9 Year Old Vomiting with Headache

Updated on December 25, 2012
R.C. asks from Laguna Niguel, CA
7 answers

I have a 9 year old son who has started throwing up for the last month or two for no apparent reason. As a toddler he had acid reflux, he never threw up but he would get these wierd hick-up/burps. That went away when he was around 4 and he was fine up until this past September. He started complaining of chest pain so I took him to the Dr and they did a chest xray and an ekg. All tests came back normal. We assumed that it was indegestion and started giving him some anatacids when he complained of pain and it did help sometimes. Then in Oct, he started throwing up out of the blue several times. I took him back to the Dr and they did a blood test for food allergies and that came back fine. The doctor said maybe he was causing it himself by stressing himself out. He is a pretty sensitive kid and he gets upset easy but I don't really think this is it because he will be laughing and playing with his siblings and all of a sudden he starts gagging and runs to the bathroom to throw up. The school nurse has even stopped sending him home when he throws up because it just keeps happenening and then he is fine. Some other symptoms are occasional headaches, he says he is not sleeping well (he woke up in the middle of the night to vomit last night.) and he sometimes gets very tired. I am taking him back to the Dr tomorrow but I was hoping for some other feedback because the Dr doesn't seem to know what the heck is wrong with him.

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answers from Phoenix on

I'd pursue the food allergies more. I've heard of more and more people who's bloodwork come back fine when they do have food allergies. My son threw up with food allergies and same with my daughter. They tested fine with the blood test but came up with 21 allergies with muscle testing. Maybe it isn't food allergies but you can double check with muscle testing to rule it out. Doctors could never figure out what was wrong with my kids and I always had to figure it out myself and take them to alternative doctors like Homeopathic and Chiropractors. They were better but they still weren't as good as when I figured it out myself! =) Good luck!!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I would ask your pediatrician if a referral to a gastroenterologist is appropriate at this time.

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answers from Chicago on

Check this out. Certainly NO idea whether your son might have this or not, but a lot of the symptoms are the same. It's called eosinophil and is a gastrointestinal disorder. Other than looking into this, I'd get a 2nd opinion from a different doctor. For sure your son's body is telling him something is not quite right.


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answers from Chicago on

I would start with the specialists. Gastro first and maybe ear/nose/throat. It it possible he has a very sensitive gag reflex and if he has any sinus drainage this could be making him gag and vomit. Especially once you mention that he got up to vomit after lying down--he could have been aggravated by post nasal drip. At this point, you need to seek further advice from some specialists and get to the bottom of what is causing it. Testing for allergies was a good idea, but I imagine the gastro will look for other things including Celiac. I wish you the best!



answers from Houston on

This sounds very familiar. I have a daughter that when she was in the 5th grade, she kept getting headaches, feeling nauseous, and calling home for me to pick her up from school. The teachers thought she might be doing it to get out of a class. When she got home she always seems to feel better. But the illness progressively became worse. I final took her to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist. They did a CAT scan of her head and found out that she had an infection in her sigmoid sinus, which is the nasal passage way up behind her eyes. They put her on an antibiotic and within a week she was fine. We were told that the esophogus had something to do with her sinus passage getting an infection there. Perhaps you should seek the oppinion of an ENT



answers from Seattle on

My son started getting migraines at 6. Headaches & throwing up.

AMAZINGLY if he eats "Crappy McCrapperson So Processed You Don't Even Have To Chew Or Digest It" breakfast cereal in the morning he doesn't get them. Our neurologist says that the number 1 cause or trigger of childhood migraines is a deficit in 2 vitamins/minerals (blanking out on them) Which uber-processed cereal is just LOADED with. So kiddo is required to make himself a bowl of cereal every morning. Has cut down on his migraines by 95%. And I can REALLY peg when he hasn't had his cereal because by 10 he starts getting glassy eyes. So I suffer through the Candy Frosted Sugar Bomb cereal, because it makes his life soooooo much better. We've tried "healthier" cereal, but really, it needs to be Kelloggs or Post. Any other brand is iffy on whether or not he'll get headaches. And the "worse" it is, the better it works. Frosted flakes beats corn flakes every time, even though he likes both. But Reeses ChocoPeanut Butter Puffs???? Ugh. Cough. Hack. Choke.

Our neurologist also says that the #2 trigger for childhood migraines is low blood sugar. Which is hilarious, because kiddo is also hypoglycemic. Poor kid. On the upside... we're so good about keeping his blood sugar where it belongs that he has very few of these. He had a TON of them in school, until I talked with the nurse, and then kiddo popped by the nurse's office once an hour for a milk box and that took care of both the hypoglycemic meltdowns as well as the blood sugar induced migraines AND it gave his little wired adhd body a chance to get up and run at least once an hour. ((His teacher started sending the other 2 non-med adhd kids in his class with him so they could get THEIR wiggles out once an hour as well)).

ANYHOW... the body of your question didn't link the headaches and throwing up, but since your Q did, and since they may very well be linked... thought I'd bring up our experience with headaches & seemingly "random" vomitting. ((Seriously, my son will NOT say he has a headache unless you ask him, and then he's like "Oh yeah, for hours." Sigh.))


answers from Dover on

My son would get migranes and he would throw up and then feel better too, but never the throwing up without the headache. We had to have a CT scan to rule out other causes but we did have a family history of migranes.

Sounds like something more is going on and if your current doctor can't diagnose, ask for a referral to someone else.

My cousin had symptoms for several years (NOT these symptoms) and her mother thought it was for attention. Finally, she took her to the doctor who also said she was just doing it for attention. They later diagnosed her w/ PPH and she needed a heart and double lung transplant which she never got before she was not longer a candidate. She passed away when she was just 16 yrs old. My father was also once hospitalized and they ran tests after test and just said "you are dehydrated" even though his electrolytes were fine. Months later, a different doctor looked at the SAME test results and was able to determine that he had in fact had a stroke. The other doctors just didn't realize it because he wasn't having the "typical stroke symptoms".

I didn't share this to scare you, as I said their symptoms were NOT the same as your son's. I tell you this to make the point that you can not just take the "the tests came back fine" as an absolute because it translates to "I don't know" and that is not a diagnosis or a solution.

Best of luck.