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Migraines and kids

My 8 yr old has always gotten bad headaches. I took him to the doc who said he just needed to drink more water/stay hydrated. Well his headaches haven't gotten better, they are worse. When he gets a bad one he has to lay down and sleep it off.

Is there anything a doctor can do for migraines? should I take him back? Or is this something he just needs to live with?

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Asked by Tesserae at 3:09 PM on Sep. 8, 2012 in Kids' Health

Level 17 (4,001 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • I was a teen before I was diagnosed, so I don't know that it would apply the same way to an 8 yr old. But I was given a medication that I was supposed to take as soon as I felt the beginnings of the headache. And I was also told to avoid caffeine and anything with nitrates - so foods like pepperoni, salami, hot dogs. Basically, a lot of favorite kid foods. So maybe look into some dietary changes (depending on how you already eat, of course!). But if you're not happy with the result from that doctor, I'd get a second opinion.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 3:11 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • Does he have the typical migraine symptoms? I didn't think migraines came on that young. Mine started at 15, as did both of my daughters. Have you had his eyes checked? Did the Dr.'s do blood work, cat scans, etc? I think he needs a complete work up by the Dr. before it's assumed to be a migraine.

    Answer by m-avi at 3:11 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • My youngest was diagnosed with migraines at 5.5 or 6, he's nearly 8 now. He sees a neurologist for epilepsy when I mentioned the headaches - you can see them on his face almost before he tells you about them.

    Mostly he gets ibuprofen and a nap when they happen. Luckily, it's not often enough to warrant other types of medications, but as we wean him from his epilepsy meds, we'll see if they get better or worse.

    With his older brother we suspected migraines, but they got better when he got glasses and went of zyrtec (both happened around the same time.) DD only gets headaches when her eyesight prescription changes or when sick.

    I would take him to the doctor and see if he needs glasses or if there is something else to be done, especially if he is well hydrated and they have gotten worse. And insist on a referral if you feel you aren't getting any answers.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 3:17 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • Tere are meds for migraines I was having them by the age of 9.
    A nuerologist is your best bet.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:18 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • Try food journaling - every little thing. Some people get food-triggered migraines. For my cousin, it was chocolate and processed meats (lunch meat, ring bologna/sausage, things with nitrates basically if I remember right). If she ate any of that, she'd get such a bad migraine she'd vomit and it would take 2 days to sleep it off.

    Answer by idareyou at 3:18 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • He has glasses and regular eye doc visits. I will definitely try the food awareness and also get a second opinion. Thanks all.

    Comment by Tesserae (original poster) at 3:35 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • I would take him to a neurologist and also keep a food journal. Some things will trigger them that you wouldn't expect. Good luck!!

    Answer by RelaxedMom2-3 at 3:38 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • My 15 y.o. son started having them as a 12 y.o. We did find some triggers ...dehydration .exhaustion ,some foods but she also said because of a pattern she thought it was hormonal.The next year he hit puberty hard ,we chose to go with prescription strength Advil.

    The school was very co-operative.At first sign he would go to the nurse eat a snack ,drink some water ,take his meds and sleep about an hour.He would still have a dull headache but could return to classes.He had quite a few for about 18 months but as puberty is slowing down so are the headaches dramatically.Our doc did do some blood work.

    Start keeping a diary of what he was doing ,ate ,drank and how much sleep he got beforehand when he gets a headache.It will help you figure out what is going on. Good luck....poor kid.


    Answer by drfink at 3:50 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • thank you so much. it is sad to see him in so much pain. we lay him in a dark room with a cool cloth and let him sleep. they normally come on in the afternoon and he just sleeps straight through till the next day.

    Comment by Tesserae (original poster) at 3:53 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

  • Start out by journaling what happens right before a migraine comes on. What foods, smells, noises trigger them. Keeping him hydrated does help prevent migraines. If they are so bad that he is vomiting or nauseaus then he needs to go to the ER.

    Make an appointment with neurologist. They will do an MRI to rule out anything that shouldn't be in his head (as a neurologist explained to me, migraines do NOT show up on an MRI. The MRI is to rule out reasons for migraines).

    I know a child at was 4 years old that was getting migraines and he ended up having brain cancer. (THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOUR SON DOES) Kids who have mirgraines tend to have a reason. IF not, there are treatments available.

    I know my triggers and my son knows his so we know what to avoid. My major trigger is artifical sweenters. I get instant migraines from them. So no diet anything, no sugarless gum.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:19 PM on Sep. 8, 2012

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