Today I am working with the Diamond Headache Clinic to bring awareness to a variant of migraine that is often overlooked. When I was younger, I suffered from stomachaches and headaches that nobody could really figure out. I was that kid who was constantly at the nurses office. After a while, I felt that nobody really believed me. I still remember to this day when I had severe strep throat, and it wasn’t until I was bawling on the playground with what I now know to be a migraine, before the school nurse believed me enough to call my parents and send me to the doctor.
Kids often aren’t believed when they tell adults about their symptoms. They can be dramatic, and I’m sure there are times when a child has faked sick to get out of class. However, I know as a kid I struggled to articulate my symptoms- I didn’t even know what a migraine was! Let alone the fact that it could cause severe head pain and blurred vision. I strongly feel it is important to take a child’s pain seriously, and explore all possible causes for their pain or discomfort.
I have suffered from some version of headaches all my life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned about abdominal migraines. Abdominal migraine is a variation on the typical migraine that presents with severe stomach pain, instead of head pain. While rare in adults, it is incredibly common in children. An attack is often precipitated by many of the same triggers as a typical migraine, such as dehydration, weather, stress, etc. Due to the absence of headache, the most common migraine symptom, abdominal migraine can be difficult to diagnose. However, some of the common contributing factors are an absence of GI causes, and a family history of migraine. Much like typical migraine, the attack is often alleviated after sleep. My mom strongly believes that I suffered from these as a child, which supports my neurologist’s belief that I have had some version of migraine all my life.
If your child is experiencing severe stomach pain, and you have explored all other GI causes to no avail, consider the possibility of abdominal migraine as a cause, and consider seeing a neurologist. I have attached a powerpoint below from the Diamond Headache Clinic that includes more information about various headache disorders, including abdominal migraine. Feel free to visit their website for more information about treatment options, patient research, and other great resources. If you are in the Chicago area, the Diamond Headache Clinic is a comprehensive treatment facility, and I recommend checking them out!Provided by Diamond Headache Clinic, an abdominal migraine pain relief center.
Let me know below if you or someone you know suffers from abdominal migraine or any other headache disorder. Did you find this information helpful?