from occurring.

Learn more about hypnosis in the treatment of Migraine Headaches.

*Chun, Andrew B, and Wald, Arnold, in Uptodate, online, November 4, 2009.
**Fishman, Mary B, MD, and Aronson, Mark D, MD, in Uptodate, online, May 26, 2009.
***Dulued, Emily, MD, Desilets, David J, MD, Boles, Richard G. in Uptodate, online, September 23, 2009.
****Vlieger et al.  Gastroenterology, November, 2007.