Its been a very long while since I've been to Mothering, but this is the first place I thought of when this issue came up. So DD, 9, started having headaches about two weeks ago and we went to our Dr., who said that it is most likely hormones due to puberty. So I'm thinking that we should look into nutrition. She's been a vegetarian for almost 2 years now. Her palate has expanded greatly from a menu that included only homemade mac and Nutella sandwiches (w/ banana or peanut butter), to homemade chili, spinach pizza, cheese sandwiches with vegan mayo. So she's open to new foods, but I am wondering what might be specific to hormone changes in young girls. She loves Green drink and Flax milk, stuff like that. I am also wondering if I should bring her to a naturopathic or holistic healer. Any thoughts, links, ideas would be appreciated.
I could have written your post. I have a 9 yo dd, also vegetarian, started getting headaches about 2 months ago non-stop. They get better and worse but never go away. She was coming home from school and going straight to bed. Squinting in bright light, and just acting not herself. I have noticed very early signs of puberty starting in her. Both my mom and my mother in law have suffered lifelong from migraines. It has impacted both their lives severely.
I took her to the ped and she was treated for sinus infection. We had all just had colds, and my dd tends to get things worse than the rest of us, so this was a reasonable explanation of the headaches. That didn't work, so next step was to call the neurologist. That appt. was very far off and still the headaches continued.
I am a peds nurse so of course I start thinking the worst things possible that can cause headaches, and the fact that it never went away, well I started to freak. When she described her pain as an 8 out of 10, I took her to the hospital where I work (a children's hospital) and they did the whole head scan. That came out negative (a little sinus swelling but not enough to cause the headaches). No tumors or anything.
Then they started her on headache protocol: some IV meds with us asking her how she felt after each one. Finally after the fourth one the headache went away. She was so relieved and so happy and kept saying "Wow I feel normal again! My head feels so much better!". That treatment "broke" the migraine and has good results to not have it come back for a good long while. In the meantime we are seeing the neuro in 2 weeks and hopefully can get on board with a plan, now that we know it's migraines for sure. (Other headaches would not have responded to the treatment)
I'm not suggesting you take the same measures i did. I was very proactive and some might say extreme. I do think it's wise to try to get a handle on your dd's headaches. Start with a headache diary that she can write each day, or you can write for her after asking questions. This will give a good idea to the health provider what might be going on.
Have her answer these questions:
1) Did you have a headache today?
2) When did it start? When did it go away?
3) What made it worse?
4) What made it better?
5) What kind of pain was it (stabbing, throbbing, aching)?
6) Do your eyes hurt to read? Do your eyes hurt when you go outside? How about loud noises?
7) Where on your head do you feel it?
8) Do you see spots or lights?
9) Do you feel dizzy?
Also keep a food diary on the same page to see if any foods are triggering the headaches. And any stressful events in her life that might have happened that day.
I agree on keeping her hydrated and seeing what you can try at home before taking her to the doctor. I have just seen such a huge difference since we went to the ED for the headache treatment. I did not realize how badly it was impacting her until I got my old dd back after we got rid of the headache.