Dealing with Nausea and Vomiting with Migraines

Published on: Modified on:



Contrary to popular belief, some of the most debilitating symptoms of migraines occur in the stomach. Nausea, sharp stomach pain, dizziness, and vomiting can be just as excruciating as the severe throbbing headaches that migraine patients have to endure.

Dealing with Nausea and Vomiting with Migraines- Migravent

Nausea with migraine statistics

For many migraine patients, nausea interferes with migraine treatment and increases the suffering caused by frequent migraine attacks.

  • Approximately 92% of migraine sufferers will experience severe nausea or vomiting with their migraine attacks.
  • Over half of migraine patients say that nausea and vomiting occur almost all the time when they get a migraine, listing severe nausea as one of the most difficult migraine symptoms to endure.
  • Of migraine patients who suffer from nausea, most are female.
  • In many cases, the act of vomiting stops the migraine attack.
  • Intense nausea and vomiting make it nearly impossible for migraine patients to hold down their medications long enough to find relief.
  • Migraine attacks and vomiting seem to share common triggers, according to researchers.

Migraine Headaches and Then Some…Migraine Comorbidities

What causes nausea and vomiting with migraines?

While scientists aren’t certain exactly what causes stomach cramps, dizziness, fatigue, or the need to vomit when migraines occur, they have noticed some correlations that may provide helpful tips for managing nausea, before and after a migraine strikes.

  • Sometimes, stomach pain and nausea are diagnosed as abdominal migraines, a specific type of migraine that usually occurs in children. Abdominal migraine symptoms can last for a few hours, or they can continue for several days. Children who suffer nausea and vomiting from abdominal migraines are four times more likely to develop migraine headaches later in life than their peers.
  • When vertigo occurs along with vomiting and nausea, it’s important for your doctor to rule out a tumor or inner-ear disorder, as these symptoms may be overlooked when nausea and headaches occur often.
  • Cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS) and migraines are linked in many studies; both are often triggered by stress, and include symptoms of headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last for hours or days. Many patients of CVS- even non-migraine sufferers- are treated with medications used for migraines.

What Causes Migraine Dizziness?

Treating nausea with migraines

In order to find lasting relief, it’s important to use a multi-pronged approach to migraine management. This is especially true when nausea and frequent vomiting make it difficult to take your migraine medications.

Listed below are some helpful treatments for preventing nausea, as well as finding relief when it occurs with migraine.

  • Take magnesium– scientists have noted a correlation between gastro-paresis and magnesium deficiency. Since magnesium deficiency has also been linked with migraine disorder, doctors advise all migraine patients who suffer from frequent nausea to experiment with 400mg doses of magnesium, which is also beneficial for treating constipation that sometimes occurs with migraines. Also read: Getting Enough Magnesium…Are you?
  • Lie down- symptoms of queasiness usually get worse with movement, so if you can, find a quiet place to lie still until the nausea passes.
  • Try alternative delivery methods for medications that treat migraine or nausea. These include injections, nasal sprays, patches, or sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Migraine Auras without Headache: Silent Migraines

Symptoms Migraines or Meningitis- Know the Difference

Migraines and stroke: How to tell the Difference


Nausea and Headache

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Image(s) courtesy of marin/