Doctors not taking 12-year-old daughter seriously? Migraine stop when cycle starts?

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  • Full Question:

    My 12 year old daughter ahs been suffering form migraines for 2 1/2 years. It seems that we can't find anyone to take her symptoms seriously and really work with us. She has been to several doctors, st with contrast, neurological exam. and now we have finally tried Imitrex now Maxalt however it is not working. We have tried upping the does to 3 ibuprofen yet nothing works. She sleeps almost round the clock when an attack comes on. I have been told that it they will possibly stop when she starts her monthly cycle. If they are hormonal is that true and what can we do until that happens...thanks, Tootsie.

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    Full Answer:

    Dear Tootsie;


    It's perfectly normal for neurological exams and imaging studies to be "normal" in Migraine patients. There are no tests that can identify Migraine. The testing is performed to rul out other possible causes for the symptoms. Unfortunately, what you were told about her Migraines stopping when she starts her monthly cycle is rarely the way things go. You say "If they are hormonal." Have you and her doctor been able to identify any other triggers - weather changes, fluorescent lighting, disrupted sleep patterns, foods? You can find a list of potential triggers in Common Migraine Triggers. If you haven't checked for food triggers, it's advisable to determine if your daughter does, and an elimination diet is the best way to do that. For more information and a workbook on this, see Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods.


    Whether her Migraines will stop when her cycle starts or not, she needs medical care. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is no cure. She maybe dealing with Migraines for years to come.


    If doctors aren't taking her seriously, it may well be that they don't know much about Migraines, and it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.



    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated March 21, 2013.


Published On: March 21, 2013