"My Stomach Hurts": Common Causes and Cures for Tummy Trouble

Abdominal Migraines

What it feels like: The pain, generally around the belly button, can be very intense and last for more than an hour, or even several days. A child may also vomit frequently, lose her appetite, and feel nauseous and headachy. Some kids go weeks or months between episodes. Thirteen-year-old Hayden White began having abdominal migraines when he was in the third grade. "The first time, he lost 10 pounds and needed an IV to replace fluids," says his mom, Jill, of Reno, Nevada.

What's going on: Few people have ever heard of abdominal migraines, but they seem to be caused by the same neuro-vascular triggers that cause migraine headaches. Many children who get them have a family history of migraines and end up developing the headaches later in life.

What to do: See your doctor. Kids who get abdominal migraines can sometimes feel them coming on, and may be able to take medication to prevent attacks. Make sure your child gets enough sleep and eats regular meals and snacks, which can also help.

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