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Child has headache and vomiting but wakes up normal. What could this be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 540 Questions
My son is 9 1/2. This happens about once every 4 or 5 weeks. He seems fine and energenic one minute and is very active (today he was playing basketball for about 15 min.) and then he says he has a headache and ten minutes later he is vomiting. He vomits once and then is really tired and goes to sleep. He wakes up and is back to normal and happy and active. He ate about 2 hours before he vomited. He got about 9 hours sleep the night before. What could this be? Is he over-tired? He had a piece of candy before basketball? Could this just be a stomach ache from sugar and excercise? Is there anything I should look for? I just want to make sure this isn't a heart problem that I'm missing or diabetes. I don't want to be one of those stupid parents who ignore signs.
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 19 minutes later
Hello and thanks for your query.

I shall make an effort to provide you with good professional recommendations specific to your questions.

Very strange to me. Vomiting and tiredness every month for an episode and entirely normal in between. I would not think of causes of the heart or diabetes can be debated if he is entirely normal in between.

My doubts are - if this happens only after he plays basketball. If so, then strenuous activity is making him vomit which is a sign that he may be weak. Weakness can start from issues like anemia too.

Sugar candy allergy is another thing to look at if these episodes occur only when he does eat that. Certain coloring agents are a reason.

Don't get disheartened, in fact you are a keen observer, and I want you to answer my questions if you have comprehended my questions. Either case, a clinical review would be needed to confirm the doubts.

Meanwhile, curtail those sugarcandies, and advise some rest for now. See if symptoms recur with rest. Then you would need medical attention.

Let me know if I have missed out any other concern in your question.

Yet again, I duly appreciate your query to me, I do hope that you have found something useful to help you and I shall be glad to answer any further apprehensions.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla, MBBS, MD
Consultant Physician.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Child has headache and vomiting but wakes up normal. What could this be? 2 hours later
Would dehydration cause a headache and vomiting?
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 1 hour later

Thanks for writing back.

No, dehydration will not cause headache but lightheaded, whereby he would feel giddy.

Headache and vomiting associated with fever would need tests for infection which I don't think is the case here.

I hope, I have answered your query. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.

Wish your son a speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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