Stage : Where Am I And What Happened
Maybe you remembered to set your alarm and maybe you didn’t. Either way, those first few moments of being awake bring a few questions. You’ll groggily look around the room and figure out if you’re in bed or barely made it to the sofa. Then, you’ll try to piece together the last few hours of the night before.
Hopefully, it’s pretty easy and you can remember the cab ride home or your designated driver dragging you inside. If you need a little help, turn to your phone and check call logs, messages, and photos to see if you said or did anything that wasn’t cool. A quick stop by your favorite social media platforms may not be a bad idea, too.
With luck, you can shake off the dreariness, head to the kitchen for water, and rethink your decisions for next time. The hangover can be a powerful deterrent for future parties as long as you remember how you felt in this round.
It’s Not Over Until You Say It Is The Migraine Hangover Is A Common Experience That Few People Talk About
You are not alone if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I just don’t feel right” or “I don’t trust myself to drive,” even after your Migraine attack is on its way out.
The postdrome phase, aka the Migraine hangover, is a real phenomenon, and it’s more common than you might think. Most people think of alcohol when they hear the word “hangover.” People with Migraine, though, experience all the symptoms of a hangover without the fun of a party.
Migraine hangover symptoms can leave you feeling like you’re in a fog, exhausted, and unable to concentrate. They can linger for hours or days after the attack phase’ of the Migraine is over.
To fully understand why this happens, it’s helpful to get a big picture’ look at a Migraine attack including all the phases so that you have an understanding of how the typical attack progresses and where your symptoms fit into the picture.
The Migraine hangover, or the postdrome phase, is often overlooked, even though 60-80 percent of people with Migraine experience it
How do you know if you are experiencing the Migraine postdrome phase? Wondering how long your Migraine hangover will last? Discover more about this often misunderstood phase of Migraine here.
What Causes A Migraine
The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.
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After The Migraine Stops It’s Time For The Postdrome Phase
A Migraine attack actually has four potential stages. Not every person will experience each of the phases, nor will every Migraine attack.
Some of what is thought of as strictly hangover symptoms may be prodromal symptoms continuing throughout the Migraine attack and persisting afterward, rather than new symptoms popping up after the headache pain is over
There is still a great deal we have to learn about why the postdrome occurs, and how to best treat it.
Here’s what we do know:
What Are The Symptoms Of Visual Disturbance
- Flashes of light
- These may start in the periphery of your sight, and become larger and more central
- They may be black and white or brightly coloured
- Typically described as a zigzagging pattern, or giving the appearance of shards of glass
- They may be apparent when your eyes are shut
- The disturbance affects your sight and both eyes are affected.
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How Can You Prevent Them
The most common technique patients share with me to help avoid these are going to a quiet dark place, which often shortens these episodes, Segil says.
Making sure to drink enough water and staying hydrated can also keep migraine hangovers at bay, as well as calming activities like yoga and meditation to avoid migraine triggers like stress and lack of sleep. Excess use of alcohol and unhealthy diets with high fat and sugar have also been linked to migraines, cautions Mikhael.
Limit Exposure To Bright Lights
If you experience light sensitivity as a symptom of migraine, consider limiting your exposure to computer screens and other sources of bright light while you recover.
If you need to use a computer for work, school, or other responsibilities, it might help to adjust the monitor settings to reduce the brightness or increase the refresh rate. It might also help to take regular breaks to give your eyes and mind a rest.
When you wrap up your responsibilities for the day, consider going for a gentle walk, taking a bath, or enjoying other restful activities. Unwinding in front of your television, computer, tablet, or phone screen might make lingering symptoms worse.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids to help hydrate your body. This is especially important if youve vomited during an episode of migraine.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods, including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. If youre feeling nauseous, it might help to stick to bland foods for a day or two.
For some people, certain foods seem to trigger migraine symptoms. For example, common triggers include alcohol, caffeinated beverages, smoked meats, and aged cheeses.
Aspartame and monosodium glutamate may also trigger symptoms in some cases. Try to avoid anything that triggers your symptoms.
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The Amount Of Sleep You Get
There is proven evidence that lack of sufficient sleep after a night of drinking results in a more severe hangover. Alcohol negatively affects sleep quality. It might make you fall asleep quickly, but the sleep is likely to be short and fragmented.;
The less sleep you get after drinking, the stronger the hangover will be.
How Long Does A Hangover Last
After waking up after a night of excess drinking, the first thing you think is regrets about why you drank that much and how long the hangover will last. So how long does a hangover last? Usually, hangovers just last the morning when you finally eat supper and at most for 24 hours.;
Still, 24 hours can feel like forever when dealing with a mix of mental and physical symptoms. TheHangover Hospital Key West provides an effective 45-minute IV hangover treatment that quickly relieves your handover symptoms and gets you back to your daily activities.
Various factors influence how long a hangover lasts and how depraved you feel. These include;
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Age Can Play A Role Your Symptoms
Symptoms of the postdrome phase vary from person to person, and may also vary in adults, adolescents, and children. Migraine hangover symptoms in adults tend to last a little longer – up to a full day – than symptoms in younger folks.
Common Migraine hangover symptoms in adults include
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Mood changes, like sudden unhappiness
- Head pain
- Numbness or tingling
Track Your Symptoms And See Your Doctor
Understanding these phases of migraine may help you start a tracking diary that you can then share with your doctor.;Recognizing the signs and phases before and after each attack may help you field a migraine off, or at least, lessen the severity of the attack. ;Pattern changes and sudden severe headaches could signify a more serious medical problem that should be assessed by a doctor. See also the Association of Migraine Disorders.
Take our Headache and Migraine Quiz;to see what type you may be experiencing.
-Additional reporting by Steven Aliano
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What Other Symptoms Occur During The Headache Phase Of A Migraine Attack
Light and sound sensitivity, nausea, neck pain, cognitive dysfunction, and fatigue can all occur during the headache phase.
The symptoms that would not be present would be some premonitory symptoms, like excessive urination or yawning, which would resolve by the time the headache starts. Other symptoms of prodrome can certainly persist throughout the headache phase.
Ocular Migraine And Visual Migraine Symptoms
Ocular migraine symptoms;generally include a small blind spot that affects your central vision in one eye. This blind spot gets larger, making it impossible for you to drive safely or read with the affected eye.
In some cases, the entire visual field of one eye may be affected. Generally, the episode lasts less than an hour.
Visual migraine symptoms;can vary, and may include:
Visual migraines often appear suddenly and may create the sensation of looking through a cracked window. The visual migraine aura usually moves across your field of view and disappears within 30 minutes.;
A flickering blind spot in the center or near the center of your field of view
A wavy or zigzag ring of colored light surrounding a central blind spot
A blind spot that slowly migrates across your visual field
The symptoms of a visual migraine typically affect both eyes and last less than 30 minutes. A migraine headache may occur shortly after the symptoms of a visual migraine subside or no headache may occur.
If youre experiencing a blind spot or other visual disturbance and youre not sure if its an ocular migraine or a visual migraine , cover one eye at a time. If the visual disturbance affects just one eye, its probably an ocular migraine. If it affects both eyes, its likely a visual migraine.
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Postdrome Interferes With Work And Relationships
Many migraineurs, both in studies and the stories I’ve collected, say that postdrome interferes with their work as well as their family and social relationships. Because the worst of the migraine is over, many feel like they should be able to get more done and feel guilty for not being productive. If you fall into this category — I certainly do — remember that the migraine is not over. You’re still experiencing symptoms, though not as intense, so try to go easy on yourself.
The Diuretic Effect Of Alcohol
Alcohol blocks a hormone being released from your brain called antidiuretic hormone. This hormone is responsible for allowing your kidneys to hold onto water.
Therefore, alcohol blocks this and causes you to lose water in your urine. This diuretic effect of alcohol is probably the most obvious when drinking alcohol and explains the frequent toilet trips.
Ultimately, this leads to dehydration.
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Phases Of A Migraine Attack
Prodrome Phase This first phase of migraine can occur hours to days prior to the attack, says Dr. Spears. It typically involves a change in mood and energy; certain cravings or excessive yawning can be a sign of prodrome, he says.
People sometimes confuse these prodrome, or premonitory, symptoms, with migraine triggers. Thats to say, a person who craves chocolate as a prodrome symptom may mistakenly believe that consuming chocolate triggered the migraine attack, according to MigraineAgain.
Aura About 25 to 35 percent of people with migraine have aura, says Spears. The most common aura is a visual change with a kaleidoscope-like phenomenon that can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour but usually much less than an hour, he says. Other aura symptoms may include tingling sensations, numbness, garbled speech, and clumsiness or weakness.
Headache Phase This stage can last 4 to 72 hours, and in most patients, its marked by a headache on one side of the head thats throbbing and pulsating in quality. Typically, the pain is described as moderate to severe, says Spears.
The headache phase is also associated with becoming sensitive to the environment, he adds. Light, sound, and odor sensitivity are common, as are nausea and vomiting, he says.
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Coping With A Migraine Hangover
Currently, there are no treatments available specifically for the postdrome phase of a Migraine. To add insult to injury, you are more susceptible to having another Migraine attack during the hangover, too.
This is why it is so important to manage Migraine triggers during this phase.
There are strategies that you can try to prevent or manage a Migraine hangover like:
- Drinking plenty of water
How Long Does A Hangover Last Anyway
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, hangovers can last up to 72 hours following drinking, but most occurrences are shorter in duration. Factors that determine the duration of the hangover include how much alcohol was consumed, a persons level of dehydration, nutritional status, gender, and even liver health. It is not uncommon for hangovers to disappear on their own within 24 hours, but the progress and symptoms of the condition tend to vary from person to person. A hangover is not a disease, but it can have an incredibly painful effect on sufferers.
If you are genetically predisposed to hangover symptoms after alcohol consumption, there is little you can do other than limit your drinking or quit altogether. A heightened negative response to alcohol in the body is tied to how well the body breaks down alcohol and its byproducts. Having sufficient enzymes, such as aldehyde dehydrogenase, which is responsible for breaking down the toxic acetaldehyde is important. Many people of Asian descent do not have a sufficient amount of this enzyme, which increases the likelihood of a heightened negative response to alcohol. Smoking cigarettes when drinking can worsen hangover symptoms. Individuals who smoke while drinking alcohol heavily are twice as likely to report hangover symptoms as those who only drank. While the science of how smoking makes a hangover worse is still a mystery, alcohol, and smoking can disrupt sleep, exacerbating hangovers.
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Preventing Or Reducing Postdrome Symptoms
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.
Ask For Help And Support
When youre getting back on track after a migraine, consider asking others for help.
If youre struggling to meet a deadline while coping with migraine symptoms or their aftermath, your supervisor might be willing to give you an extension. Your co-workers or classmates might be able to help you catch up, too.
When it comes to your responsibilities at home, your friends or family members may be willing to pitch in.
For example, see if they could help with child care, chores, or errands. If you can hire someone to help with such tasks, that may also give you more time to rest or catch up on other responsibilities.
Your doctor might also be able to help. If you experience symptoms of migraine, let them know. Ask them if there are treatments available to help prevent and ease symptoms, including symptoms of postdrome.
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Are There Any Effective Treatments
If youve consumed too much alcohol and have to work the next day, what do you do? In short, you suffer, and so does your job performance. Thinking about calling in sick? Youll be in good company. Estimates of lost revenues due to reduced job productivity and absenteeism from alcohol run as high as $148 billion a year in the U.S. alone. Much of this expense is related to hangovers in light to moderate drinkers.
A quick Google search for “hangover cure OR treatment OR remedy OR prevention pulls up over 2 million webpages. There are countless commercial products and homemade recipes with wildly unsubstantiated and pseudoscientific claims of benefits. It is important to note that a recent study from the British Medical Journal concluded that there was essentially no substantial scientific evidence that any substance has proven effectiveness in preventing or treating a hangover. That being said, the authors themselves admit that very few well-designed scientific studies have ever been conducted on the subject, so it is more than possible that some of these unproven treatments might work.
Heres some advice on what to do after an evening of overdoing it:
The very best prevention of a hangover? Dont drink. The best cure? Time.