Yawning and Migraine: New Insights

Yawning is a common symptom of migraine, in both adults and children. A new study has confirmed the link once again, and is giving us more insight into what kinds of attacks are connected to yawning.

Yawning and MigraineThe study looked at 339 patients, of which 45.4% reported repetitive yawning as a part of their migraine attacks. 11.2% reported yawning as a “warning sign” before an attack, with the rest experiencing yawning as either a symptom during the headache phase or a symptom both before and during.

An interesting aspect of the study was how yawning was associated with other symptoms. The symptoms that were more associated with yawning included:

  • Aura
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Osmophobia (hypersensitivity to odors)
  • Cutaneous allodynia
  • Sleepiness
  • Irritability/anxiety
  • Changes in appetite

The most associated were aura and nausea and/or vomiting.

As the researchers understood, yawning may be associated with drops in dopamine levels. It may be that, for some patients, dopamine drops during a migraine attack (read Why Migraine Attacks may make you withdraw Into Darkness (or, Your Brain on the Holodeck).

Interestingly, yawning is also related to hypoglycaemia/hypoglycemia. Low sugar levels have a complex relationship with migraine, but both have been associated with yawning – and low dopamine levels.

For more, check out this article on Migraine and Hypoglycaemia.

To read the abstract of the recent study, see Migraine and Yawning.

For more strange symptoms of migraine, check out this infographic – Are these the 10 Strangest Migraine Symptoms?

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