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I Suffer From Abdominal Migraines

Abdominal Migraine Treatment

More commonly seen in children than in adults, with children ages 5 to 15 most affected, abdominal Migraines are a form of migraine that consists of abdominal pain. There are also associated symptoms of nausea and vomiting. It is described as a ‘Recurrent Gastrointestinal Disturbance’ along with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome.

Cases of adults experiencing Abdominal Migraines are rare, but possible. The pain is described as located in the middle of the abdomen around the belly button as a ‘dull’ or ‘sore’ ache that may be moderate to severe in intensity.

Understanding Your Symptoms

What are the symptoms of Abdominal Migraine?

While Abdominal Migraine is considered to be a “migraine disorder”, it is rarely associated with headaches. This is due to attacks including headaches being classified as “classic” or “common” migraine. However, children who experience abdominal migraines will often suffer from migraine headaches in adulthood

Some other symptoms that may occur with an abdominal migraine attack are loss of appetite (anorexia), nausea, vomiting and paleness. Episodes last between 1-72. In between the episodes, there will be complete relief of symptoms. Frequency can be up to 4 attacks per week.

Migraine

Understanding Your Headache

What is the cause of Abdominal Migraines?

Currently the exact cause of Abdominal Migraines is not known, however some theories suggest that certain chemicals produced by the body (histamine and serotonin) have a role to play. Some common foods that have been known to trigger abdominal migraines include chocolate, foods with high MSG, and processed meats.

Abdominal Migraine can be hard to diagnose as children may have difficulty distinguishing between normal stomach-aches, a stomach flu or abdominal migraine. Other causes for stomach pain should be ruled out such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gastroenteritis, appendicitis, etc.

About The Assessment Stage

What To Expect During The Assessment


1. Comprehensive and in-depth examination

We instigate an in-depth assessment to identify all possible related factors that could be causing your headaches or migraines. The upper cervical spine, in particular, is thoroughly examined to identify possible issues.



2. Ligamental stability and vertebral arterial tests

We undertake careful examination of neck ligaments and vertebral arteries, ensuring only the highest standards of patient safety and comfort.


3. Temporarily reproduce your headache and migraine symptoms

As a part of the treatment process, we apply gentle and selective stress to the upper cervical spine in order to reproduce headache symptoms, which subside after 20-30 seconds. This helps to identify and treat the cause of your headaches.

More information about Abdominal Migraine

Abdominal Migraine vs Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Though they’re often mistaken for the same condition, there are differences between Abdominal Migraine and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome.

Cyclic vomiting syndrome refers to waves of intense nausea, vomiting, and other stomach problems for no obvious reason. Cyclic vomiting syndrome may also last up to 10 days, compared to 3 days for Abdominal Migraine. While you may experience nausea and vomiting as a symptom of Abdominal Migraine, Abdominal Migraine is often experienced purely as abdominal pain.

In both cases, sufferers can experience loss of appetite and pale skin during an attack.

Sensitised Brainstem

In those individuals that may be suffering from Abdominal Migraine and have no underlying pathology or disorder that can be recognised, another known cause may be due to a sensitised brainstem.

A sensitised brainstem will perceive non-threatening stimuli (such as eating certain foods) and create pain to be felt where the sensory information was originally detected. This hyper-excitability of the pain sensation is due to the heightened arousal and sensitive brainstem. A sensitive brainstem will relay the sensory information to the brain but will heighten the sensation so that the brain perceives the information as painful.

I’ve tried everything. What else can be done to help Abdominal Migraine?

Treating your Abdominal Migraine

Over-the-counter painkillers, strong triptan medications, and even tricyclic antidepressants are some of the ways in which Abdominal Migraine sufferers have attempted to rid themselves or their child of the painful attacks. In some cases, these ways can alleviate the symptoms of Abdominal Migraine. However, despite all of these treatment options, sufferers may still find themselves having painful attacks.

At the Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic™, we have seen countless Abdominal Migraine sufferers. So, if you suffer from Abdominal Migraine, or if you think it sounds like your symptoms, and medication has given you no significant relief, then we believe that you should have a thorough examination of your brainstem.

Tools for managing migraines.