I have an 11-year-old boy who at approximately 6 years old was diagnosed with possible abdominal migraines - due to a lot of tummy pains. In December 2003 he suffered from frequent headaches and eventually light would hurt his eyes (even the lights from the Christmas tree when it was dark with the main lights switched off). All through the first 6 months last year he suffered again frequently from headaches and sickness which seemed to have settled down. Again within the last two months the headaches have started again at the front of his head. He tends to lie down and try to go to sleep but cant get to sleep unless he has a paracetamol. I wondered what your opinion could be on this - and whilst it is a long while since I have taken my son to the doctor regarding his head I feel that possibly now is the time to go again. Basically I would like an explanation what it could be that is causing these headaches as I do not want to have to keep giving him medication. I await your reply and thank you in advance, Marion.
It seems you know what really need to be done. You need to make an appointment and take your son to the doctor for an updated diagnosis. It's impossible to diagnose via the Internet. We can, however, give you some information to discuss with his doctor.
Many children who experience abdominal Migraines later develop Migraine with aura or Migraine without aura. It's somewhat as if the abdominal pain of the abdominal Migraine is replaced by the headache phase of a more "regular" Migraine attack. It would be helpful if you could identify what triggers his Migraines. It could be foods, disrupted sleep, weather changes, fluorescent lighting, or many other things. Helping him keep a Migraine diary should be helpful for trigger identification. Once you identify his triggers, hopefully, some of them will be triggers that can be avoided.
Although all of us would prefer to avoid medications, Marion, it's just not always possible with Migraines. Migraines are actually not headaches. It's important to understand that Migraine is a genuine neurological disease marked by episodes or attacks that may have a headache as a symptom. As you've already seen, the headache is just one symptom, and not all Migraine attacks include a headache.
Here's an article that should help you:
Anatomy of a Migraine
When many people think “migraine” they think only of the pain of migraine. In reality, a migraine episode consists of far more. The typical migraine episode actually consists of four parts, referred to as phases or components.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
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- Anatomy of a Migraine
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Published On: April 08, 2007