According to the American Migraine Foundation, abdominal migraines are commonly diagnosed in children between 5 and 9 years old, although they may be seen in adults. Formally thought to be an abdominal disorder by pediatricians and specialists, abdominal migraines are now recognized as a subset of migraine headaches after doctors identified a correlation between family members suffering migraines and children complaining of symptoms of an abdominal migraine. Additionally, many children diagnosed with abdominal migraines develop migraine headaches with/without aura.
The International Headache Society offers the following diagnostic criteria for an abdominal migraine:
Abdominal migraine pain can be diagnosed correctly when new or existing renal or gastrointestinal disorders are ruled out. Pain should be severe enough to restrict children from engaging in normal activities. In addition, some children develop dark circles under their eyes, while others may show signs of “flushing” or reddening of the face.
Doctors offer several hypotheses regarding triggers of abdominal migraines in children. Some say it may be due to food allergies, abnormal catabolism of certain hormones, and/or stress affecting the central nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. However, none of these theories have yet been verified as causes of abdominal migraines.
Anti-nausea medications and NSAIDS are typically prescribed to treat abdominal migraines. Medication choices differ according to the age of the child. Although some children experience spontaneous resolution of an abdominal migraine before age 11, many go on to suffer migraines in adulthood because the root cause of their abdominal migraine was never addressed properly.
An ear, nose and throat specialist and board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Smith offers an innovative and research-based technique for treating abdominal migraines involving repair of deviated septums and/or bone spurs.
In his research on migraine patients, Dr. Smith discovered that people undergoing rhinoplasty frequently remarked they no longer suffered migraines after surgery. This led him to investigate a possible relationship between deviated septums and migraine pain. He ultimately concluded that people with deviated septums — crooked, bent or abnormally shaped — due to trauma often experienced symptoms nearly identical to migraine headaches. Restoring normal structure to deviated septums therefore brought migraine pain relief to his patients.
You can learn more about Dr. Smith’s treatment for abdominal migraines by calling Smith Center today at (713) 795-0600.