You may have heard of, or experienced, migraine headaches—recurrent attacks of pulsating pain that often occur on one side of the head. Abdominal migraine, though, is less common and poorly understood. Most often diagnosed in children, this condition, characterized by stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting, can lead to absences from school, emotional distress, and a disruption in normal activities.
The cause of abdominal migraine remains a mystery, as does the condition’s relationship to migraine headaches, though children with abdominal migraine often have a family or personal history of migraine headaches, find relief with migraine medications, and share similar triggers and symptoms. Evidence also suggests that as children with abdominal migraine age, their abdominal migraines evolve into classic migraine headaches.