Abdominal Migraine: Definition, trigger, diagnosis and treatment

abdominal migraine: definition, causes, diagnosis and treatment

Definition of abdominal migraine

What is abdominal migraine (abdominal migraine)?

As the name implies, abdominal migraine is a migraine that occurs not on the head but on the abdomen. However, abdominal migraines often occur due to the same triggers as migraine headaches. Stomach migraine can be very painful and cause nausea, cramps, and even vomiting.

Children whose family members have migraines are at increased risk for abdominal migraines.

Children with abdominal migraines usually experience migraine headaches as they grow older. Abdominal migraines usually occur in infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents.

Stomach migraine is also commonly experienced by young children who later will suffer from migraine attacks. However, severe abdominal pain can also occur in migraine attacks in adults. Sometimes this is called gastric migraine or migraine in the stomach.

Abdominal migraine is often undiagnosed in adults. Therefore, when men and women experience symptoms, other syndromes or disorders will be considered first, such as intestinal syndrome, acid reflux, or lactose intolerance.

Risk of abdominal migraine

Some studies assess that one to four percent of children suffer from abdominal migraine, while other studies say that about 10 percent of children experience repeated stomach pain sometime in their childhood.

Children with abdominal migraine usually have a migraine-related family history. Some 65 percent of cases of cyclic abdominal migraine or vomiting have a migraine-related family history.

However, this can be overcome by reducing your risk factors. Discuss with your doctor for more information.

Characteristics and symptoms

What are the characteristics and symptoms of abdominal migraine?

The earliest signs and symptoms of abdominal migraine are pain in the child’s center or around the navel (not on the side of the body), which is called midline stomach pain by the doctor. Some other signs and symptoms of this condition may include:

Nausea or vomiting

The skin is pale or reddened

Yawning, drowsiness, or lack of energy

Loss of appetite or can not eat

Dark circles under the eyes

Abdominal migraines often occur suddenly and quite badly, and without warning signs. The pain can disappear after an hour, or can last up to 3 days.

When should I go to see a doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent deteriorating conditions and other medical emergencies, so consult a doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any questions, consult your doctor. Everyone’s body reacts differently. It’s always better to discuss what’s best for your situation with your doctor.

Cause or Trigger

What are the causes of abdominal migraines?

Until now, no known exact cause of abdominal migraine. One theory says that changes in levels of two compounds produced by the body, namely histamine and serotonin, are the cause. Experts think that feeling sad or worried can be a trigger as well.

Foods, such as chocolate, foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG), and processed meat with nitrites, can trigger a stomach migraine.

Swallowing lots of air can also be a trigger or cause similar stomach symptoms. This can cause bloating and difficulty eating.


Who is at risk for abdominal migraines?

Most children with abdominal migraines have a migraine-related family history, and most continue to develop migraine as adults.


How is abdominal migraine diagnosed?

It seems difficult to diagnose this condition because children often have difficulties in distinguishing between abdominal migraines with abdominal pain, stomach flu, or other problems related to the stomach and intestines.

Because abdominal migraine tends to be experienced in the family, the doctor will inquire about family members who experience migraine headaches.

Then, the doctor will eliminate other causes for gastric pain. The doctor will also see how appropriate your child’s symptoms are with a specific list made by migraine experts.

If your doctor suspects that you have a stomach migraine, he or she may perform a thorough examination to determine this condition.


The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor for more information.

How to treat abdominal migraines?

Since not much is known of abdominal migraine, doctors will treat it like a migraine in general. They usually do not prescribe drugs unless the symptoms are severe or very frequent.

Drugs such as rizatriptan (Maxalt) and sumatriptan (Imitrex), called triptans have not been approved for use in children, although older children may be helped by using sumatriptan as a nose spray.

What can be done to overcome migraine belly?

With the help of parents and doctors, children with stomach migraine can find what triggers them. Keep a diary of the dates and times of abdominal migraines, what foods were consumed before, what to do before a stomach migraine occurs, whether they are taking drugs recently, and whether something is happening in their life that might make them depressed or If food is a trigger of stomach migraine, try to avoid the food.

However, this may not work for everyone. Children with abdominal migraines should undergo a fiber-rich nutritious diet. Other healthy habits, such as daily exercise and getting enough sleep, and teaching children how to control their emotions and overcoming problems, can also help.

If you have any questions, consult your doctor to understand the best solution for you.



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