I think the advice your doctor gave you is a perfect starting point. I have suffered from migraines since I was a child. I may very well have had them at age 5. I was definitely getting them by age 7 or 8. My father has always suffered from them as well. They can be hereditary, but not always. Mine are triggered by many foods, the weather, hormones, strobe lights, and other environmental influences, not enough fluids, not enough sleep, too much sleep, some smells, fluorescent lights. Stress is a big one too. And sometimes it takes a combination of triggers to give me a migraine, but other times it is just one trigger. For me stability in my life keeps me from getting migraines and not being over scheduled. Eye sight can be a factor, I think I got my first pair of eyeglasses when I was ten and I do remember that I found some relief from the headaches once I started wearing glasses. I would definitely keep a food journal to help keep track of what your child is eating and also note any headaches he has. I did this when I was in my early twenties and it helped me to pinpoint what foods to stay away from. I also read a lot of books to give me info on what foods are known triggers in migraineurs. I did an elimination diet of those foods and slowly reintroduced them to my diet one by one to see what gave me migraines. Not ideal, but it was a huge help. But for your ds, he may be too young to try that experiment ("here honey have some chocolate and let's see if you get a migraine"). I would start by eliminating the known triggers: chocolate, most nuts, fruits with lots of tannins (blueberries, very ripe bananas, red grapes), sometimes citrus is/was a problem for me. As an adult, alcohol (especially dark beers, red wine, but really any wine or beer because of the tannins) gives me migraines. I'm not talking about a hangover, but just a quarter of a beer or a quarter of a glass of wine can give me a terrible migraine within an hour, especially if I eat another trigger food during that time. Grape juice is a bad one for me, too. Do some reading up on migraines and see what food triggers, lifestyle, and environmental factors may be causing these headaches. Hopefully his are not genetic and the source of the problem can be addressed. Good luck and all the best to your little one.
ETA: After reading the other post about another 5 yo with migraines I wanted to add preservatives, nitrates, soy, msg, autolyzed yeast etc. are triggers for me too. It's best not to eat any processed foods and to read all labels carefully. When in doubt don't eat it. Aged cheese, especially if I mix with another trigger. Craniosacral therapy has helped me. Yes, relaxation, stress-free, lots of rest/sleep lifestyle is needed and helps migraineurs.
Edited by happy*mama - 9/29/11 at 7:02pm