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What are the causes and symptoms of abdominal migraines?

Aug 17, 2021

Symptoms of abdominal migraine

The main symptom of an abdominal migraine is pain around the navel, diffuse and very painful. The intensity of the pain can vary from moderate to severe. In addition to the pain, the children present symptoms such as nausea , vomiting , loss of appetite in particular due to the strong pain and a significant pallor . Each migraine attack lasts between 2 hours and 3 days . Between attacks , the children are healthy and show no symptoms . Symptoms of an abdominal migraine are similar to those of many other childhood gastrointestinal conditions, i.e. those involving the digestive system.

What difference(s) with other gastrointestinal pathologies?

The difference is that abdominal migraine symptoms can arrive after days or even months without any symptoms. Doctors don't know exactly what causes abdominal migraines. One theory is that these migraines stem from a problem with the connection between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract . A study has also shown a link between these connection problems and a slower movement of digested food through the intestines . Abdominal migraines are also more common in children who have parents or relatives with migraines. In fact, one study also found that more than 90% of children with this condition had a parent or sibling with migraines .

Triggering factors

These migraines may share some of the same risk factors as other types of migraine, including stress and anxiety . Emotional changes can cause the release of chemicals that trigger migraine symptoms. We can also find certain triggering factors such as:
  • tiredness ,
  • exposure to strong light ,
  • certain foods (nitrates and other chemicals found in certain meats, dairy products, caffeine, nuts, certain fruits such as citrus fruits, bananas, etc.),
  • lack of sleep ,
  • motion sickness ,
  • hunger ,
  • etc.

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