My Kid Gets Migraines

My Son driving a Lego car at Legoland

My son has suffered migraines since he was at least two years old. I would regularly get phone calls from daycare to pick him up because he was sick again. We did not know what was happening. We thought that he was getting gastroenteritis, aka “the stomach flu.” Then my sister observed that when we celebrated holidays with extended family or friends – every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, every Easter, every birthday party – he would get sick, that he was over-stimulated and overwhelmed.

He still struggles. He still gets debilitating migraine headaches that land him in bed. Now, though, as a teenager, he can tell us whether his illness is gastroenteritis or migraines. He can tell the difference. He knows what he needs to recuperate from a migraine – usually sleep in a dark air-conditioned room, with a cool damp cloth over his eyes, sometimes ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Migraines are still much of a mystery. We have much to learn.

Migraine Resources


35 responses to “My Kid Gets Migraines”

  1. So far, so good. My son complained that it was boring to lay there with needles in him so long. She suggested he read while he relaxed.

  2. Sounds like you found somebody with credentials! Hope she’s as good in clinic as she is on paper☺

  3. Sheri, I am sorry that you experienced TBI and relentless migraines. It is truly excruciating to see your child in pain on a regular basis.

  4. Hi, Dr. Laura! Just responded to your “anonymous” comment. Taking my son to a second acupuncturist today, Ruth McCarty of Our pediatrician recommended her. She co-founded the Integrative Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) with Pediatric Neurosurgeon William Loudon M.D., PhD. She should be able to bridge the gap between a Western and Eastern understanding of what is going on.

  5. Taking my son to a second acupuncturist today. We’ll see if she can help him.

  6. Migraines are tough and I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy. I’d never had one until my first traumatic brain injury (TBI) and they set on immediately after the accident and have been relentless since 1993.

  7. I don’t know why WP has decided I’m anonymous, but this is Dr. Laura. The REAL Doctor Laura, heh heh.

  8.  Avatar

    I have cured many people of migraines. I practice a very different kind of acupuncture than TCM. Ours is almost entirely devoted to removing blockages in the meridians and major energy centers in our bodies. People with migraines often have trouble with anger, either expressed or repressed. They often seem like a string that is pulled too taut. Not always, though. There are other kinds of migraines that seem to be a type of seizure, and usually occurs in sensitive, retiring people who prefer to read a book than ride a bike. So that’s a bit about migraines.

  9. Jaaa that stuff has to be used sparingly. Hope everyone involved helps and that he then proceeds to outgrow the repulsive brain weasels.

  10. I’ll have to ask his pediatric neurologist for a script for the nasal spray next week if it is approved for pediatric use. The drug does work quickly.

  11. Thank you. His psychiatrist refuses to prescribe sumatriptan, so next week we are revisiting his old pediatric neurologist who used to prescribe sumatriptan to relief. He takes amitriptyline for prophylaxis.

    Migraines are strongly genetic in our family. My son has an adult female cousin with identical symptoms. My son’s triggers are social stimulation, over-exertion, dehydration, dust and other environmental allergens, and stress.

    Last month we lost a family member, one of my brother-in-laws, to lung cancer. Two other brother-in-laws have had cancer. Death and fear of cancer taking more lives stresses us all out. We are a small, intense, sensitive family. My son and my husband tend to feel their emotional pain physically. I’m more emotive.

  12. My son’s psychiatrist refused to prescribe sumatriptan, which does work wonders quickly. He treats my son’s migraines prophylactically with amitriptyline (Elavil). Next week we are going back to my son’s former neurologist. She will prescribe sumatriptan. Unfortunately, the drug cannot be used on a regular basis without causing rebound headaches (the same is true of other pain meds). Tomorrow I’m taking my son to an acupuncturist. Perhaps she will help, as well. Mostly, I’m hoping that he outgrows them, for many boys do as they become men.

  13. I’ll have to buy some and see if he’ll drink it. I used to actually dig up fresh ginger from the backyard, but our dogs seem to prefer it over my son. Our dogs seem to eat the ginger when they have upset stomachs.

  14. Sumatriptan is the generic for Imitrex. The absolutely best is Imitrex or Sumatriptan nasal application. My insurance won’t cover that so I take the pills. Nasal spray works real fast.

  15. I really feel his pain. I had cluster headaches and migraines as a teenager, which left me completely debilitated, and I actually lost a year. My trigger was an abusive home life. I’m not sure about the medications you mentioned, but Imigran nasal spray contains sumatriptan. It is supplied by GlaxoSmithKline UK, and is used for both cluster headaches and migraines. I have since grown out of the migraines but the cluster headaches still come and go.

    I hope he finds something that works for him soon. And for you, too. It’s horrendous to see your child suffer and not be able to ease their pain.

  16. I hope so too. Cheese and chocolate are my kryptonite from aura stage onwards and I shift to more fluids (usually water) and salty food. I think one also gets better at seeing them earlier – the medication that works for me ahead of the main attack is imigran, (not immigrants you idiot autocorrect) which does something or other to the veins and arteries of the head. I think I have that right, let me go and grab the American name (although you probably know all of this already).


  17. Yes, I have done the same with peppermint oil. The homeopathic medicine sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. But the tea is great. One time it cured the headache and it does wonders on the nausea. Not just any ginger tea. Have tried many. Prince of Peace honey ginger crystals is the one to buy. Available on Amazon. Husband likes it, too and he is a fuss pot. Good luck!!

  18. Many boys grow out of them. It is believed to be due to hormonal changes. Our female family members with migraines continue getting them as adults. The men seem to outgrow them. Be glad that you’re male.

  19. He tried applying peppermint oil himself, used too far much, and it got in his eyes, so he won’t touch it now. His psychiatrist refuses to prescribe Imitrex, but we are seeing a pediatric neurologist he used to see, and she used to prescribe Imitrex. He does take Elavil, as it is the only medication FDA approved for pediatric prophylaxis. It has reduced the frequency and severity of his migraines, but he still gets them. He often just wants to sleep it off. I will check out the homeopathic medicine. Haven’t had luck getting him to drink teas, though I could try again.

  20. Social stimulation is his biggest trigger, as is dust and over-exertion and dehydration. Not everyone is triggered by foods.

  21. Mark, I am glad to see that you have managed to live a full life with Aspergers, migraines, asthma & allergies. Sounds like you and my son have a lot in common.

  22. I’m hoping that like my husband, he will for the most part outgrow them. One of his female cousins still contends with them.

  23. Unfortunately, social stimulation is a big trigger for him, as is dust (we live in a dry, dusty climate), dehydration and over-exertion. He tends to hyper-focus and overdo it.

  24. Thank you. We are doing our best to help him. There is a very strong genetic history of migraines in our family. He has an adult cousin who grew up with, and still has, almost exact symptoms.

  25. I used to get migraines bad when I was younger, to the point that I would be bedridden for about a week or more. I am not sure what changed but eventually I grew out of them. It was one of those mysterious things that to this day I still cannot really explain.

  26. Hope we get new research, insight, and meds into this. Too many people with migraines and little solutions.

  27. I get 2-3 a week. Aleve and Methocarbamol, a muscle relaxant, sometimes works if caught early enough. Otherwise Imitrex but you can only take that 2x a week. Do they not prescribe these meds for children? Cruel and unusual punishment and not good for one to tough it out. Peppermint oil on spots of pain or ice also helps and a homeopathic medicine called Migraine Blocker and Prince of Peace ginger tea. The traditional meds were prescribed by my neurologist. The other stuff I found. Ibuprofen and aceteminophen do nothing! He shouldn’t have to suffer. Mine come on with overstimulation and/or anxiety.

  28. Luckily, I do not get migraines. but my lady friend does. She has done a lot of research, into what stimulates them. Diet seems to help her, when staying away from certain foods. Similarly bright light has an effect. So darkened glasses, for when outside.

    To myself, it seems that migraines are a symptom of aggravated nerves. I am not qualified to diagnose. However it might be that certain herbs would at least alleviate these headaches? For those pills might be effective short term? They also have an accumulated effect on other parts of the body. Cheers Jamie.

  29. Mark kent Avatar
    Mark kent ________________________________ > Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:02:40 +0000 > To: >

  30. Poor kid… Migraines are so very foul. I get them far less as an adult than I did as a youngster.

  31. I have a nephew who exhibited the same symptoms–from a very early age always getting sick with a migraine at family events. When they saw the pattern they attributed the headaches to consumption of chocolate. Once he stayed away from that the migraines pretty well stopped.

  32. I used to get migraines when I was a kid too. Started at an early age. My mother at one time thought about taking me to see if I had a tumor. As I got older, I found out my migraines were a combination of allergies and stress. I had been sexually abused starting at a very early age, so I had a lot of stress which lead to ulcers and migraines by the time I was a teen. Now I very rarely get them. I know what I need to stay away from food wise and I have learnt how to relax. I hope your son learns things to help him too.

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