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HeadWay, Issue #116 -- Abdominal Migraine and other Stomach Issues
March 21, 2014

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In this issue:

Migraine in the Stomach?

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Say what?!  Gut

Migraine in the Stomach?

Pain in your stomach?  Feeling sick, nausaus?  Symptoms mysteriously come and go?  It could be migraine.

Over the past few years, researchers have become increasingly convinced that many issues in the gut are related to migraine.  In fact, issues in your gut may have a lot to do with most types of migraine, even if you don't have a lot of "stomach issues".

But there are certain disorders that are being grouped together as "headache disorders" that may not involve headache at all.  This group is called recurrent gastrointestinal disturbance.  It includes a number of symptoms, including some irritable bowel symptoms, vomiting, and other abdominal pain and nausea.

For example, cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), a childhood condition, is closely related to migraine.  Some have suggested that it's actually a form of abdominal migraine, and many migraine treatments are used as treatments as CVS, such as triptans, biofeedback, and co-enzyme Q10.

Currently, CVS is differentiated from abdominal migraine because of the abdominal pain and more migraine-like time frame of 2-72 hours.  Abdominal migraine sufferers, often children, experience either a "sore" abdomen or even quite severe pain.  They may or may not vomit, but there will probably be nausea, and possibly paleness (often with "shadows" under the eyes) and anorexia.  After an attack of 3 days or less, the symptoms disappear.

A child with these symptoms may have headache symptoms too, although if headache is present the diagnosis may go to a different type of migraine.  Children with abdominal migraine usually develop other types of migraine later in life.

Treatment involves many treatments that are common for migraine.  These include biofeedback, beta-blockers, and triptans.

Abdominal migraine is rare in adults, but does exist.  In the case of adults, there is a wider range of migraine treatment available.

It's very important to take the time to get a proper diagnosis with children before jumping ahead with treatment.  Try to find out which symptoms are bothering the child, how disabling they are, and how long they last.

For more information, see:

Don't miss these posts!

A few recent posts at Headache and Migraine News that you won't want to miss...

Say what?!  Gut

Yes, your gut plays an important role in the health of your whole body.  But - what is a "gut"?  Is it just your stomach?  Your abdomen?

Unfortunately, the term is not always used in the same way.  The gut can actually refer to the entire gastrointestinal tract, which starts where the food goes in (mouth) and ends where the food goes out (you know where).  In the study of migraine and gut health, there's a special emphasis on the intestine (also called bowel).

Check out 6 Key Stomach/Gut Terms related to Migraine
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