Do kids get migraines? eMedicineHealth Link about Migraines.

Although migraine headaches have long been considered a benign (relatively harmless) condition, their symptoms may wreak havoc on a person’s quality of life and ability to take part in normal life activities. Migraine pain is so intense that someone with a migraine often cannot think or function well during or immediately following episodes.

Studies suggest that migraine headaches occur in 5%-10% of school-aged children in the United States.

The most important thing to know about a migraine is that there is always something that triggers the event. Sometimes, there can also be more than one trigger. The most common triggers include: alcohol,  chocolate, cheese,  nuts, shellfish, Chinese food (commonly containing MSG –monosodiumglutamate), sugar, artificial sweeteners, or caffeine.

Be aware that many Chinese restaurants will claim that their food has “NO MSG ADDED”. While it may be true, it does not mean that the food does not contain MSG. Monosodium glutamate is a simple salt formed when the glutamic acid (an amino acid that is a component of all protein) undergoes a chemical reaction with sodium. Slow cooking with salt can generate MSG right in the food. Therefore, be aware of all slow cooked foods; stews, pot roast, and the many combinations available at the typical Chinese restaurant. Part of the reason the food is so tasty is the MSG content. It is also prudent to stop using the crock-pot at home.

Migraines most likely have several trigger factors. Although many migraine disorders do not develop until middle age, early recognition of migraine risk factors may help a child adopt a healthy lifestyle consisting of organic food, clean water, healthy exercise, plenty of sunlight, and avoidance of all processed carbohydrates – including soda pops and flavored bottled drinks.

Yes, that’s all fine and good, but what can I DO about migraines? How do I prevent them and treat them when they occur?

Prevention first. The link I provided at the beginning of this page is an excellent resource. The most effective way to handle migraines is prevention. The best way to prevent them is to avoid the substances that trigger them. It takes effort to learn find your specific triggers. Begin a diary of foods consumed. When a migraine strikes, look back 24 to 36 hours to determine what foods may be implicated. Also, note what kinds of scents and aromas have become especially irritating during the migraine episode.  Record them.

Identify any foods in the past 24 to 36 hours that were not on the menu during the previous week. Those items deserve your attention. If any items are commercially packaged, don’t assume that different brands are the same. For example, macaroni and cheese may be very different from one manufacturer to another.

Treatment. While the first thought may be to use a pain-relieving drug, it may not be the best approach.

  • Water is important, plenty of it. Chances are that the trigger is in the body and can be diluted and flushed out.
  • Rest and quiet is important.
  • Deep breathing exercises and meditation.
    • Parents can soothe their suffering child by lightly tracing over their faces  – as if they are painting the face with a very fine artist’s brush.
    • Soothing words and soft singing can aid in bringing about the necessary calm and sleep. The time to train a child to breathe deeply is when they are not having the migraine.
    • Teach them to breathe in, deeply, for a count of 5 to 7, hold the breath for one count, and then slowly exhale for another count of 5 to 7.
    • Once learned, a parent can guide the child into deep breathing and relaxation.
  • People having an attack often want to sleep. It’s wise to let them sleep as long as needed.

None of this is highly technical. However, all of it requires effort – and time. I can personally attest that this works. I suffered regular, recurring migraine for decades until I discovered my trigger in a bowl of Chinese noodles.

Read about MigreLief Capsules for adults here.