Migraines have four phases: predrome, aura, attack and postdrome. Abdominal migraines typically contain intense abdominal pain that might or might not accompany a headache. RelieveMigraineHeadache.com reports that abdominal migraines primarily occur in children and are rare in adults. Diagnosis can be difficult since children often have difficulty outlining all symptoms experienced and lack of a headache often obscures the diagnosis.
A report published in the "American Journal of Managed Care" reveals that roughly $17 billion is spent annually to treat migraines. This includes medications, primary physician care, hospital visits, and diagnostic and laboratory services. Moreover, there are roughly 3 million emergency room visits each year by people seeking relief from symptoms of migraines. Abdominal migraines often require additional diagnostic tests to determine the actual cause of intense stomach pain.
Migraines with auras typically consist of all four phases of a migraine. The National Headache Foundation describes migraines with auras and migraines without auras as the most prevalent types of migraines. All other migraines are variations of the two main types. In abdominal migraines, pain is felt in the stomach, which makes diagnosis difficult. All of the various subtypes also might be abdominal migraines. Migraines without the headache phase are termed silent migraines. Ophthalmoplegic migraineurs or optical migraineurs experience severe eye pain. Temporary unilateral paralysis occurs during hemiplegic migraines. Retinal and basilar artery migraines are named for where the vasospasms are located in sufferers.
The causes of extreme abdominal pain are still unknown. The National Headache Foundation indicates that children whose parents have a history of migraines are more likely to experience abdominal migraines as a child that develop into regular migraines as adults. After extensive gastrointestinal tests to rule out other more serious causes of stomach pain, migraine prescription medication often works to prevent all migraine symptoms. The cause of other migraine attacks is thought to be blood vessel contractions that thwart blood flow and induce pain.
Identifying the abdominal migraine triggers can be the simplest method to prevent future attacks. Common triggers are flashing lights, repetitive sounds and strong smells. Keeping a log of all activities before an attack will help eliminate the possible causes of your abdominal migraines.
Once diagnosed, abdominal migraines can be treated with the same prescription medication as other migraines, which primarily includes beta blockers, anti-depressants, and anti-convulsants. The Mayo Clinic describes beta blockers as an effective migraine preventative that raises the body's threshold to epinephrine and improves overall blood circulation. The National Migraine Association notes that anti-depressants have been found to relieve or prevent migraine pain in addition to stopping depression symptoms linked to migraines. The Mayo Clinic indicates that anti-convulsants might reduce migraine frequency in some patients.
All prescription medication has inherent risks associated with its use. The medication types listed here must be taken daily to act as migraine preventatives. You should take these medications only under the strict guidance of a physician.