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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Children's Health Abdominal Migraine

Abdominal Migraine

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Abdominal Migraine is a form of migraine seen mainly in children. It occurs mainly in children og 5 to 9 years. It can also occur in adults.

Abdominal migraine is charecterized by abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Most  children with abdominal migraine develop migraine in adulthood.

Features of abdominal migraine

  • Abdminal pain will be in the middle, periumbilical, dullaching, moderate to severe intensity,
  • Attacks of abdominal pain lasting from one hour to 72 hours either treated or not treated.
  • Anorexia.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Pallor.
  • Atleast 5 attacks of these symptoms is important for abdomainl migraine.

Pain is severe enough to interfere with normal daily activities. Children may find it difficult to distinguish anorexia from nausea. The pallor is often accompanied by dark shadows under the eyes. In a few patients flushing is the predominant vasomotor phenomenon. Most children with abdominal migraine will develop migraine headache later in life.


As with any form of Migraine, there is no diagnostic test to confirm Abdominal Migraine. Diagnosis is achieved by reviewing  family and patient medical history, evaluating the symptoms, and performing an examination to rule out other causes of the symptoms. Other conditions that should be ruled out to arrive at a diagnosis of abdominal Migraine include: urogenital disorders, peptic ulcer, cholecystitis (gall bladder), duodenal obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. If there is any alteration in consciousness, seizure disorders should also be ruled out.


For infrequent abdominal Migraine attacks, medications used for other forms of Migraine are often employed.

Medications used are

  • NSAID's.
  • Antinausea medications.
  • Midrin.
  • Triptans.