Headaches From Hell
Anyone who has ever had a migraine will say they do not just happen in the
head. The headache is usually the worst and most painful part of a migraine,
but there’s more. Most migraineurs (people who suffer from migraines) will
talk about photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), phonosensitivity (sensitivity
to sound), scent sensitivity, gastric pain, cramping, and vomiting.
Sometimes the abdominal symptoms show up without the other typical
migraine symptoms. When they do, a patient is said to be experiencing an
abdominal migraine. An abdominal migraine is pain, usually varying from
mild to medium, in the abdomen. The pain is either along the midline or
unspecified and is frequently accompanied by abdominal tenderness, cramp-
like spasms, bloating, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Since abdomen pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions other
causes need to be ruled out before a diagnosis can be made. In a classic
abdominal migraine, no gastric cause for the pain can be identified.
Migraineurs need to let their doctors know about their migraines when they
experience unspecified abdominal pain so that the doctor knows abdominal
migraine may be a possibility.
Abdominal migraines are most common in children. Children who
experience abdominal migraines frequently grow up to be migraineurs. While
abdominal migraine is not unheard of in adults, it is rare. Like most other
types of migraine, it is also more common in females than in males.
While the exact cause of abdominal migraines is unknown, it is highly likely
to be related to serotonin deficiency. Serotonin deficiency has been linked in
several studies to migraines, and 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in
the gastric system. Serotonin deficiency causes cascading waves of nerve
reaction in the brain when triggering a migraine and a similar process may be
in effect in the abdomen.