In this health video learn about why children's get migrains and what can be done to help them.
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Male Speaker 1: Sometimes kids get headaches and the doctor says, you have got a migraine headache. What is a migraine headache and how come he is so sure? Male Speaker 2: Yes, migraine headaches are actually more common in children than a lot of people think. A lot of children complain of headaches once in a while and the parents will often attribute to stress or they just complaining like trying to avoid going to school or going to bed, but a lot of times, these are migraine headaches, and a good neurologist or a headache specialist will be able to talk to the child and find out exactly what the symptoms are. Male Speaker 1: What would you be looking for? Male Speaker 2: So some classical things that we see in migraine are, in children, it is a little bit different than in adults, although we will see that they will complain of the headache being in the front or on the sides of the head. Sometimes, they are on one side more than the other. A lot of times, they will be bothered by bright lights or lot of noises, but a lot of these children and also associated with being dizzy or nauseous, sometimes even vomiting with the headaches, and a lot of these children actually have significant motion sickness when they get car sick and this is actually related to the migraines. Male Speaker 1: Are there any attributes, lack of sleep, certain foods and triggers associated? Male Speaker 2: Yes, there are a lot of triggers of migraines that can make migraines more frequent or more severe. And this is something that we see all the time where a child will be having migraines for years and only about once a month or twice a month and so then, once they start having more of these triggers in their life, they will start having more frequent and more severe headaches and that is when they will come to the neurologist. Male Speaker 1: A common trigger is lack of sleep too? Male Speaker 2: So lack of sleep, going to bed late or even just having erratic sleep schedules is definitely one of the more common ones; skipping meals including break meals such as skipping breakfast is very common. In children, we see a lot today of having too much caffeine, while caffeine can actually treat a migraine at small doses, but what happens is that if you have a regular intake of caffeine in the form of iced tea, chocolate, chocolate milk, coffee, sodas with caffeine, when that’s out of your system, your body actually craves and you end up having a migraine from that; monosodium glutamate is common in Chinese food and instant soups and then we have nitrates like in hotdogs and cold cuts, all these things are triggers for migraine. Male Speaker 1: So we should keep a hotdog like a log if you see the kid ate something and then once the kid got sick with the migraine, you might look at what the kid ate and maybe it is the trigger. Male Speaker 2: Yes, and sometimes it is hard to associate because you might not get the headache until the next day, but if you are having any food that you are having in excess of this can definitely exacerbate the migraines. Male Speaker 1: I was told to keep a log and those maybe school days? Male Speaker 2: Exactly. Male Speaker 1: We have a test, they get the migraine, the stress of it too, so if you look at that, and maybe it is not school days. Male Speaker 2: Yes and keeping an account is very important. We get to see the frequency and the response to the treatment and that helps us in deciding how to properly manage it. Male Speaker 1: And the common over the counter medicines, are any of them really helpful with headaches? Male Speaker 2: So some do. The better ones are really like the medications like Motrin or Aleve. Those work better than some of the other analgesics. One of the other problems is that a lot of patients start having frequent headaches and their parents keep giving them medications like Tylenol or Aspirin and the more headaches they have, the more medicine they give them and they get to a point where they are