Migraine Headaches Affecting Children

Milwaukee Headache Neurologist Examines Migraines in Children

Child Suffering MigraineChildren can suffer debilitating migraines just like adults. Dr. Traci Purath, a leading Milwaukee migraine headache neurologist has devoted much of her time to researching migraines in children. Unfortunately, childhood migraines often go undiagnosed and can have a dramatic impact on a child’s quality of living. When children experience migraines, head pain is generally less severe, and symptoms are more likely to include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and dizziness. Before the onset of migraine parents may notice changes in their child’s behavior including:

  • Irritability
  • Food cravings
  • Social withdrawal/Lethargy
  • Mood swings
  • Sensitivity to light, sound and smell
  • Yawning
  • Loss of appetite

Less common childhood migraine indicators include:

  • Night terrors
  • Sleep Walking/Talking
  • Motion Sickness

Abdominal Migraines

Abdominal migraines are another childhood affliction, often occurring in reaction to a migraine trigger. These abdominal migraines cause severe pain to the navel area and can last anywhere from one hour to three days. Symptoms of children’s abdominal migraines include the following:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea and or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden pale complexion

Abdominal migraines often come on suddenly and can be difficult to distinguish from other stomach ailments.

Causes of Childhood Migraines

Studies have shown heredity to have a strong connection with childhood migraines. If one parent suffers from migraines, there is up to a 40% chance their child will experience migraines. When both parents suffer from migraines the percent chance increases to a jaw-dropping 90%- almost a guarantee their child will suffer from migraines!

Other than heredity, the exact cause of a migraine can often be difficult to determine, especially in children. Childhood migraine triggers may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weather
  • Bright lights
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Consumption of certain foods/beverages

It’s important to keep a headache diary to try and pinpoint your child’s migraine triggers. Record the date and time, description of symptoms, and duration of the migraine. Keep your eye out for similarities like food and drink consumption, changes in weather, and recent sleeping habits. With girls you may even notice a connection between migraines and menstrual cycles.

Childhood Migraine Treatment

Dr. Traci Purath is a leading Wisconsin headache neurologist, dedicated to providing migraine relief to children and adults. Unlike most doctors, Dr. Purath will listen closely to your migraine symptoms and develop a customized treatment plan to meet your individual needs. Your child should never have to suffer from debilitating migraines, impacting their quality of life. It IS possible to find migraine relief. Let Dr. Purath help your child get back to what’s important: being a kid.

Contact Wisconsin headache specialist, Dr. Traci Purath to find out how you can alleviate your child’s migraines today.