What is a migraine? Why migraine happens. Who gets migraines? Treating migraines.

Migraines - A Pain In The Gut

A Migraine In The Abdomen?  Whoever Heard Of That?

Though rare in adults, abdominal migraines often occur in children, as the medical community will confirm. Known also as periodic syndrome, abdominal migraines are pain in the abdomen, even in the absence of a headache.

Typically lasting for about two hours, abdominal migraines can last for a duration of one to 72 hours with everything going along fine between bouts. Other symptoms which may occur include nausea and/or vomiting, light sensitivity, irritability, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headache (or not), change in coloring-either pale or flushed and sometimes dark circles appear under the eyes.

The most common age group to experience abdominal migraines are children between the ages of five to nine, however, children much younger may experience them as well. Because it is difficult for younger children to express how they are feeling, it is often hard to know if they are having a migraine. Some studies indicate that abdominal migraines are very common in young children, occurring in two to four percent of them.

The Challenge And Frustration Of Diagnosis

Diagnosis can be a challenging and often frustrating endeavor with patients being tested for myriad things before a correct diagnosis is obtained. This is because young children frequently have difficulty explaining how and what they are feeling. The National Headache Foundation website noted that "Tests fail to reveal a cause for the pain. Occasionally there may be EEG findings suggestive of epilepsy but this is rarely related to seizures." If there is any suggestion of seizures, the diagnosis will be different. However, a state of altered consciousness may well be a symptom of migraine. The other illness an abdominal migraine may be mistaken for is appendicitis.

Check The Family Tree-If One Person Has Migraine, The Child Probably Does Too

Migraine is believed to be genetically based and this information can be helpful in determining if the child has abdominal migraine. If there are family members who suffer with migraine, then the chances are the child may as well. The symptoms of abdominal migraine may be mistaken for flu; however, if they have a repeat pattern with a period of wellness in between, it may well be migraine. Motion sickness is another indication of possible migraine. The pain is frequently severe enough to interfere with day-to-day activities and the child will likely want to crawl into bed in a darkened, quiet room and sleep.

It is important to know the medical history of the child's family and to be on the lookout for symptoms which may indicate migraine. Because it is happening in a child, symptoms which alert to migraine may be overlooked. Various tests may be run to rule out any other illness before a diagnosis is made.

As The Tree Is Bent...

A child with abdominal migraine will likely grow into an adult who suffers with migraine, although the symptoms will probably change to something more easily identifiable as migraine. It is important to understand the illness and treat it as soon and as effectively as possible. There is evidence that migraine can inflict permanent damage, so the sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the better. See the doctor with any new symptoms. Have the tests done to rule out other diseases and get treatment.