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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.

Could someone please talk to me about abdominal migraine?

(12 Posts)
stealthsquiggle Tue 20-Oct-09 21:32:11

DS (6.11) has been complaining periodically for a couple of months about tummy pains. When asked where he points to his belly button. He is not constipated, still eating fine, hasn't been sick (although he has had a couple of incidents of what DH charmingly calls 'chunky burps') and it seems to come and go - but when it comes it is bad enough to wake him up, and he normally sleeps like the dead, and in the daytime can sometimes reduce him to tears.

Someone suggested abdominal migraine, which I had never heard of. I plan to book him a GP appointment during half term, but in the meantime I would be very grateful for anyone else's experiences on this - diagnosis, symptoms, triggers, and treatments...

Saltire Tue 20-Oct-09 21:35:16

Well I've never had them but I have a friend who is now 36 and has had them as long as I can remember. Cheese, stress, lack of sleep cause hers now but I assume it would be much the same when she was a child/teenager. She used to get very bad tummy pain, occasionally with sickness, very rarely with a headache and just took to bed for 2/3 days and sometimes literally couldn't move

stealthsquiggle Tue 20-Oct-09 21:37:15

Saltire did she just work out the triggers for herself, do you know, or is there some process they go through?

Sadly, I think DS's may be stress-related. He is a perfectionist and sets ludicrously hugh standards for himself and then beats himself up when he doesn't meet them sad

Saltire Tue 20-Oct-09 21:52:30

I think her mum worked it out for her, she ahd an alcoholic dad who left them but turned up periodically and upset her and within 2 days of not sleeping and stress it would flare up. I've knwon her since she was 12 and remember how badly she ahs suffred. I hope you get your DS diagnosed

stealthsquiggle Tue 20-Oct-09 21:56:35

I will stiffen my resolve to book him an appointment tomorrow. I have been ignoring it and hoping it will go away for too long now.

..then I need to find a way to teach an obsessive 6yo to relax sad

3littlefrogs Tue 20-Oct-09 22:02:19

It does sound typical, and he is about the right age too.

Nurofen can help, but I think you need to identify the triggers and find ways to reduce the incidence. it sounds as if it is stress related.

I found that massage and relaxation techniques have helped dd. She also needs to eat properly and regularly and get enough sleep. (As do all kids, I know, but tiredness and skipping a meal or just eating late can be enough to trigger an attack, for her).

stealthsquiggle Tue 20-Oct-09 22:04:35

frogs - he says it often hurts 'worst' just before a meal, so I think dehydration/ low blood sugar are also a factor.

How did you go about teaching DD relaxation techniques?

kid Tue 20-Oct-09 22:15:23

My DS probably suffers from abdominal migraines, but the hospital don't want to label it as that as they won't give him medication due to his age (he is 7.6)

Since February, he has been vomitting on and off. The longest he goes between sickness is 5 weeks, the shortest is 12 days. He doesn't always get a belly ache, or a headache, but it always ends in him vomitting quite a lot and then having to sleep it off for hours.

The Dr referred him after my 3rd visit due to him vomitting for no apparent reason. The hospital did check him over, declared him a healthy child and discharged him. How they can clasify someone that vomits at least every 5 weeks as healthy, I don't know!

The last time he was sick was last night, that was 4 weeks since he last vomitted. I feel really sorry for him, he is skinny enough as it is, he really needs to keep all his food down if you ask me!

stealthsquiggle Tue 20-Oct-09 22:19:32

kid, having read up on the side effects I don't really want DS on medication if we can help it, but if that is what it is, I would like it identified so that we can start looking for the triggers, and so that school will take me seriously about finding ways to avoid stress. That said, he doesn't actually throw up (cast-iron stomach) but does lose even more sleep because the pain wakes him up, so he is more tired, so it happens more, and so on in a downward spiral...

It does seem like a daft reason for them not to diagnose your DS though.

kid Tue 20-Oct-09 22:42:39

I know, I wasn't impressed with her answer.
I was pleased there was nothing serious wrong with him, well I suppose migraines are serious but you know what I mean. He has had his eyesight checked and thats fine so I know that isn't causing the headaches.

The hospital did say I could take him back to the Drs to be referred again if they became more frequent than 5 weeks or if sleeping it off didn't help.
They also said common triggers are lack of sleep, long periods between eating (not a problem for DS!) and stress.
He sleeps very well, a bit of an early riser but goes to sleep at a decent time each night. School is very stressful for him due to an out of control class. We are in the process of attempting to sort that out, but in the meantime, we are stuck with reoccuring vomitting sad

3littlefrogs Tue 20-Oct-09 23:15:33

Sorry - just come back to this. I am a massage therapist, so used this as a help for dd to relax. It used to help her sleep when she was much younger, so I guessed it was worth a try. I also taught her the same relaxation exercises that I used to use in Antenatal classes!

Other things that help: Either soothing classical music or relaxation /calming CDs (that are used for massage or reflexology)rather than TV or other sorts of music after school, for example.

I have a friend who swears by acupuncture for her ds who had terrible migraines as a child. I am not sure that mine would have been keen though!

Also - helping dd to be organised, and teaching her how to prioritise helped to reduce her stress. Using the "launch pad" system for homework and getting things ready for school really helped. (Knowing that everything is done, bags packed, clothes and PE kit ready all in one place every night helps her to relax and sleep). Having the school timetable and homework timetable on her notice board helps her keep track and feel in control.

I suppose it is about identifying what causes the stress, and then finding strategies to avoid the triggers.

stealthsquiggle Wed 21-Oct-09 21:35:54

Thanks, Frogs. DS's godmother is a qualified massage therapist, so maybe I can ask her to teach us some stuff.

I am also trying to cut out home sources of stress. I can't do much about DD, who winds DS up something rotten at times just because she enjoys it, but I am determined to stop being shouty Mummy sad.

Have a GP's appointment for next week - hopefully waving private health insurance in front of them will accelerate referral...

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