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How Does A Migraine Make You Feel

Attack Phase: The Headache Begins

Why Do We Get Headaches?

The attack portion of a migraine can last from a few hours to several days. During this phase, youâll probably want to rest quietly and find it hard to do your normal activities.

The pain of a migraine:

  • Usually begins above the eyes
  • Typically affects one side of the head, but it may happen to the entire head or move from one side to the other. It may also affect the lower face and the neck.
  • Tends to feel throbbing
  • May throb worse during physical activity or when you lean forward
  • May get worse if you move around

Other symptoms that might happen during this phase:

It Can Be So Distracting And Painful That It’s Almost Impossible To Think Or Carry On A Conversation Amanda 27

I’ve always had frequent headaches, but the migraines started around age 22. The first symptom I feel is a severe, piercing pain right between my eyebrows or sometimes what feels like behind my eye sockets. It can be so distracting and painful that it’s almost impossible to think or carry on a conversation. Then, my sensitivity to light and smell become increasingly worse, which sometimes will lead to nausea. Often, my migraines seem to come out of nowhere and advance very quickly.

One distinct memory I have is getting a migraine right before a date. At the time, I was in my apartment finishing getting ready when all of a sudden I keeled over and had a piercing pain in my forehead. I had to turn off all the lights and lay down on my side, practicing slow breathing to try to relieve the pain. I had to cancel the date less than an hour before we were supposed to meet, which was definitely embarrassing, and I lied there on my bed for hours.

Migraine Fatigue: What Can You Do

    Fatigue is an unwelcome side effect of migraine that affects many sufferers. In fact, studies reveal that up to 84% of people with migraine are also battling this issue. In some people;fatigue can actually trigger migraines, or;it may be a warning of an imminent attack. The fatigue might not appear until after the pain goes away, or it could be present throughout the episode.

    Its also been found that fatigue can make some migraine symptoms worse, such as heightening the effects of vertigo. Experiencing vertigo during a migraine can also trigger feelings of fatigue. Separating the conditions is not easy because they are interlinked for many migraineurs. Fatigue can also cause depression, which is deeply linked to migraine.

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    What About Prescription Medicines

    People with very bad pain may need prescription medicine. A medicine called ergotamine can be used alone or with other medicines . Dihydroergotamine is like ergotamine and also can help.

    Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan , zolmitriptan , naratriptan , rizatriptan , almotriptan , and fravatriptan .

    Many combinations of medicines are also available.

    If the pain wont go away, your doctor might want you to try stronger medicine, such as a narcotic . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used carefully.

    Living With Vestibular Migraine

    Why Do Migraines Make You Nauseous?

    Many people may find that lying down in a dark room or sleeping can help reduce migraine symptoms.

    Taking over-the-counter pain or nausea-relief medication at the first sign of symptoms may also reduce the severity of the symptoms.

    People who have vestibular migraine may experience periods in life with fewer occurrences, and other periods when there are more.

    When symptoms happen with high frequency, it can impact a persons ability to live their day-to-day life. This may include a negative impact on a persons career, education, and relationships with family and friends.

    Living with the condition can be isolating and discouraging. In addition to exploring treatments, looking for support from peers with the condition may also help.

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    I Get Migraines Right Before My Period Could They Be Related To My Menstrual Cycle

    More than half of migraines in women occur right before, during, or after a woman has her period. This often is called “menstrual migraine.” But, just a small fraction of women who have migraine around their period only have migraine at this time. Most have migraine headaches at other times of the month as well.

    How the menstrual cycle and migraine are linked is still unclear. We know that just before the cycle begins, levels of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, go down sharply. This drop in hormones may trigger a migraine, because estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect a woman’s pain sensation.

    Talk with your doctor if you think you have menstrual migraine. You may find that medicines, making lifestyle changes, and home treatment methods can prevent or reduce the pain.

    What Causes Migraine Headaches

    Migraine headaches seem to be caused by changes in the amount of a chemical called serotonin you have in your body. When serotonin levels are high, your blood vessels shrink. When serotonin levels are low, your blood vessels swell. This swelling can cause pain and other problems. Many things can affect the level of serotonin in your body, including certain foods and your level of blood sugar. In women, changes in the amount of a hormone called estrogen can affect serotonin levels.

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    When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

    • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
    • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
    • Your headache comes on suddenly.
    • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

    Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

    • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
    • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

    Migraine Symptoms: Sneaky Signs Before Your Head Hurts

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    The intense, throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and occasional nausea and vomiting are telltale signs of a migraine. But for someone going through their first experience with the torturous headaches, migraines are often not so easily pinpointed.

    That’s because early symptoms can occur as long as 24 hours before any head pain, leaving a migraine sufferer confused and often frightened that something is horribly wrong, says Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center. Something significant is certainly occurring, but many are often relieved to find out it’s “just” a migraine. “While it’s disturbing, it’s not dangerous,” says Buse.

    In an attempt to help soothe any future fears — and maybe dispel some of the very real stigma facing migraine sufferers — here are some of the most common signs it’s a migraine — before your head even hurts.

    The Prodrome Stage Migraines typically consist of four stages, although each individual migraine sufferer may not experience all four. Prodrome is the very first, and can start anywhere from 12 to 24 hours before you notice any head pain, says Buse. About 60 percent of migraine sufferers experience the symptoms related with this stage, she says, which include:

    • Spots or flashes of light
    • Vision loss
    • Confusion

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    What Is A Migraine Hangover

    A migraine hangover, also called postdrome, is the last stage of a migraine. It can linger a few hours to more than a day after the headache goes away. Postdromes donât always come, but experts believe that they happen up to 80% of the time.

    Thereâs also no way to know how intense your postdrome will be. It isnât necessarily linked to how severe your migraine is.

    Recovery Or Postdrome Stage

    This is the final stage of an attack, and it can take hours or days for a drained, fatigued or hangover type feeling to disappear. Symptoms can be similar to those of the first stage . Often, they mirror these symptoms. For example, if you lost your appetite at the beginning of the attack, you might be very hungry now. If you were tired, you might feel full of energy.

    Being aware of the different stages of the migraine attack can be helpful. It can help you prepare for an attack, get a diagnosis and decide when to take acute treatment, such as painkillers or adapt your activities.

    It is useful to have a rescue treatment plan for when attacks occur. This may include painkillers such as a triptan, a NSAID or paracetamol. It often also includes anti-sickness medication.

    For other people, being aware of the stages and symptoms of a migraine attack can help their understanding. It may also help with the frustration and lack of understanding people often face around migraine, especially at work and in education.

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    What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain

    Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.

    Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:

    • Excedrin® Migraine.
    • Advil® Migraine.
    • Motrin® Migraine Pain.

    Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.

    Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:

    Triptan class of drugs :

    • Sumatriptan.
    • Butterbur.
    • Co-enzyme Q10.

    Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.

    Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.

    All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.

    Best Options For Treating Migraine When You Have Gi Symptoms

    What Migraines Feel Like, to Those Who Think They Cant ...

    Paula: Let’s say we have somebody who is dealing with a lot of nausea and vomiting, and they’re losing time from work and family. And because of this nausea and vomiting, they can’t swallow their oral medication. What are their best treatment options?

    Dr. Starling: First, it’s not just that individuals that have significant nausea and vomiting are unable to sometimes keep their medication down, but even if they keep it down, it may actually not be working very well. They’re unable to absorb that medication effectively. Or it may take too long, and so someone doesn’t have benefit from their triptan medication for two hours or more when they should have had benefit within one hour.

    We need to treat the symptoms, but we also need to get the medications into the bloodstream more effectively. To treat the symptoms, there are a lot of anti-nausea medications that can be used, and some are actually effective not only for nausea but also for the head pain itself. We call these neuroleptic medications, and they include things like prochlorperazine, promethazine, and metoclopramide.

    In addition, the triptan medications, which are the gold standard for as-needed treatment of Migraine headaches, usually come in oral tablets, but those are useless if we’re throwing up or it’s not well-absorbed.

    Those are all different formulations that can more effectively get into the bloodstream and completely bypass the gastrointestinal tract.

    Paula: And these act more quickly than oral medications?

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

    The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

    Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

    • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
    • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Feeling very warm or cold .
    • Pale skin color .
    • Euphoric mood.

    Light Sound Smell Sensitivity

    Light, sound, and smell can be extremely sensitive to someone with a migraine. Many times people with migraines want to be in a dark, quiet place where there is no chance of them smelling a cooked meal.

    Other Migraine Symptoms include Speech Trouble,;Double Vision,;Lack of Restful Sleep,;Irritability or Depression, Watery Eyes and/or a Stuffy Nose, Neck Pain, Numbness or tingling.

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    What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain

    For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:

    • aspirin
    • acetaminophen
    • an acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination
    • ibuprofen
    • naproxen
    • ketoprofen

    People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.

    If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.

    Preventing Or Reducing Postdrome Symptoms

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    Drinking plenty of water and resting can be beneficial as your body recovers after a migraine. Some people report fewer postdrome experiences when they follow their migraine attacks with calming activities like yoga, or when they avoid electronic devices. If you have postdrome and want to experiment with ways to avoid or lessen your postdrome symptoms, remember: different fixes will work for different people, and its OK if they dont work for you. A soda might help your friend recover during postdrome, but its not guaranteed to speed up your healing process. Healthy and careful experimentation can help you find things that help with your postdrome.

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    What Are The Treatments For Migraine

    There is no absolute cure for migraine. However, lots of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms of a migraine attack.

    When a migraine attack occurs, most people find that lying down in a quiet, dark room is helpful. Sleeping can also help. Some people find that their symptoms die down after they have vomited .

    Most people affected by migraine will already have tried paracetamol, aspirin and perhaps;anti-inflammatory drugs;such as ibuprofen before they seek advice from their doctor. If ordinary painkillers alone are not relieving your symptoms, your GP might prescribe you a;triptan; to be taken in addition to over-the-counter painkillers . Triptans are available in different forms to suit individuals , although it is important to note that some people develop short-term side effects when taking triptans. Your doctor may also prescribe you;anti-sickness medication. If your situation does not improve after treatment, you might be referred to a specialist migraine clinic.

    It is important to avoid taking painkillers on more than two days per week or more than 10 days per month as this can in fact make things worse by triggering;medication overuse headaches.

    How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache

    Many people confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because pain and pressure in the sinuses, nasal congestion, and watery eyes often occur with migraine. To find out if your headache is sinus or migraine, ask yourself these questions:

    In addition to my sinus symptoms, do I have:

  • Moderate-to-severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • If you answer yes to two or three of these questions, then most likely you have migraine with sinus symptoms. A true sinus headache is rare and usually occurs due to sinus infection. In a sinus infection, you would also likely have a fever and thick nasal secretions that are yellow, green, or blood-tinged. A sinus headache should go away with treatment of the sinus infection.

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    How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension

    Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.

    Migraine vs. bad tension-type headache

    Symptom
    Aura before onset of headache;x

    Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.

    Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.

    There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.

    You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.

    I’m Pregnant Can My Migraines Still Be Treated

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    Some migraine medicines should not be used when you are pregnant because they can cause birth defects and other problems. This includes over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor if migraine is a problem while you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. Your doctor might suggest a medicine that will help you and that is safe during pregnancy. Home treatment methods, such as doing relaxation exercises and using cold packs, also might help ease your pain. The good news is that for most women migraines improve or stop from about the third month of the pregnancy.

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