5 year old with frequent headaches-UPDATE! in post #1 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 33 Old 08-05-2007, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 5 year old DS complains of headaches quite often. This afternoon he had one and all he wanted to do was lay on the couch. He says his forehead hurts. When I ask if his eyes hurt he says no. When I ask if the top of his head hurts he says no. Just his forehead. Could it be a certain food that is triggering it? Something else? Help please!

UPDATE:

I took DS to doctor today. I was told that he is suffering from migraines and was prescribed Propranolol. It is a beta blocker and the side effects are SCARY! I don't like medication (I know there are times when it is necessary, but if I can avoid it, I do). Anyway, where do I start to figure out the trigger of these headaches?

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#2 of 33 Old 08-05-2007, 11:53 PM
 
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Could it be sinus related? Possibly an aneurysm?
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#3 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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I'd say sinus allergies, but then a thought popped up that said, don't sinus' develop when the child is 7 years old?

Could it be heat related?? Dehydration?

Since it is often, I'd consider food allergies too.

Maybe some migrane sufferors can chime in?
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#4 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 12:29 AM
 
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My first thought was not enough water/fluids. Has he ever had his eyes checked? Before I started wearing glasses I mostly got headaches, my eyes didnt hurt. Strange, I know.

Does he watch tv; computer; video games? I have one ds who can play on the computer for hours without a problem; but another ds who can only be on it for short periods of time before his head hurts. (both have good eyesight too)

I hope you figure it out!

eta: it may be a good idea to start keeping a food/drink diary so you can compare and maybe find a connection to when the headaches are happening.
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#5 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
My first thought was not enough water/fluids. Has he ever had his eyes checked? Before I started wearing glasses I mostly got headaches, my eyes didnt hurt. Strange, I know.

Does he watch tv; computer; video games? I have one ds who can play on the computer for hours without a problem; but another ds who can only be on it for short periods of time before his head hurts. (both have good eyesight too)

I hope you figure it out!

eta: it may be a good idea to start keeping a food/drink diary so you can compare and maybe find a connection to when the headaches are happening.
Thanks for the ideas. He does like the computer a lot. He did have an eye appointment a month ago and the optometrist said that he is slightly far sighted, but didn't think it should be a concern at this point. I maybe should call him.

I think I will also keep a food journal. He has some other symptoms of food sensitivities so I think it may just be a good idea.

I think his headache tonight is different from some of the other headaches he has had. I think tonight it is a migraine, but other times it just lasts a little while and is not so severe. Could be two different things, I guess.

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#6 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 12:41 AM
 
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Does he regularly see a chiropractor? He might just need an adjustment...

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#7 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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Ah, if he's far sighted (trouble seeing things close up) that may trigger a headache being on the computer. Does he play on the computer in the dark? That may hurt his eyes/head more too - make sure the room is well lit.

Migraines can last a while and start out as a headache. I used to get lots of headaches as a kid and then I had my first migraine at 12. Vomitting, temp loss of vision, it was bad.

What is different about tonites headache?
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#8 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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Does he have any axiety problems? My ds gets headaches from heat, food allergies, and stress.

Hope you figure it out


 

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#9 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 05:17 AM
 
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My ds is 6 1/2 yo and complained of headaches All The Time. I took him to the ped. and they said sinuses, to the eye Dr. and his eyes are perfect. Nothing really seemed to help, or make sense really. Only his forehead hurt, and sometimes the top, but only on bad days.
I finlly took him to a Chiro. and he was adjusted. It's only been 4 days but he hasn't complained ofone since!
I thought of food allergies as well, it's a good idea to keep a food log as well. Hope he's feeling better soon.
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#10 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies.

He is feeling better today. His headache last night was more like a migraine. He ended up throwing up and was sensitive to light.

I think I am going to call his eye doctor this morning about his other headaches though. See if I need to bring him in again. He has never been to a chiropractor. That might be something to look into, too.

Am also going to keep track of his food and remove dyes from his diet. We did that for a long time, but have sort of quit being so particular about what he eats.

One PP stated about anxiety and heat. I know he is really sensitive to heat, but I don't think that was the problem yesterday as it wasn't very hot. He does have some anxiety issues. He is very anxious in new situations. I think he is a highly sensitive child. I have started reading the book, but have not gotten very far into it. From what I have read, it makes a lot of sense.

Thanks again for all the replies. It helps to get some ideas from people who have been through the same or similar things.

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#11 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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From what you described, that certainly sounds like a migraine. Poor guy.

Dyes can be a huge trigger for some people. HUGE! My migraine triggers are chocolate; (I can eat chocolate, but not on an empty stomach) not enough water; not eating at the same time every day; too much sun (and I mean like being out for an hour). Sometimes triggers can be how/when you eat and not just *what* you eat, so I recommend putting that in your journal as well.

When my ds had his first one (he was 8 I think) I took him to the er and they said to give a double dose of tylenol and then 3 hours later some ibuprofen, 3 hours after that regular dose tylenol, 3hrs later ibu, etc, etc. I've used it on myself as well until I got some stronger stuff from my dr.

But I may look into getting an adjustment for myself now.

Hope your little guy is feeling much better and stays better.
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#12 of 33 Old 08-06-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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The other headaches may have been atypical migraines. I get migraines that are not your classic traditional migraines.

My 6yo gets migraines, she's had them since she was 3. Hers are caused by low blood sugar & she has to eat every 3 hours or she gets a headache, throws up, & falls asleep.
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#13 of 33 Old 08-07-2007, 04:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Sometimes triggers can be how/when you eat and not just *what* you eat, so I recommend putting that in your journal as well.
SO true. I used to force feed myself breakfast in the mornings which made me nauseous and occasionally gave me migraines. Now I just wait about 45 mins after I wake up. Weird, eh?

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#14 of 33 Old 08-08-2007, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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update in post #1--please check it out

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#15 of 33 Old 08-08-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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I would consider foods, and beware that it might not be a typical food. When I was growing up, my father used to get debilitating migraines from eating tomatoes, of all things. He had to religiously avoid them, and if he accidentally ate something containing even a trace of tomato, he would be out of commission for 2-3 days.

I get migraines from certain artificial scents. Some fragrances and household cleaning agents can make me pretty miserable.

I hope you're able to find the trigger, whatever it is, and that your son is feeling better soon.
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#16 of 33 Old 08-08-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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Just read your update.

The first thing to do is start the journal. Write down what he ate, when he ate it and how much. (including drinks as well) Anything that goes into his mouth. Also take note of smells if you can, ie: spent hour at aunt glendas, she smokes and wears perfume. (certain smells can trigger it as well)

Some common triggers are:
food dyes
chocolate
smoke
chemical smells (cleaners, perfumes)
I'm blanking on the rest, hopefully others can post their triggers to help give you a starting point.
(my ex mil had a mushroom trigger)

Does he have to take the meds all the time, or just when he gets one?

I'm glad you have a diagnosis, it makes things better when you know what you're dealing with.
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#17 of 33 Old 08-08-2007, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The meds that were prescribed would be a twice a day thing forever. I really don't want to take that route. I will get the journal going and try to figure out the trigger.

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#18 of 33 Old 08-08-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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Can you write out here his day from his last one? Put everything you can remember down, maybe we can help pick thru it?

I dont blame you, I wouldnt want to go that route either. Almost seems silly to just drug him up without finding a cause a first. Poor little guy. (and mama too!)
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#19 of 33 Old 08-08-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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I would definitely keep a journal, keep track of when/where headaches happen, how long they last, when he is light sensitive, vomiting, etc. Keep track of what he's eating, what activity he's doing, etc.

I hate to even mention this but I have to due to past experience - I would also consider an MRI.

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#20 of 33 Old 08-08-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftyqueen View Post
My 5 year old DS complains of headaches quite often. This afternoon he had one and all he wanted to do was lay on the couch. He says his forehead hurts. When I ask if his eyes hurt he says no. When I ask if the top of his head hurts he says no. Just his forehead. Could it be a certain food that is triggering it? Something else? Help please!

UPDATE:

I took DS to doctor today. I was told that he is suffering from migraines and was prescribed Propranolol. It is a beta blocker and the side effects are SCARY! I don't like medication (I know there are times when it is necessary, but if I can avoid it, I do). Anyway, where do I start to figure out the trigger of these headaches?
your doc should have been able to give you a list of things to start eliminating one by one as a test. If not, google, or start buying or checking out migraine books. Some of the triggers are surprising. My biggies are scented products, tea, and bleu cheese. MSG is one that affects a lot of people and it's in a lot of foods, though it shouldn't be as much of a problem for anyone who frequents a NFL site. Nuts and cheeses bother some people, some are bothered by vinegars and yeast or yeast products like breads. Throwing sleep schedules off is another one of my triggers, I absolutely have to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every single day. Being a boy he probably doesn't have hormonal triggers.

Go to Amazon and just type in Migraines and see all the book titles you get.

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#21 of 33 Old 08-09-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Some common triggers are:
<snip>
chemical smells (cleaners, perfumes)
<snip>
: Cleaners are a MAJOR one for me. I can only use vinegar, borax, and baking soda.

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#22 of 33 Old 08-09-2007, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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your doc should have been able to give you a list of things to start eliminating one by one as a test. If not, google, or start buying or checking out migraine books. Some of the triggers are surprising. My biggies are scented products, tea, and bleu cheese. MSG is one that affects a lot of people and it's in a lot of foods, though it shouldn't be as much of a problem for anyone who frequents a NFL site. Nuts and cheeses bother some people, some are bothered by vinegars and yeast or yeast products like breads. Throwing sleep schedules off is another one of my triggers, I absolutely have to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every single day. Being a boy he probably doesn't have hormonal triggers.

Go to Amazon and just type in Migraines and see all the book titles you get.
I was not very impressed with the answers I got from the doctor. He is my DS's regular physician as we don't really have too many options for homeopathic physicians. I asked him if there were some foods or chemicals that could be causing the headaches and he said, "That could very well be, but it would be too hard to figure out what is triggering it so it would just be easier to treat."

I have been doing some research online and think I have found some good things to try first. Hopefully it will be an easy enough thing to figure out. Is it possible for heat to trigger a migraine? Sometimes I think he is really sensitive to heat. He gets really hot with bright red checks when he spends anytime outside on a warm or hot day.

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#23 of 33 Old 08-09-2007, 09:43 AM
 
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I would try acupuncture or acupressure. That can work wonders for migraines.
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#24 of 33 Old 08-09-2007, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would try acupuncture or acupressure. That can work wonders for migraines.
That is a really good idea. I think we have 1 acupuncturist in our town. I will find out.

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#25 of 33 Old 08-09-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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everyones triggers are different so I would definitely keep a journal for awhile.

I've had migraines since childhood but didn't realize what exactly was going on at first. My triggers are oatmeal, grapejuice, and applejuice, all pretty common childhood foods. I also need to sleep in a VERY dark room. That means heavy blackout curtains on the windows. Sleeping in sunlight definitely triggers a killer migraine for me.

I take a very small dose of an old-school antidepressant every day to prevent migraines. That plus avoiding triggers has kept that at a minimum.

If you can't easily figure out the triggers, then I would look into a neurologist who specializes in migraines. Seriously, finding a neurologist who also suffered from migraines and therefore really "got it" was such a blessing. I don't see him anymore, I just have my GP write the scripts for the drugs he started me on.

I had really bad luck with GPs for migraines. One even started me on a calcium channel blocker that was specifically contra-indicated for women my age - it was known to cause heart failure!! Thankfully another doc caught the error about 6 weeks later.

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#26 of 33 Old 08-09-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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I'm a chiropractor and treat lots of kids (including kids with migraines).

You may want to check out www.icpa4kids.com you can find a pediatric chiropractor.

Poor little guy!

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and darling 2 year old guy

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#27 of 33 Old 08-09-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftyqueen View Post
.... Hopefully it will be an easy enough thing to figure out. Is it possible for heat to trigger a migraine? Sometimes I think he is really sensitive to heat. He gets really hot with bright red checks when he spends anytime outside on a warm or hot day.

It has for me. If we're sitting outside I have to eat alot of white(no red) freezies to keep my body temp down. Or I bring ice packs out and put them on the back of my neck. The good news is, by doing this, I have avoided (knock on wood) a heat-induced migraine for a while now.
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#28 of 33 Old 10-17-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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Is he under any stress, mabey just started school?
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#29 of 33 Old 10-18-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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I hope you find his triggers and you've got some good advice and leads here.

I would add that riboflavin has potential in migraines based on studies I've seen. I ran across that in reaching it for my son who takes relatively high doses due to metabolic issues. It's safe...you do want to split the doses up if you decide to try it as they body can only absorb so much at a time.

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#30 of 33 Old 10-18-2007, 10:22 AM
 
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just wanted to add...some things that trigger my bad headaches (which sometimes progress to migraines) are dairy products, eating later than usual-especially lunch, being at my computer and then going home to a 52" television, chinese food (msg i guess?) and sleeping later than my normal wake up time. thinking back on some of the headaches i got when i was younger, i believe that i've always had migraines. i used to have to lay down and fall asleep in the dark for them to finally go away. they've gotten worse as i've gotten older.
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