Brain Drain from Migraines…What’s Causing it?

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Brain drain– it’s a symptom of migraines that you could do without.  Difficulty concentrating, feeling as if your brain is lost in a fog, (hence the other popular term “brain fog”), always feeling tired, and constantly forgetting where you left your keys…fatigue symptoms like brain drain could be caused by migraine headaches, or they could indicate another comorbid illness.


Why am I always tired?

When chronic pain is so powerful that it overwhelms your senses, as with migraine headaches, concentrating on anything else outside of the throbbing head pain and eye sensitivity can be a challenge.  Chronic headaches make it difficult to sleep, remember appointments, pay attention to somebody who’s speaking to you, or even concentrate on getting your bottle of migraine remedies open.

Brain drain from migraines

The “brain drain” you feel is most likely caused by chronic fatigue resulting from constant migraine headaches, especially migraines with aura.

Symptoms of brain fog include:

  • Frequent feelings of confusion
  • Extreme fatigue, despite sleeping and avoiding overexertion
  • Difficulty remembering PINs, phone numbers, and dates
  • Forgetting what you were going to say, or why you entered a room
  • Feeling distracted when people are talking to you
  • Inability to focus on a conversation, by telephone or in person
  • Decreased attention span
  • Difficulty reading
  • Trouble remembering people’s names

Other causes of brain drain

Even if you believe migraine headaches are the cause of your chronic fatigue, it is crucial to tell your doctor of your migraine symptoms, so that he can rule out other comorbid illnesses or conditions that could be contributing to your attention difficulties.

Here are some other reasons you might be suffering from brain fog:


An overwhelming majority of migraine sufferers are women, so it’s worth noting that chronic fatigue that occurs with migraines could also be a symptom of menopause.

According to the latest research published by the journal Menopause, common complaints of women as they enter menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, and memory loss caused by “brain fog.”

Autoimmune disorder

Brain drain is also a common symptom of many autoimmune disorders, including vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Sjogren’s syndrome, or lupus.

Migraine drug side effects


Improve your Memory while taking Topamax for Migraines

Certain migraine medications cause side effects that include memory loss.  Anti-seizure drugs like Topamax, Depacon, Neurontin, and Lamictal are often helpful in reducing migraine symptoms, but they may also cause disturbing and sometimes debilitating side effects.

Side effects of anticonvulsant medications may include:

  • Attention problems (brain fog, brain drain symptoms)
  • Muddled thinking
  • Memory loss
  • Speech difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Burning or tingling sensations
  • Altered taste perception
  • Decreased coordination
  • Frequent stumbling or dropping things
  • Muscular soreness and weakness
  • Lower back pain
  • Frequent colds or viral infections

Please tell us…

Are you currently using a migraine treatment that causes side effects like attention problems, memory loss, or fatigue?

If so, have you considered replacing them with natural supplements that don’t cause harmful reactions, like magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and coenzyme Q10?

We love to hear from you!  Please comment below with your questions or suggestions.

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Read more about migraine symptoms:

Migraine Symptoms throughout the Ages- Not a Whole Lot has changed

Killer Migraines Might be Fatal after All- Mortality Rates among Migraine Sufferers

Migraine Headaches and Dizziness- Stop the Ride, I want to get off!


Reconciling subjective memory complaints with objective memory performance in the menopausal transition

Topamax Side Effects