Kids Get Migraines Too

Written by AnaLise on December 13, 2008 – 6:56 pm -

 

It is only recently that experts have begun to agree that kids get headaches.  Sometimes they get really bad headaches, including migraines.  That’s not what physicians and researchers used to say, which kept many kids – and their families – needlessly suffering.

Most children get headaches now and then, and they don’t necessarily get horrible and disabling headaches but many of them have gotten some pretty intense migraines.  Migraine headaches are usually a pounding type of headache on one side of the head or the other of the temple or behind the eye. 

Studies show that up to 5% of school aged children get migraine headaches.  The percentages increase as children get older, topping at 20% for high school aged children and adolescents.  Girls suffer from migraines more often than boys do, often having them two or more times per week.

Many children say that their migraines make them feel like throwing up.  Others say that they feel like their heart is pounding in their chest when they have a migraine, or they feel like they are in a huge bass drum when a migraine hits.  They also report feeling like they need to lie down in a dark room.

These symptoms are very similar or even the same as adult symptoms of migraines.  The causes of these headches are the same, too.  Smells, foods, stress, being too tired and eating certain foods can all be triggers to migraines.  The foods and smells vary depending on the child but additives, such as MSG, smoked or processed meats with nitrites, nuts and pickles can be triggers.

Some children get migraines that are so bad and occur so often that the doctor prescribes ongoing medication for the child.  Instructions are given as to what to do if a migraine comes on, and how to handle the situation.  As with adults, lying in a dark, quiet room can help.  Using an ice pack can also help. 

If you have a child or adolescent that suffers from frequent headaches – especially migraines – take them to see their doctor.  The doctor will perform tests and do a thorough examination and will probably prescribe medication to help tame the migraines when they come on. 

These headaches should be taken seriously.  They are not life-threatening, however, they are very uncomfortable, and now that there is more information and a variety of medications available to deal with them, there is no reason for children to suffer with migraines the way they did before research provided us with answers and relief.


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Kids and Migraines

Written by AnaLise on July 31, 2008 – 7:35 pm -

It used to be said that kids don’t get headaches, much less, migraines.  That’s not what physicians and researchers say any more.

Most children get headaches and many of them have gotten some pretty intense migraines.  Migraine headaches are usually a pounding type of headache on one side of the head or the other of the temple or behind the eye. 

Up to 5% of school aged children get migraine headaches.  The percentages increase as children get older, topping at 20% for high school aged children and adolescents.  Girls suffer from migraines more often than boys do, often having them two or more times per week.

Some children say that their migraines make them feel like throwing up.  Others say that they feel like their heart is pounding in their chest when they have a migraine, or they feel like they are in a huge bass drum when a migraine hits.  They also report feeling like they need to lie down in a dark room.

These symptoms are very similar – and some of them are the same – as adult symptoms of migraines.  The causes are the same, too.  Smells, foods, stress, being too tired and eating certain foods can all be triggers to migraines.  The foods and smells vary depending on the child but additives, such as MSG, smoked or processed meats with nitrites, nuts and pickles can be triggers.

Some children get migraines that are bad enough, often enough so that the doctor prescribes medication for the child.  Instructions will be given as to what to do if a migraine comes on, and how to handle the situation.  As with adults, lying in a dark, quiet room can help.  Using an ice pack can also help. 

If you have a child or adolescent that suffers from frequent headaches – especially migraines – take them to see their doctor.  The doctor will perform tests and do a thorough examination and will probably prescribe medication to help tame the migraines when they come on. 

Take these headaches seriously.  They are not life-threatening, however, they are very uncomfortable, and now that there is more information and a variety of medication available to deal with them, there is no reason for children to suffer with migraines the way they did before research provided us with answers

 


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Kids and Migraines

Written by AnaLise on July 24, 2008 – 5:58 pm -

A migraine can be debilitating.  There are the headache itself, the extreme nausea, your eyes hurt and you just plain feel like someone is pounding on your head as hard as possible.  You need a dark room to lie down in and it needs to be quiet.  Hopefully it will go away sooner, rather than later.

Most of us who have experienced migraines are adults.  Or are we?  Well, the majority of us still are adults, however, there are more and more teens and younger children experiencing migraines that are debilitating for them, as well.

Researchers have determined that many times when a child has a headache, it has not been determined to be a migraine however often, and that is a mistake.  It has been discovered that kids and teens often suffer recurrent migraines that are the same as or similar to those of adults. 

Part of the problem with children getting migraines is determining how to treat them.  Many times the medications that adults can take for migraines can create very intense side effects in children and some teens.  As a result, even the lowest doses of the medications can’t be used or don’t work.  Worse yet, some of the intense side effects are as bad as or worse than the migraines themselves.

It is important, however, for diagnosis to be thorough and careful.  For instance, a 12 year old girl whose migraines started at age 10 after some dental work, was extremely ill with debilitating migraines.  Once she had been getting them for over two years after having the dental work done, she was referred to a dentist by her doctor.  The results: her migraines were being caused by TMJ, a disorder that kept her jaw out of line, creating pain and the headaches.

There are many reason for headaches, and migraines are no exception.  If your child or teenager is suffering from repeated severe headaches, keep track of what they have done and/or eaten just prior to the headache.  Let your doctor know and ask if it could be migraine or something else.


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