- Migraine occurring with an aura
- Migraine occurring without an aura
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- Genetics and environmental triggers
- Changes in a nerve that serves as a major pain pathway
- Imbalance in brain chemicals, like serotonin
- Physical exertion or too little physical activity
- Too much sleep or too little sleep
- Missing a meal
- Motion sickness from traveling
- Overuse of pain medicines
- Being overweight
- Certain foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, dairy, processed meats, or fried foods
- Certain environmental triggers such as flashing lights, odors, loud noises, or weather changes
- Gender: more common in male children than female but more common in females after puberty
- Age: average age a child may get a migraine headache is 7 years old (boys) and 10 years old for (girls)
- Family history of migraines
- Infantile colic
- A change in mood
- A change in behavior
- A change in the level of activity
- Food craving or decreased appetite
- Nausea, diarrhea
- Sensitivity to light
- Flashing lights, spots, or zig zag lines
- Temporary partial loss of vision
- Speech difficulties
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Numbness or tingling in the face and hands
The Migraine Headache
A headache (usually on one side but may involve both sides) that often feels:
- Moderate or severe in intensity
- Throbbing or pulsating
- More severe with movement
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light or sound
A Post-Headache Period
- Trouble concentrating
- Sore muscles
- Mood changes
- Prevent headaches
- Reduce headache severity and frequency
- Restore your child’s ability to function
- Improve your child’s quality of life
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Other Treatment During the Migraine
- Apply cold compresses to painful areas of your child’s head.
- Have your child lie in a dark, quiet room.
- Try applying constant gentle pressure to your child’s temples.
- Try to help your child fall asleep.
- Have you or your child keep a diary. It will help identify what triggers migraines and what helps relieve them.
- Maintain regular sleep patterns, even during the weekend or on vacation.
- Learn stress management and relaxations techniques.
- Do not skip meals.
- Exercise regularly.
Foods are not proven to trigger migraine, but consider keeping track of what your child eats. Foods suspected by some to trigger migraine include:
- Nuts and peanut butter
- Beans—lima, navy, pinto, and others
- Aged or cured meats
- Aged cheese
- Processed or canned meat
- Caffeine—intake or withdrawal
- Canned soup
- Buttermilk or sour cream
- Meat tenderizer
- Brewer's yeast
- Red plums
- Snow peas
- Soy sauce
- Anything with MSG (monosodium glutamate), tyramine, or nitrates
American Headache Society http://www.americanheadachesociety.org
The National Migraine Association http://www.migraines.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Headache in children. National Headache Foundation website. Available at: http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache%5FTopic%5FSheets/Headache%5Fin%5FChildren. Accessed August 18, 2014.
Migraine in children and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 18, 2013. Accessed August 18, 2014.
Migraines. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/migraines.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed August 18, 2014.
8/27/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Robberstad L, Dyb G, Hagen K, Stovner LJ, Holmen TL, Zwart JA. An unfavorable lifestyle and recurrent headaches among adolescents: The HUNT Study. Neurology. 2010;75(8):712-717.
10/25/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Bruijn J, Locher H, Passchier J, Dijkstra N, Arts WF. Psychopathology in children and adolescents with migraine in clinical studies: a systematic review. Pediatrics. 2010;126(2):323-332.
1/2/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Powers SW, Kashikar-Zuck SM, et al. Cognitive behavioral therapy plus amitriptyline for chronic migraine in children and adolescents: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2013 Dec 25;310(24):2622-30.
1/2/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Huquet A, McGrath PJ, et al. Efficacy of psychological treatment for headaches: an overview of systematic reviews and analysis of potential modifiers of treatment efficacy. Clin J Pain. 2013. Jul 2.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -