Migraine Symptoms- a Short List

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Most people think that migraine symptoms only involve headaches– really strong headaches, but still- just that. Any chronic migraine sufferer can tell you that the constant throbbing headaches are just the tip of the iceberg. Migraine symptoms can vary according to each patient, depending on the type of migraine attack one usually sufferers, and the cause. Here are some of the most common symptoms of migraine disorder.

Migraines cause headaches and more...

First, the headaches

Migraine headaches are the longest, most torturous phase of a migraine attack, which begins with a range of pre-migraine symptoms and end with a long period of recuperation.

Not all migraine attacks cause headaches, but when they do occur, they usually follow a specific behavior.  Migraine symptoms that involve headaches are characterized by the following details:

  • Migraine headaches always occur on one side of the head.
  • Migraine headache symptoms are often described as a dull, painful throbbing.
  • Sometimes, pain radiates from one point of the head, such as the temple area, and travels towards the middle of the face, or the eyes.
  • Migraine headaches may also cause sharp, severe eye pain, sometimes described as the sensation of an ice pick stabbing into your eye socket.
  • Unlike common headaches, migraine headache symptoms don’t usually respond well to over-the-counter headache medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen.
  • Migraine headaches can last for hours or days.
  • Chronic migraine headaches occur more than fourteen times each month.

Prodrome migraine symptoms

A few days before a migraine attack strikes, you may notice the following migraine symptoms:

  • Unusual food cravings
  • Mood swings- sudden exhilaration or sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss, or increase of appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps

Here Comes a Migraine Attack- 20 Telltale Signs

Migraine with aura

About 20% of migraine sufferers experience migraines with aura, a temporary pre-migraine phenomenon that occurs bare minutes before a migraine attack strikes. Migraine symptoms involving aura closely mimic signs of stroke or epilepsy, so similar are the warning signs to the outside observer.

Symptoms of migraines with aura include:

  • Sudden fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of spatial awareness or sense of time
  • Strange visual disturbances, such as flickering lights, bright oscillating shapes, zigzagging streams of light, dark voids, loss of peripheral vision, and double vision.
  • Olfactory hallucinations
  • Temporary partial paralysis on one side of the body
  • Temporary facial paralysis
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Sudden inability to understand or manage speech clearly
  • Loss of consciousness

Go Ask Alice: Migraine Auras in Wonderland

Other migraine symptoms

Even if you don’t experience migraines with aura, you may suffer the following ailments, in addition to migraine headaches:

  • Neck stiffness and pain
  • Strong stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Uncontrolled vomiting
  • Severe fatigue
  • Increased eye sensitivity to artificial light, strong sunlight, and harsh white backgrounds
  • Increased sensitivity to strong scents
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)

Please tell us…

Can you add to our list of migraine symptoms?

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Like this? Read more:

Migraine Aura and Prodrome- What’s the Difference?

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