Abdominal Migraine in Children

4 Tests to Detect Abdominal Migraines

Detect Abdominal Migraines: If migraine has always been thought of as a disease that happens in the head, it turns out that there are also migraines that can happen in the stomach. These are called “abdominal migraines.” Abdominal migraine most often affects children, especially those between the ages of 7 and 10 years. 

But it is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease, which are also common causes of abdominal pain in children. Therefore, further examination is needed to detect abdominal migraine. Come on. See further explanation below.

Although stomach migraines and migraine headaches are two different diseases, they are often caused by the same trigger. Children who have family members who experience migraine headaches are also more likely to have stomach migraines. And children who experience stomach migraines will usually experience migraine headaches when they grow up. So, what exactly causes abdominal migraines?

Detect Abdominal Migraines

Causes of Abdominal Migraine

The exact cause of abdominal migraine is not known until now. However, one theory holds that changes in the levels of histamine and serotonin made by the body are responsible for the occurrence of this disease. Experts also suspect that anger or worry can cause abdominal migraines.

Foods such as chocolate, foods that are high in monosodium glutamate ( MSG ) and processed meats with nitrites can also trigger stomach migraines in some people. Swallowing large amounts of air can also trigger stomach symptoms similar to those of an abdominal migraine. This causes bloating and difficulty eating.

Know the Symptoms

If migraine causes pain in the head, abdominal migraine causes pain in the stomach, precisely around the navel. That is why doctors often refer to this disease as midline abdominal pain. In addition, children who experience abdominal migraines may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Feeling nauseous and vomiting ;
  • The face becomes pale or flushed;
  • Feeling sleepy and weak;
  • Loss of appetite; and
  • Dark shadows appear under the eyes.

Abdominal migraines often occur suddenly and are quite severe. This disease can strike without any warning signs. The pain may go away after an hour or it can last for 3 days.

Also Read : Abdominal Migraine in Children

How to Detect Abdominal Migraine

There is no specific test to diagnose abdominal migraine. The following are the examination steps that the doctor will usually do to detect this stomach disease:

1. Asking the Child and Family Health History

The doctor will usually start the examination by asking about the child’s health and family history. The reason is, children who experience abdominal migraines usually have family members who suffer from migraine headaches.

2. Asking about the symptoms experienced

Then, the doctor will ask about the symptoms experienced by the Little One. Children can be confirmed to have abdominal migraine if they meet these criteria:

  • Experienced bouts of abdominal pain at least five times lasting 1–72 hours each.
  • Experiencing pain around the navel that can be moderate to severe in intensity.
  • Experiencing at least two of the following symptoms: loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, pale skin.
  • There is no other evidence suggesting a GI condition or kidney disease.

3. Physical Examination

The doctor will also perform a physical examination to determine the location of the pain in the abdomen.

4. Ultrasound or Endoscopic Test

Although usually the child’s medical history and physical examination are sufficient to detect abdominal migraines, tests such as ultrasound or endoscopy may be performed to rule out other causes that have similar symptoms, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, IBS, intestinal obstruction, stomach ulcers, kidney disease, and cholecystitis.


Abdominal Migraine is a rare form of migraine that primarily affects children. It is characterized by recurrent episodes of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting that can last for hours to days. Unlike typical migraines, abdominal migraines do not always cause headache. The exact cause of abdominal migraines is unknown, but it is believed to be related to abnormal brain activity that affects the digestive system.

Treatment for abdominal migraines typically involves managing symptoms with medication and lifestyle changes, such as stress reduction and avoiding triggers.

Although abdominal migraines can be distressing for children and their families, the condition generally does not cause any long-term health problems.

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