Abdominal Migraine is a type of migraine that primarily affects children. It is an ache in the belly that happens in periodic episodes, which gives rise to nausea, vomiting and severe discomfort. It typically affects kids who are in the age group of 3 to 9 years. However, in rare instances, abdominal migraines can present in young adults and the elderly as well.
Abdominal migraines are not very common, occurring only in around 15% of children below 10 years of age. Despite this gastrointestinal ailment being relatively scarce in the actual number of cases observed in children, the little kids who are in fact affected tend to experience diarrhea and queasiness, resulting in them having to skip school for many days at once.
The exact cause of abdominal migraine is yet to be determined, but it is widely considered by researchers that changes in levels of histamine and serotonin in the body trigger the symptoms of this condition. Histamine and serotonin are chemicals that are called neurotransmitters, carrying signals from nerve cells in the brain to the gut and other organs in the body. The secreted levels of these two substances is modified as a result of stress and food allergies. This, in turn, gives rise to abdominal migraines in the child. Also Read: Belching A Lot? It’s Time You Keep Your Stress Levels Under Check
Other factors that could instigate abdominal migraines in the body of children comprise extreme tiredness, swallowing excessive amounts of air causing bloating as well as motion sickness.
In case children show any indications of pain in the front portion of the stomach, it is advised that parents seek immediate medical care, to guarantee proper treatment for their young ones and help alleviate all agony in the tummy.
The distinct signs of abdominal migraines are similar to that of common stomach pain due to indigestion and occur in the center of the child’s body – medically referred to as midline abdominal pain. Children with abdominal migraines exhibit the following:
- Uneasiness and cramps in the stomach, at regular intervals within a day
- Exhaustion and dizziness
- Loss of appetite
- Pale and tired appearance, with dark patches of skin under the eyes
- Indigestion and bloating
Diagnosis And Treatment:
Since the symptoms of abdominal migraines are similar to those of common stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea and bloating experienced by children, it is generally difficult for the doctor to diagnose the same. In addition to examining stool samples and conducting a physical exam to look for the exact region in which the stomachache is occurring, the healthcare professional will also consider the family history of migraines amongst parents and close relatives of the child. Also Read: How long does a migraine last?
Once the diagnosis of abdominal migraine is confirmed, the medical expert recommends an appropriate course of treatment. He or she strongly advises the child to follow eating a healthy diet, consuming adequate amounts of water, taking ample rest and relieving any stress in the mind or brain. Since the children are quite young, mostly within 10 years of age, prescription drugs are usually not given, unless symptoms of abdominal migraine worsen over time. In that case, mild pain relievers are suggested to alleviate any signs of discomfort in the stomach.