When I was in my 20s and early 30s I suffered from severe abdominal pain and cramping that would last for hours at a time. During these painful intestinal aches it was all I could do to go about my normal business. Along with the stomach pain I felt washed out, pale, tired and sickly. All I wanted to do during the pain was to seek a dark quiet bedroom and rest in the fetal position. When I sought care for this paroxysmal pain in my 20's I was diagnosed with irritable bowel and put on a prescription drug called Midrin. Needless, to say the Midrin didn't stop the attacks and eventually over time and with a change in work environment (switching from night shift to day shift in nursing) the painful episodes stopped. They returned in my early 30's. After dealing with them for a lengthy period of time I sought out a gastroenterologist. I was scoped and tested and worked up for everything from lactose intolerance to crohn's disease. Eventually the GI specialist gave up and told me they couldn't find anything wrong with me. In my mid to late 30's these abdominal migraines converted into a "typical migraine". For me the typical migraine is unilateral severe head-throbbing pain with sensitivity to light and sound accompanied by eventual vomiting. When I started having 12 day long migraines where I couldn't stand without vomiting, I picked up a book called the "The Migraine Brain" by Carolyn Bernstien in an attempt to better understand my illness. In that book is a chapter entitled "Kinds of Migraines". That was the first time I had ever heard of an abdominal migraine and I immediately had an "ah-ha moment".
Abdominal migraines are often misdiagnosed (as you can see by my experience). Diagnostically, the Abdomial Migraine usually occurs in children and isn't diagnosed until a "typical migraine" appears in their history. The requirements for diagnosis are at least five attacks of abdominal pain lasting 1 to 72 hours unsuccessfully treated. The abdominal pain is midline, around the belly button (that is my technical term) or poorly localized. The pain can be dull with a moderate to severe intensity. The pain is accompanied by things like anorexia (who wants to eat when your belly hurts all the time?), nausea, vomiting, pallor. The pain can't be attributed to any other disorder. The abdominal migraine is a sudden episode of intense, acute periumbilical pain that lasts more than one hour. It has intervening periods of health. The pain interferes with normal activities and is associated with anorexia, nausea, vomiting, headache, photophobia, and pallor. There is no evidence of an inflammatory, anatomic, metabolic, or neoplastic (cancerous) processes that explain the subject's symptoms. The diagnosis is established by history, which includes the above symptoms with wellness between episodes and no alternative causes, and a family history of migraine among relatives.
I am hopeful that using my Migraine Plan will also relieve the pain of those experiencing abdominal migraines.
This blog is dedicated to Lynet and her son. This migrainuer is so hopeful for you both!