Migraine headaches

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Migraine headaches affect an estimated five percent of children. They have specific characteristics that are different from other headaches. The ache is usually on one side of the head. It may be preceded by visual impairments, such as seeing spots, sparkling or shimmering light patterns, or having vision that's blurred or partially lost. Nausea and/or vomiting with abdominal pain may occur, as well as a sensitivity to light. The symptoms are a result of changes in the blood vessels going to the brain. Migraines run in families; in most cases, there's a close relative who's also had them. They may be triggered by stress, premenstrual (pre-MEN-strul) tension, or even certain foods, especially those containing the food additive, M-S-G. Very often, becoming calm and relaxed, especially in a dark, quiet room, will usually reduce the pain, as will sleep. Biofeedback, acupuncture, meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques also have been shown to be ways to cure migraines. Consult a doctor for other options, such as over-the-counter children's pain relievers.
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