Could My Child Inherit my Chronic Migraines?

I remember being in 5th grade the first time I had a severe headache, they didn’t know it at the time but it was my first migraine. My pediatrician put me through the ringer for possible brain tumor, it was not. They could not find anything wrong, so they just assumed I was making it up to get out of going to school. But I remember to this day the PAIN I felt at the ripe age of 10, and not knowing how to explain exactly to my parents how it felt.

Over the years, and after I was officially diagnosed as a migraineur at the age of 18; stories began to surface of other family members with lots of headaches; my mom, even had a rare vestibular migraine attack while I was in college. In the last 5 years, my father, has developed ocular migraines…so what I have concluded from all this..it’s clearly written in my DNA.

This conclusion was confirmed when I went to thru my inpatient program at MHNI, I learned that migraines in fact are a genetic. People are born with the genetic make up to be either predisposed to get migraines or not. Lucky me, I am one of those people.

But this got me thinking, my SON…what if I have passed on this AWFUL condition to my SON. My husband and I waiting and prayed 8 LONG years to conceive our son via IVF in 2017 (infertility issues while having migraines is a whole other blog posts itself!). So to think that I possibly could have passed this on to him is heart wrenching to me.

Statistically, men aren’t as likely to be a migraineur, but seeing as my father developed them later in life, I believe my son has a good chance of having at the very least some sort of headache issues. Lucky for him, he has a Mom, with a whole TOOL belt armed and ready to take down those nasty headaches!

But the thing I keep going back to is, what if he does develop them during childhood, as I did. Has our medical community advanced far enough since 1990, to know the signs and symptoms to look for in a child. Children have a harder time describing exactly what is wrong with them, so how in the world could they describe the pain of a migraine. So, being that I am curious and a researcher by nature, I scoured the internet to try to find more information on children and migraines. And came up with a list of excellent resources for parents to use, if they suspect their child is a migraineur. So here they are in no particular order:

  1. The Diamond Headache Clinic– a world renowned clinic for treatment of migraines has an excellent slideshow of Common Migraine Symptoms in Children
  2. The American Migraine Foundation, also has some great information things to look for with children and migraines; as well as how to manage their pain.
  3. The Migraine Research Foundation- is another great resource if you suspect that your child may have migraines.
  4. The Migraine Trust Foundation– has great advice for 7-12 year olds who are struggling with migraines.
  5. The Cleveland Clinic, another world renowned program for many illnesses, has a great information for parents as well

I hope and pray that my sweet little miracle baby does not inherit my nasty chronic migraines, but if he does, I now see that there is A LOT of great information out there for parents, and as always chat with your pediatrician to see what they may think if your child develops a pattern of headaches.

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