Stomachaches and Migraines

I have always had severe nausea and vomiting with higher level migraines.  The pain becomes too much and my body just heaves in pain.  This weekend was no exception.  But lately I’ve had severe nausea with even my lighter daily migraines.  I knew it wasn’t a virus and I knew it was related to my migraines, but why?  I read a lot about my disease and since I started blogging have really taken better inventory on how I feel, when, why, and how I can treat it.  It has empowered me but also not gotten me much better. 

At my last neurologist appointment, we discussed my increased stomach pains during lower head pain migraines.  The results are that I’m having abdominal migraines.  I had guessed that this was what was happening to me but have only read about abdominal migraines in children.  I suggest that if you have a child with stomach issues to look more into abdominal migraines.  I have had migraines since I was a child but never really thought I had abdominal migraines.  So why now?

The conclusion my nurse and I came up with was Botox.  While my Botox is hit or miss and different each time, I have been getting it the most consistently over the last year.  While it is “freezing” my head, it is pushing my pain deeper.  It’s hard to explain to a non-sufferer.  While the exterior of my face and head have been treated, the inflammation triggers more deeply in my head and seems to radiate from the center of my head out.  It’s a burning poker pain being jabbed from the center to the exterior versus the outside in. 

How is this related to my abdominal migraines?  The conclusion we made was that the Botox is working but isn’t a cure, as we know.  So while it is working to help the “headache” it isn’t addressing the disease as a whole and leaving my stomach the opportunity to punish me more.  My head pain is so consistent and consuming that maybe I’ve always had abdominal migraines and never gave it much credit because my head was all I cared about.  Or maybe numbing some of the head pain made my disease morph into something else.  Let me preface this to say that my Botox is NOT causing my abdominal migraines.  Realizing that migraines are a neurological disease and not just a headache is something that ever suffer should fully grasp.  It is a wide range of symptoms and attacks on the body. 

So on to the next question…how do I treat it?  Migraine medication.  Which leads me to my next problem.  I take my migraine meds very sparingly.  I suffer daily and really only treat it when the level is rising quickly or been at a heightened level for days.  This may sound sacrificial but when you live in never ending pain, treatment becomes tricky.  I try to avoid rebounds, medication over use and more.  I try to save my meds for emergencies.  Now I’m advised to treat my abdominal migraines the same.  I get nervous taking meds for my stomach when my head pain isn’t heightened because I need to save those meds for when it is.  I can handle crazy stomach pains when I know what crazy head pains feel like.  Only so many triptans can be taken so often and I can’t risk taking one with an abdominal migraine with a larger ”head”  migraine looming.

So what do I do?  My nurse has no answer for me because her answer is to treat my abdominal migraine the same as a “regular” migraine.  So here’s my rock and hard place.  Pains if I do, pains if I don’t.  Stomach pain for my abdominal migraines, throwing up for my chronic migraines.  Lucky me!  So we think we figured out my new issue but once again my knowledge has not made me better.  One step forward in diagnosing abdominal migraine.  Two steps back on how and when I medicate my disease.  Sounds about right…..one step forward, two steps back.

Do you get stomach pains?  How do they relate to your migraines?  How do you treat it?  Remember that my story is not yours, but maybe we can learn from each other.

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3 thoughts on “Stomachaches and Migraines

  1. My migraines started as abdominal migraines as a child. Little did anyone know that’s what my “period ” pains were and i suffered by staying home from school and lying down with a heating pad. They lasted anywhere from a couple of hours to several days. As a young adult I went to the ER when the pain lasted over 24 hours or when I thought it might be my gallbladder or appendix. Pain consists of right upper quad stabbing pain through to my back, severe nausea and can’t eat. Anxiety and unable to stand the pain brought on an ER visit where ultrasounds and blood work came back negative but the treatment of Demerol and Phrnergan helped. Usually left the hospital with made up diagnosis i.e. hyperspymotic colon—gas.
    But then I saw my fantabulous neurologist who took me back to my teenage years and within a few minutes diagnosed me with migraines as a kid, the abdominal kind. REALLY I wasn’t making this up or dreaming!?!?!
    Now it makes since and I still get the abdominal kind a few times a year but I know what have are and how to treat them.

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  2. Pingback: Weekend Letdown | My Migraine Life

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