40 answers

6 Year Old Who Gets Migraines and Throws Up

I am hoping to find someone out there who has a similar situation. My nephew who is 6 years old gets migraines and throws up. This has been going on since he was 2, possibly before. This happens very frequently. They can happen if he gets real excited, or doesn’t nap, or when he plays for a certain amount of time. (When I say frequent, I mean they were daily, to every other day. Now they are maybe once a week or more if he gets over stimulated or tired.)
My sister and I are stumped and that is why I am reaching out to you guys for some direction.
She has, just this year, taken him in to his pediatrician, who has prescribed him allergy medicine. The doctor said that the majority of the time it ends up being allergies. My sister did not give her son the medication because she knew it wasn’t allergies because it happens all year long. Also it can’t be anything in their house because she has moved three times. He has had a CAT scan, which came back fine. The technician who did the scan suggested that if it where her kid she would have him get a MRI. The doctor did refer him to a headache specialist, but when she called to make an appointment they told her that he was too young and he had to go to Children’s Hospital. She went to Children’s and they did a generic type physical, such as- touch your fingers and stand on one foot. Everything turned out 100% fine. Now she is to make an appointment to get a MRI. Also they referred her to a biofeedback clinic. She asked for info on it, and didn’t get anything. I think that is basically to help him deal with his headaches.
Here are some extra things suggested by others-
Maybe something related to bipolar (it runs in my father’s side of the family)?
Maybe blood pressure related?
Maybe asthma related (his father had asthma at a young age.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I dealt with this as a child as well. Throwing up seemed to be the only thing that would ease the pain. I went through cat scans, seeing doctors weekly, going to the hospital, trying new prescriptions and nothing really seemed to work. I couldn't even have sleep overs at friends houses because I would always wake up in the middle of the night in so much pain, my mom would have to come and pick me up. You really have to watch what he eats, there are several foods that can trigger migraines. The good news is and I've heard this more than once, he will probably grow out of it at least we can all hope. I did. It is very tough and painful, hope you find something that will work for him. Good luck.

I know you have a lot of responses already...but I just wanted to mention that keeping a food diary (which someone else already mentioned) is a great idea. Tyramine, which is in a lot of food that children eat (cheese, bananas, hot dogs, etc.), can aggrevate migraines in children and adults.

Hi M.,
I used to get migraines often. I started going to a chiropractor about 5 years ago. I never get them anymore. I don't know if it would help for him but it was a life saver for me. Good luck.

More Answers


I don't know if I'll be much help, but I can tell you our stories are almost identical and we're still trying to find answers.

My daughter (who is now 11) has been battling this since she was two. We had CAT scan at age 4, MRI at age 8, allergy testing (which showed nothing, but we still tried the suggested low tyromine diet), cardiac testing for PFO (which is suspected of causing migraines), We did 4 months of biofeedback last year which we thought was helping, but shortly after we had finished, the migraines started again. We resisted using medications for a long time, because we didn't want her to become dependent and we thought at such a young age, the long term side effects might be greater. However, she needed help. She was having migraines 2-3 time a week sometimes and vomiting for at least 12 hours. We have been working with a pediatric neurologist who has been trying very hard to find the right combo of meds. She suggested CoEnzyme Q-10 (over the counter) and melatonin (also over the counter and helps her get to sleep at night)along with a variety of medication specifically for the headache (topamax, compazine, periactin). None of the latter medicines have been the "miracle" we were hoping for. She takes Zomig when a headache comes on and Zofran for the vomiting. Zomig has worked sometime to ward off a full blown headache, but we still feel that we're not a lot further than when we first started.

We also found her triggers to be stress, lack of sleep, hunger and heat, so we try very hard to keep those things under control, but haven't found anything else that we can solidly say triggers them.

We are working with Dr. DeRoos, a pediatric neurologist through Devos here in Grand Rapids. He has been very willing to test for various things and work with us on the medicines. So although, we haven't found an answer yet, we still respect all that he's trying to do for us.

If you want to talk more, send me a private response.

Good luck. I know it's horrible to watch a child in so much pain.


2 moms found this helpful

As a child, I would get migraines if I was over stimulated. I went to a Chiropractor and that helped alot. As an adult, I quit going and started to get them again....I at the time didn't think that the chiro could help. I battled the migraines for 20 something years....decided to go to the chiro again.....no more migraines. I do need to go in once a month for maintainence adjustments. But it is worth it! I was on a 8 month treatment plan before my spine was back into wack.

I hope your little guy gets better soon, you have a lot of great suggestions on here. :)


My son started to get migraines at the age of 2 also, he is now almost 11. His are cause by several things, allergies and stress being the main two factors. With out his meds is almost a daily thing. Now with school back in its a every Monday thing. They can be cause by lots of things and sometimes if very hard to find a dr. who is willing to work and help you. I'm on my son's 10th doctor since they started. We kept getting told that they didn't know why he had them and he would have to deal with them. I'm sorry but that just isn't the correct answer. If you go online there are several sites that help you find different things that trigger some migraines and help you figure out if they are migraines or Cluster headaches. Also family history is a huge factor in this. Unfortantly my son was screwed from the get go because migraines run on both sides of the family.

I would ask to be refered to a allergist and have a test done because usually most of the time it is allergy related. Allergies are a all year thing. My son is literally allergic to ever air borne allergen there is and when I say allergic he tested high on each one the first round. Good luck to you and your nephew

I have the same problem with my 8yr old daughter.She started complaining about her head hurting about 2yrs.It would always be in the middle of the night,she would wake me up and said her head hurt and she would go lay on the sofa and take a trashcan with her,because whenever she would get a headache she always had to throw up and believe it or not once she would throw up she felt better and the headache would be gone.So I believw it is something that she is eating i have been watching what she eats and she hasn't had a headache in months so far.

Have you tried anything alternative to traditional American medicine. Many times migraines come from a congested liver-gallbladder. In our society w/ pollution of the air, food and water little kids bodies are under attack. If you can find someone in massage therapy, computer analysis or lyphatic treatment I can first hand attest that it will help!!!

I used to get really bad migraines and throw up as well. The way I could tell if I was getting them my vision would get really blurry. No medicine would help either. The Doctor recommended me to go to a chiropracter as soon as my vision would get blurry and then go home and rest.That was the only thing that helped I guess I had a lot of stress in my neck and back which caused it as well. Maybe if you can take him to a chiropracter if it is feesable? But that might be a cause.

When I was 12 I was getting migranes and throwing up- not quite with this frequency. Dr Hellbusch is a neurosurgeon over by methodist- he's my Dr. I had what they called Aquaductualstenosis- big word meaning water on the brain. i would think that would have shown up in your nephews CT scan. And, have you had his eyes tested?? That is another thought.

I saw that another had posted this suggestion, but have you had his eyes examined? (a more throughal exam than they give at school) You might try that. Also, like the other posters, it can't hurt to try the allergy medicine, or try to rule out food alergies.
It's important to ask lots of questions of the doctors and press press press for answers. You should know why and how always. Good luck.
Oh, when I get migranes it helps to have a wet washcloth on my forehead and be in a dark quiet room. I know it's hard to have a 6 yo tell you when one is coming on but you might try that before he gets to the point of throwing up.

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