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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Abdominal Migraines - Would like to understand a little more

(5 Posts)
RedHairedGirlie Tue 09-Feb-16 22:35:55

Hi There,

DD is nearly 7, and for about the last 8 - 9 months has periodically complained about tummy pains that seem to last anything from a day to a few days, then they just seem to disappear.

She does not appear ill with them, continues to go about things, but just seems very aware that her tummy is sore. However, in the last couple of months, they seem to be getting worse, and i have had to collect her from school on a couple of occasions and she looks pale and is generally looking quite tired and lethargic, then usually within a couple of hours of being home, she seems fine again - wanting to eat and back to her usual self.

She has on occasion in the past said that sometimes she feels 'dizzy' and am sure it is when she has tummy pains, this doesn't happen that often though.

I have visited my GP and explained about these random pains, and said that she is not generally unwell for prolonged periods with the pains and continues to eat play etc, no diarrhoea or anything The GP took a urine sample, and although she said there were some white cells, the tests have come back with 'no action required'.

So today, I had the call from school again (which I missed in work sad ) , but then picked up the call from aftercare. So again the pains were apparently quite bad and in school she had said she had felt sick. She was looking pale, but with a flushed face in places, and again was looking quite tired and not herself.... so off home we went early, and a couple of hours later she seems herself again and said the pain was not as bad. She did say that she had a ham sandwich at lunchtime - and i spotted on a post somewhere else that someone's DD seemed to have the pain triggered by processed meat / ham or chocolate??

Am desperate to get to the bottom of this, and will make another appointment with my GP to see what the next steps are.

If anyone has any experiences of abdominal pains and can share any info with me on:
How you went about getting this diagnosed?
What pain relief do you provide if your little ones are complaining about the pains?
Do your children stay in school and ask the school to allow them some 'quiet time' when the pains starts?

BTW,sorry, for the long post!!!


kronenborg Wed 10-Feb-16 08:50:30

with an ongoing problem like this, you are right to go back to see your doctor. frustratingly, there could be a hundred different causes, of which abdominal migraine is just one, and is usually a diagnosis of exclusion (i.e. ruling out the other causes), as there is no definitive diagnostic test that can be done.

it should also be mentioned that among all the other possible causes, a child who is anxious or worried about something, or is unhappy for some reason at either school or home, can have symptoms which mimic abdominal migraine.

does your daughter ever have a headache that accompanies this tummy pain (even if the headache is not the main problem)? does she ever feel sick or vomit with the pain? does she feel sensitive to light or sound when she has the pain? is there a family history of migraines (not just the abdominal type)? if the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, then it does make it rather more likely that she had abdominal migraine - the paleness and lethargy you mention are also typical. before the tummy pain starts, does she ever have any trouble with her vision, speech, movement or sensation anywhere in her body?

given the length of time this has been going on, the GP should take a thorough history, and might want to do a basic screening blood test to rule out other possible causes. it would be best if she were seen when she actually had the tummy pain (but appreciate this may not be possible). presumably her temperature has been checked to see she doesn't have a fever? sometime a "grumbling" appendix can cause similar symptoms.

for pain relief, until a specific problem is diagnosed, ibuprofen and paracetamol are really the only medicines to use - they can be given at the same time, or alternated, but don't exceed the maximum doses. perhaps a hot water bottle might also help?

as a child, i went through a few years of abdominal migraines, which eventually transformed into more typical migraines, with headache, nausea and vomiting...while these have been a great nuisance over the years, in my older years, they have become significantly less frequent or troublesome, and there are some decent treatments these days that can help a great many.

agentmillion Wed 10-Feb-16 09:10:30

My advice would be to ask for more investigations to confirm the diagnosis. My DB was diagnosed with abdominal migraines at around 6 years old. He had them on a regular basis throughout childhood, he suffered terrible pain and vomiting. He has prescribed migraleve in powder form (I think). They worsened during his teenage years, stress seemed to be a major trigger. It was put down to being psychosomatic really.

During his twenties the pain worsened, he saw several new doctors, all working on the basis that these were abdominal migraines. He even had to be taken from work in an ambulance one day the pain was so severe. Finally, a new GP ordered an abdominal ultrasound which found his left kidney was severley twisted, incredibly enlarged and basically dead. He had been born with his kidney like this and misdiagnosed for 25 years. He had a nephrectomy to remove his kidney 8 years ago, aged 30 and has not suffered since.

I am not suggesting that your DD has anything so serious, but I know how much my DPs wish they had questioned the abdominal migraine diagnosis. They had no reason to and shouldn't blame themselves, but it took 25 years for any real investigations to be done. It had been based on his symptoms alone and then never questioned.

Badders123 Wed 10-Feb-16 11:59:25

My ds2 (7) was dx with AM last year after several episodes of pain and vomiting and being rushed to a and e with suspected appendicitis sad
He had bloods and US which were normal and was put on pizotifen which is a preventative - he still gets pain but doesn't vomit anymore
We are also seeing a dietician next month as I think gluten may be an issue for him
His are worse when he is tired or anxious
Good luck X

RedHairedGirlie Wed 10-Feb-16 19:46:21

Thanks to all for the responses. I am going to start making a diary of when the pain occurs and make an appointment again with my GP.

The pain was only there a little today around tea time.. and now all quite happy again smile

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