Migraines??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-11-2004, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 7 yo dd was diagnosed with migraines about a year ago, but her dr said the only thing I could do was give her ibuprofen and let her sleep it off because she is too young for anything else.

She had another bad one yesterday and seems to get them a few times a month. We haven't found rhyme or reason to them.

Anyone have any experience with a young child having migraines??

Would a chiropractor help??

Chris Mama of J, A, C and M
Surromama of four
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#2 of 14 Old 03-11-2004, 04:26 PM
 
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I had migraines as a child, and I remember quite clearly how awful they were. They finally began to taper off in college and I never really get them anymore. They were classic migraines - nausea, sensitivity to light and odors.

My mother never took me to a doctor to check it out - I wonder if anything could have been done back then, anyway. So I suffered pretty badly with them for a long time. usually I'd take Tylenol but it never helped.

One thing I learned as I got older was that I could feel one coming - what they call an "aura" - and if I was able to get into a dark room and lie down for a bit, I could sometimes head it off before it got bad.

Is your daughter under any kind of stress? Mine often came on "special occasions" like graduation ceremonies, holidays, my brother's bar mitzvah...
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#3 of 14 Old 03-11-2004, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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she seems to get them a couple times a month. Her eyes are fine, as thats what I first thought and there seems to be no rhyme or reason.
Shes an extremely happy child.
She gets that aura, I think. Right before one, she'll say, Mommy, I think I'm getting one of my bad headaches. I make her lay down and have some cold water then she lies down.

I think I'm going to call a chiropractor to see what they say

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#4 of 14 Old 03-11-2004, 06:53 PM
 
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My first remembered migraine came at four. My mother thinks I've always had them, even in infancy. When I told my acupuncturist about the early onset, she mentioned something about hormone levels, etc, in essence telling me that a 4 year old could certainly have a hormonal migraine. Acupuncture was tremendously helpful, and not painful, so it may be something to look into. You might also want to read Karen DeFelice's book about enzymes (not the autism one, the other). There have always been many triggers for me, but the lighting in public buildings combined with the chemicals in carpeting, etc. are really a horrible combination for me. Years in public school really took their toll.

Fiorecet is used safely in children if you find that OTC meds aren't helping. I don't get an aura, but at the onset of a migraine, I drink as much water as I can stand, raise my blood sugar if I need to, and I make sure that my hands and feet are warm (this really helps).

Good Luck to your little sweetie. I hope she finds relief.
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#5 of 14 Old 03-12-2004, 02:37 AM
 
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my sinuses.. I have lots of sinus problems, and even if I don't think my sinuses feel bad they can be.. Taking a tylenol sinus will usually help it if i catch if early enough.. Chiropractic has helped some, and not having a period in over a year has helped some.. I realized last year that i have always had migraines.. How did i figuire that out.. I was out with my friend, and my head hurt, so i said I have a head hurt.. She asked if i had a headache.. I said no i don't have a migraine.. She said no, a head ache.. I said i don't know.. Maybe.. it was my 1st "headache".. I didn't know what it was.. The only headaches i've ever had are migraines..

I always feel nauseaus before mine breaks so I eat just incase it's low blood sugar.. It isn't usually but you never know.. Also caffiene can help alleviate migraines, so perhaps let your dd have a cup of iced coffee, or a coke.. It does help.. That's why Excedrin helps migraines.. It's tylenol , asprin (which she is too young for) and caffiene.. It's worth a try..

Chiropractic care helped some, but wasn't really helpful for me.. If you can't seem to pinpoint a cause it may be sinuses as well for your dd.. Not all my migraines are caused by issues with my sinuses, but if i am having sinus issues, i will have a migraine..

Just my experience..

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#6 of 14 Old 03-12-2004, 04:57 PM
 
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I've always had headaches too, but my migranes started around 14.

I would definitely call a chiropractor, but see if you can get a recommendation as some are better than others and not all work on children.

I also think accupuncture can help. Traditional Chinese medicine also could be helpful because of their herbal remedies (since I believe that my migranes are hormonally influenced).

headaches are just a symptom that something else is going on.
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#7 of 14 Old 03-14-2004, 02:57 PM
 
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Have you looked into dietary causes? I went on an elimination diet and found several foods that are triggers for me...plums, chocolet, things along those lines. Most Dr's havent heard about this treatment for migrains, but if search around you can probably find it. My Dr was associated with Mayo in Rochester MN, so maybe start with their website. If she continues to have these when she gets older (puberty) make sure to track her cycles...mine are linked to those too.

Oh, I was also told that getting more or less sleep than you need can be a big trigger, as well a many scents. Hope everything works out well for you both. Migrains suck.
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#8 of 14 Old 03-15-2004, 06:34 PM
 
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Plums, chocolate, cured meats (salami, pepperoni, etc.), peanuts, moldy cheeses like blue cheese. Red wine. I'm sure there are more.

Dh gets migraines throughout the month. (He also doesn't take good care of himself or avoid any food triggers.) Dd, 9 y.o. has what is probably a migraine every few months. Her head hurts, she feels nauseous, and invariably ends up sleeping it off. She wakes up feeling great.

There were incidents when she was little where I thought she had "stomach flu" when she'd thrown up. Then she'd fall asleep, wake up a few hours later and be fine. That was as early as age 3 or 4. Those were probably migraine.

If dd catches it soon enough and tells me, I give her one ibuprophen and half a cola or a small "mocha"- coffee with chocolate syrup. She loves those mochas!

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#9 of 14 Old 03-15-2004, 09:12 PM
 
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Migraine triggers are extremely variable among individuals. People's tips and the National Headache Foundation give you some ideas of things to consider, but the most important information will come from DD. Ask her to describe how she feels during the aura and make notes on that and anything unusual she did/ate/was exposed to in the previous 24 hours or so. Eventually you may see a pattern.

Don't have her lie down or drink cold water unless those are things that she finds helpful. For me, lying down or being exposed to anything really cold will make it worse! It is important to be hydrated, but a hot drink might be more appealing.

One type of migraine (tension headache) is related to muscular tension in the head and neck. Try feeling DD's neck and shoulders when she's getting a headache; do they feel knotted? She may not be aware of the tension (I wasn't!) but can learn to recognize and alleviate it. Applying heat may help. Chiropractic helps by aligning the bones and muscles to help prevent tension from developing.

The single most effective migraine treatment I've found is this: At the very first sign of aura, take ibuprofen with a HOT caffeinated beverage such as coffee or strong tea. Stretch neck and shoulder muscles gently every few minutes, while remaining upright and doing some pleasant, quiet activity that does not involve a lighted screen. Get away from any noise, odor, or lighting condition that feels uncomfortable.

I also find it useful, if I don't feel nauseated, to eat an extra meal. Somehow it feels like the food soaks up some of the headache. I've never discovered any food that triggers migraine for me, but I often have very strong very specific cravings for some particular combination of food. The common denominator seems to be starch+citric acid. A big pile of spaghetti w/tomato sauce really does the trick for me! Your mileage may vary.

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#10 of 14 Old 03-15-2004, 09:42 PM
 
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Heads up on the caffine issue; I know it helps some people, but for me its also a trigger! So it goes either way.
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#11 of 14 Old 03-16-2004, 12:53 PM
 
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I would definitely try a chiropractor - some things to look for (1) regularly works on young children, (2) preferably uses Kinesiology on a regular basis (this can be helpful in determining food allergies that might be triggers) and (3) is knowledgeable about herbal/vitamin/natural remedies.

Our chiropractor was able, through the use of kinesiology, to help us pinpoint foods ds was sensitive too (and caused behavioral issues).

Looking into a good acupuncturist would also be worth a try - eastern medicine is amazing!

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#12 of 14 Old 03-20-2004, 10:45 PM
 
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I suffered incredibly with migranes.

I was given lots of medications and was even in test groups for one of them. I found most of them caused other problems for me. Ibuprofen made my kidneys hurt.

I got rid of them as an adult almost entirely by changing my diet, using herbs (meadowsweet, valerian and feverfew), and yoga.

Osteopathy might be a possible thing to help. My DO is of this school of thought in osteopathy: http://www.sctf.com/ and they have a practitioner location page there somewhere.
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#13 of 14 Old 03-21-2004, 12:23 PM
 
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My Dh has 2 migraine food triggers: peanut butter and yogurt. He won't get a migraine each time he eats these foods, but each time he has gotten a migraine, he figures out he has eaten them within 8 or so hours. Since these are two common "kid foods" you may want to see...But yes, there are tons of potential food triggers.
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#14 of 14 Old 03-21-2004, 12:51 PM
 
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I just wanted to add to the food triggers--with my father it isn't a matter of just eating chocolate--he has to eat a certain amount over a certain period of time.
One brownie won't set it off, but a brownie one day, chocolate chip cookies the next, and a few M&Ms the next will set it off.
A reaction like that makes it really hard to pinpoint the cause. Somehow I don't think many of us are going to encourage that kind of diet for our kids :LOL

Obviously this won't work for your dc, but in my family we've found that 2 cups of HOT tea, 2 sudafed, and 2 anacin (asprin with caffiene) can make things survivable.
I have never taken migraine medication--mostly because although I am incapcitated by them, I've rarely had them in dangerous situations (driving is the worst, imo) and I can usually stumble around the house with my eyes squinted shut and reminding everyone to whisper.

When I was a kid, I would go in my room and cover the windows with blankets (shades let in too many cracks of light), put a towel under my door (cracks of light are baaaaad), and just lay there.
Now doesn't that sound like fun? :
But it worked. We never found what triggers mine, although not drinking enough water definitely contributes.
Actually, now that I know more about 'nutrition' I wonder if it is the water, since when I was in college I found that drinking lots of gatorade really helped a lot once I did get a migraine.

Have any of you read Robert McCammon's
Usher's Passing ? It is a horror book, but not gory, and describes so perfectly what life is like when you have a migraine.
The heightened light and sound sensitivity, nausea, etc.

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