Abdominal migraine

Hi All,

I’m wondering how many of you guys get abdominal migraine? I never even knew what it was until recently but now recognise that this is almost certainly something I get now more frequently and have had as far back as when I was in my teenage years. It’s usually kicked off by a food, which I can see more clearly now but had no clue to the cause years ago. The symptoms I get fit these descriptions very accurately:

healthcentral.com/migraine/t … 002-5.html

relieve-migraine-headache.co … raine.html

On Saturday night I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered a soup I haven’t had for a long time called Tom Kha Gai (basically a coconut milk based soup with chicken, muchrooms and lemon grass). The soup was super rich, more than I remembered it before (but good). Within 4 hours my abdomen developed a dull pain and by the next morning I was nearly doubling over with the pain. I had a meditation thing on that morning and it wasn’t until we did a lying down version that the pain finally dropped away substantially. It was very acute for about 2 hours. I still don’t feel right in the gut area and I read above that this can last 72 hours. It does seem to be what’s going on.

Of course they say it’s rare in adults, but then so is MAV. Looks like I got both. Anyone else get bizarre abdominal pain like this that comes on rapidly and goes away quite quickly? In the past I have usually only had the pain hang around for one day.

Scott 8)

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I’ve had these all my life but never knew what they were until I started getting regular migraine. Maybe they are not so rare in adults, just misdiagnosed and under reported.

Hey Scott,

Yes, I get gut problems with MAV too. For MAV episodes this year and last year they all started with what I now consider abdominal migraine. At the time I assumed I had food poisoning/gastro but the weirdd thing was I didn’t get any diarrhea, just lots of pain, grumbling and gurgling etc (nice) for days or weeks at a time.

I’ve gone back to Oliver Sacks’ “Migraine” book (which I really must read cover to cover) and he says up to 10% of adult migraneurs have abdominal migraine. He also makes the point that often migraineurs don’t realise that some of the symptoms they have are actually related to migraine. I know this has been true for me - the variety is so endless and varied. As Sacks says:

“Beyond the sharp and artificial edges of ‘dignosis’ we enter a region of semantic ambiguity in which the definition of the term ‘migraine’ is stretched to breaking point. In the center so to speak we may place common migraine, clear and indisputable. Around this we may group the migraine equivalents, polymorphous in their manifestations, and representing various dissections, decompositions and agglomerates of different migraine components. Beyond this, we must recognise a penumbra of allied and analagous reactions, which may, as it were, do duty for migraine. Compact and clearly defined at its center, migraine diffuses outward until it merges with an immense surrounding field of allied phenomena. The only boundaries which exist are those which we are forced to adopt for nosological clarity and clinical action. We construct such boundaries and limits, for there is none in the subject itself”.

In a nutshell of plain English, what I think he’s saying is that just about anything can be part of migraine.


Hi Scott

I had abdominal migraine as a child, as well as car sickness.

I always got terrible low down stomach pain when stressed, this went on through my teenage years before I got headaches. I then got zig zag aura with no headaches in my teens. I have always had stomach trouble and still do.


Wanda, a heating pad sometimes helps me. Sometimes a few cups of soothing herb tea move things along, also.