What is Stomach Migraines?

Stomach Migraines - Abdominal migraines, or commonly known as stomach migraines are different from the type of migraine that attack your head. Just like its name, the pain attacks your stomach instead. But it does not mean this migraine is not related to migraine headaches. In fact, it often occur as a chain reaction or coming from the similar triggers as convensional migraines. This type of migraine may cause an extreme pain and it will further cause cramps, nausea, and even vomiting. Stomach migraines usually occur in child. It is very rare to happen in adults. If you, or other family members often get migraines, your children will be more vulnerable to stomach migraines. Two out of a hundred child experience abdominal migraines and girls are more common than boys. These kids who experience abdominal migraines tend to experience migraine headaches once they grow up.
Stomach Migraines
Stomach Migraines

Up till now the actual cause of stomach migraines is still yet to be unveiled. One theory proposed that serotonin and histamine are the two substances of our body that are responsible for this reaction. The state of being worried and upset may change the composition of these compounds in our body that lead to the painful reaction. Other things that are considered as triggers to abdominal migraines are processed meats containing nitrites, chocolate, and foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate). Another trigger is swallowing too much air that will cause trouble eating and bloating.

As it commonly occur in children, parents should be very aware about the signs and symptoms of stomach migraines. The pain will usually occur around the middle of the stomach, near the belly button. Doctors commonly call this as midline abdominal pain. Other symptoms that may occur alongside the main symptoms are:
  • Darker skin or having shadows under the eyes
  • Feeling nauseous of even throwing up
  • Having less energy, yawning, or being drowsy
  • Flushed or being pale
  • Being reluctant to eat or losing appetite

Diagnosing abdominal migraines can be pretty difficult because children often have trouble describing the symptoms. These symptoms are often mistaken as stomach flu, ordinary stomachace, or even other gastrointestinal problems. Your doctors usually will question about any relatives that happen to have migraines headaches to confirm the condition because abdominal migraines have tendency to be related to heredity. After that, he will try to list other possible cause for the abdominal pain to determine which one of the cause that close to the symptoms that your child currently experience. Migraine experts arrange specific list to determine abdominal migraines, and your doctor will try to match your child’s condition to conclude the diagnosis.

After knowing the actual problem, it will be easier for the doctor to treat the condition. Since the cause of abdominal migraines are still vague, doctors usually will not prescibe any drugs if the condition in relatively mild. If the symptoms occur too often or it gives a very bad effect to the patient, the doctor will treat stomach migraines just like other migraines. Some of migraine medications, such as rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatripan (Imitrex), and other triptans group has yet to be approved for kids. However, some doctors give sumatripan in shape of nasal spray to older kids.

Prevention against abdominal migraines is the best way to protect your children from this condition. The first thing that you need to figure out is the trigger of the condition. Consult frequently with your doctor about your kids condition. The best way to find out the triggers is by keeping a diary. Write down the time and date when the attacks occured, the type of foods they ate before the attacks occured, what kind of activities your childs were doing before the attacks, the medication they recently took, or anything that would possibily make your kids feel anxious or stressed. If the trigger is food, you can prevent abdominal migraines by avoiding the said foods. Some of the medicine that will help you lessen the severety of the episode and the frequency of the attackas are:
  • Antihistamine such as cyproheptadine (Periactin). This drug helps stomach problems
  • Beta-blocker, such as propanolol (Inderal). This type of drugs is usually used to treat heart problem.
  • Valporic acid such as Depakene and Depakote. This medicine is usually used to treat bipolar disorder and seizures.