What Are Abdominal Migraines in Children and Adults?


Quick Answer

An abdominal migraine, similar to a migraine headache, can cause severe pain, nausea and vomiting in both children and adults. Abdominal migraines occur near the navel as a response to a migraine trigger, says WebMD.

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Doctors are unsure as to the cause of abdominal migraines, but histamine and serotonin may trigger both migraine headaches and abdominal migraines with chemical changes, WebMD states. Swallowing air might bring on an abdominal migraine as well. These types of migraines in adults are uncommon, but about 2 percent of children suffer from them. Abdominal migraines can come on suddenly and cause paleness, inability to eat, drowsiness and headache.

Doctors often need to examine migraine criteria in order to diagnose abdominal migraines, WebMD claims. Other gastrointestinal problems share some of the symptoms of abdominal migraines, making it hard to pinpoint. A family history of migraines helps doctors determine whether or not the patient suffers from persistent migraines.

Medical practitioners may prescribe valproic acid, which treats migraine headaches, to treat abdominal migraines. Triptans, antidepressants and serotonin blockers may help cure migraines as well, WebMD says. The migraines may be triggered by food or by stress, and patients who find out what their trigger is may have better luck staving off the afflictions.

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