Stomach migraines are also known as abdominal migraines or tummy migraines or non-headache migraines. Stomach migraine is amazingly common in children. Some studies reveal that approximately 2 to 4% children suffer from stomach migraines.
This type of migraine in children is called stomach migraine because many children who develop this condition get afflicted with migraine headaches in later years. It is also interesting to note that many children with stomach migraine have a parent who had also suffered from migraine headaches.
Stomach migraine causes mild to severe pain in the stomach. Stomach migraine is an abdominal disorder and exhibits many symptoms similar to that of a headache migraine.
We can differentiate between these two migraines on the basis of presence or absence of head pain. In case of stomach migraine, head pain is never experienced by the sufferer.
Children below the age of 12 commonly suffer from stomach migraine. And girls are more prone to this condition. Children with stomach migraines experience recurrent episodes of abdominal pain and vomiting. These attacks may last for about 2 hours. Apart from the abdominal pain, some other symptoms may also be experienced by the sufferer.
These symptoms include nausea, flushing, anorexia, yawning and drowsiness or pallor. Some children may also experience tingling, numbness and light sensitivity.
The accurate causes of stomach migraine are not yet known. But it is believed that changes in the serotonin and histamine chemicals are responsible for triggering both stomach migraines and typical migraine headaches.
The changes in these two chemicals are mostly brought about by factors like anxiety, stress, continuous exposure to intense and bright light for a longer duration, excessive temperature and foods like cheese, chocolates, processed meats, caffeine, Chinese foods and monosodium glutamate. Hence, if your child suffers from stomach migraine then you must take care to keep him or her away from these factors.
Treatment of stomach migraine depends on the age of the sufferer. Usually serotonin blockers tricyclic antidepressants are prescribed by the doctors for treating stomach migraines. Anti-inflammatory medications are used to ease the abdominal pain.
Some other drugs such as pain-killer, paracetamol, anti-nausea drugs, ibuprofen and sedatives can be taken.