Abdominal migraine usually starts in childhood, though it may occur in adults, commonly with a family history of migraine.
What is it?
Abdominal migraine usually occurs in children. It is episodic abdominal pain (lasting >1 hour) that occurs with migraine features, including sensory disturbances, nausea, vomiting and pale skin. Between episodes, the child does not experience any symptoms and has normal physical examination and expected developmental milestones.
Are there triggers of abdominal migraines?
As for all migraines, there are triggers. These may include:
- Missing meals
- Change in routine
What are some reliving strategies of abdominal migraine?
Many sufferers of abdominal migraine are relieved by:
- Sleeping (in a dark room)
- Pain medications
- Drinking water
An abdominal migraine can be easily confused with other conditions, therefore it is important to be carefully and thoroughly assessed by a doctor to rule out other conditions.
What is the prognosis for people with abdominal migraine?
Usually, children with abdominal migraine have good prognosis without any neurological or developmental deficits. Researchers have found in a study that 61% of 54 schoolchildren grew out of abdominal migraines at 8- to 10-year follow-up.
Other research has shown that 70% of children with abdominal migraine go on to develop migraine headaches later in life.
Angus-Leppan, H., Saatci, D., Sutcliffe, A., & Guiloff, R. (2018). Abdominal migraine. BMJ, 360, K179.
Spiri, D., Rinaldi, V. E., & Titomanlio, L. (2014). Pediatric migraine and episodic syndromes that may be associated with migraine. Italian journal of pediatrics, 40, 92. doi:10.1186/s13052-014-0092-4