Living with Abdominal Migraines….

If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember the roller coaster journey we had with Miss Frugal a year or two ago.  She started to suffer with very short dizzy spells and the occasional headache and sickness.  We were referred to a specialist who ruled out just about everything it could possibly be and ultimately, we were told that it could be a slow growing tumour.  We had the scariest few months ever while we waited to find out with MRI scans, ECG’s, blood tests and poor Miss Frugal being prodded and poked with more visits to a hospital than a child should have to go through.

In the end, we were referred to a different specialist who gave us the good news that it wasn’t a tumour!  She was actually suffering from increasingly bad abdominal migraines and the dizzy spells and sickness were actually related to something called a pre-migraine aura. At the time, it was the aura that was showing itself more than the actual abdominal migraines which had made it harder to diagnose and they had been focusing more on the dizzy spells as they were the problem that seemed to be happening more and more often.

At the time, we were so relieved that it wasn’t a tumour that we didn’t really consider how the abdominal migraines would affect her as she got older.  Since the diagnosis, the dizzy spells have all but stopped which is great but the tummy pains have increased.  We give her paracetamol when she’s in pain (as advised by the Doctor) and we’ve found that warmth on her tummy seems to give her comfort so we either give her a hot water bottle or run her a warm bath.  I’ve lost count of the times she’s had baths at ridiculous times of the night because she’s been feeling poorly.

She usually has at least one attack a week and when she does, she does wants to have a bath and then put her pyjamas on and do nothing until it goes away which is usually not much more than an hour or so thank goodness.  Another thing we’ve noticed is that she often gets full quicker than you’d expect so she can’t finish her meals – I’d say this happens around three times a week and the Doctor told us that he’s seen it lots of times before with children suffering from abdominal migraines so not to worry too much .  I’m used to it now and to be fair, she more than makes up for it on other nights.  We have a stack of smaller meals made up of leftovers in the freezer so if she gets hungry later, we can easily make her a quick meal that’s not too heavy.

She does get annoyed with it and doesn’t understand why none of her friends suffer like she does.  She asked me the other day if she would always have these tummy aches and I had to tell her that it was a possibility.  The Doctor told us that they would probably get even more frequent as she hits puberty but that they are quite rare in adults so would probably stop (or at least be greatly reduced) by the time she hits adulthood.  The down side to that is that there’s a high chance that she will suffer from migraine headaches as she gets older.

We’re trying to figure out if there’s a trigger but there’s nothing obvious at the minute and we know that when she’s a bit older she can be prescribed some stronger medication if necessary but for now we’re just managing the pains with paracetamol, warm baths and lots of hugs!

Our week in pictures (and a few words) - week 4....
Cool Kid's bedrooms....


  1. Lou75 says

    I used to suffer from abdominal migraines when I was at primary school, then they went onto migraines when I hit puberty and I've had them regularly ever since. I have just gone gluten free at the age of 37 after an allergy test telling me I am gluten intolerant. That was three weeks ago and already I'm feeling so much better!! Maybe a route worth exploring for your daughter x

  2. says

    Bless her, sounds horrible. Fingers crossed you can find the trigger for her to make them less frequent. It's always so horrible seeing your child in discomfort.

  3. theinvisiblewife says

    That must be so tough, poor thing. I had never heard of abdominal migraines before but they do sound unpleasant. At least you can deal with it more effectively now that you know what it is.

  4. says

    When I was a child (40 years ago) I had what my dad (aGP) has later diagnosed as stomach migraines. They were agonizing, I remember, but I had grown out of them by about 14. I don't have migraines now, although I do have mild IBS. So your daughter may escape associated problems in later life, as I have done.

  5. says

    Awww poor little sweetheart. Hope they ease off soon.

    Bunny gets tummy pains all the time, we have been going back and forth to docs with no answers.


  6. Helen says

    Sending lots of soothing and warm vibes for her to get better – I've just posted on Facebook but came over here to post too, I've not paid much attention to food intake with my lad but having read above about it I now realise that Daniel is exactly the same with food, yes I know – Doh moment there! As well as stress [how stressed can a happy 10 year old be??] Chocolate can play a big factor as can playing on the consoles, we now limit choc to practically nothing [the odd bit once in a blue moon] and console playing is limited too, stress we deal with as it happens – its normally something very small [to us anyway] but something big to him, so lots of chatting to ease the worrying helps. Getting him in a bath is another thing altogether lol. His school are fantastic, they administer Paracetamol Suspension and then let him sit quietly for a while – he normally returns to class and is finem, thankfully. I sincerely hope that your little lady doesn't suffer more as she grows up :]

    • says

      Thanks Helen, we've done the same with chocolate and we've also now cut our processed meat which is helping massively – the pain has reduced by quite a bit since we did this just after writing this post. I never thought about the school giving the medicine – I didn't think that they would tbh so I never asked. She normally just sits quiet and the teacher understands and doesn't push her.

  7. beebeesvintagedress says

    Poor darling, I suffered with the same thing around primary school age. I still get pains at 22 but i've recently cut cereal and that must have been my trigger as its rare now. Perhaps its that or perhaps I've grown out of it.
    Your doing the right thing with a bath, hot water bottle and hugs! x

    • says

      Thanks very much – we've actually tried cutting out processed meat and the pains have reduced lots – if that's it, then it's great progress but a shame it's such a big dietary change for her as she now doesn't understand why she can't eat food that her friends can. I keep telling her it's a better alternative to the pains she was having though!!

  8. supo1 says

    I use a tens machine for back pain which spreads the pain out and so lessens it….the one which I have (lloyds pharmacy's own make) has a heat setting whereby the pads heat up the area around which they are applied. Heat can be used without the electrical impulse and so this type may be of use to Miss F xxx

  9. Carolin says

    Oh bless her. I knew something wasn't right with her when I saw your Instagram photo last night. I hope the pain goes away quickly. It must horrible to see her in agony and so hard for her to understand why it's happening to her, but none of her friends x

  10. heather says

    I suffered from this as a child and after 15 years of adult ill health was diagnosed with coeliac disease.

  11. says

    Poor little thing, that sounds absolutely awful! I've never heard of them before and I suffer from migraines myself! Typical that girls would suffer from them more than boys like with so many things. I really hope they don't get worse as she gets older, she's suffered with them far too much already x

  12. crystaljigsaw says

    Poor sweetheart. It's so hard watching our children when they're poorly. I really feel for you.

    CJ x