Stomach aches are legendary in children. As are those mysterious illnesses where the child is vomiting ("Probably something they ate"). Is it just part of growing up?
In recent years researchers have been warning – don’t just assume that those aches and pains are simply a part of childhood that they’ll grow out of. We know a lot more today about various illnesses than we did when the parents were children. For example, now we know that some of those "tummy aches" are actually a result of migraine.
Yes, that’s right. Abdominal migraine is a very common form of migraine in children, and it’s wise to catch it early.
The March edition of the journal Headache featured a study of children who had been referred to an academic pediatric gastroenterology practice complaining of recurring abdominal pain. Based on the available information, the study found that 15% of the qualifying patients had abdominal migraine or probably abdominal migraine.
For various reasons it’s hard to draw solid statistics from the study, but it does seem like a significant number of children with recurring abdominal pain have abdominal migraine, and are rarely diagnosed correctly. In fact, the study found that none of these children received a diagnosis of abdominal migraine!
That’s right – 0.
Today we know that it’s important to treat migraine early. We also now have many good treatments for migraine in children, that were unknown many years ago. It’s time to break the mold and help these children.
Does your child frequently have little appetite? Do they suffer from cyclic vomiting, or frequent stomach pain? If they show these or other symptoms of abdominal migraine, Consider having them checked by a migraine specialist.