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Why Are Migraines So Exhausting

Is There A Connection Between Migraine And Trauma

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Yes, studies have documented a correlation between adverse childhood experiences , such as neglect and abuse, and migraine, even more so than with regular tension headaches. The odds of migraine also increase when someone has experienced more than one form of ACE. Other studies have found a correlation between PTSD and migraine, that exposure to domestic violence in childhood increases the risk of migraine, and that people with migraine also have higher rates of childhood emotional abuse.

Sleep Disorders And Fatigue

Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring

Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.


Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.

Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.

But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:


  • Maintaining strict blood glucose control
  • Taking diabetes medications
  • Eating a low glycemic index carbohydrate diet, or, though controversial, a low-carbohydrate diet

Ways To Create Deep Rest

  • Turn off social media and other electronics.
  • Put on your comfiest, non-restrictive clothing.
  • Take a shower and add eucalyptus drops to the shower floor.
  • Use the power of music and have relaxing sound playing low in the background.
  • Connect with nature whether its relaxing on the beach or just throwing a blanket out in your back yard where you can listen to the birds and feel the warmth of the sun on your face.
  • Use the help of technology by asking Alexa to play nature sounds, binaural beats or read you a sleep story. Download an app like Calm or Headspace to help you turn off those to do lists.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Prepare a space in your home to encourage deep relaxation. Add calming décor, soft pillows and fuzzy blankets.

Not all causes of fatigue are treatable on your own. If you are experiencing persistent fatigue, its important to discuss it with your doctor to eliminate other underlying causes and to create a plan to alleviate it. Try your best to avoid getting discouraged. As you treat and prevent your migraine attacks, your symptoms of fatigue should improve with it.

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Theres A Distinct Migraine Phase With Its Own Symptoms That Begins When Your Head Pain Ends

For people who do not have migraine, the worst headache they ever experience may be the one that accompanies their hangover after a night of heavy drinking. A migraine hangover is much more complicatedit is a distinct phase in a migraine attack that begins once peak head pain dissipates. It symptoms can closely resemble the hallmarks of a typical hangover, like fatigue, dehydration, body aches and mental fogginess. For many, the effects of a migraine hangover may be just as debilitating as the period of head pain that precedes it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

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There are four different phases of migraines. You may not always go through every phase each time you have a migraine.

  • Prodome. This phase starts up to 24 hours before you get the migraine. You have early signs and symptoms, such as food cravings, unexplained mood changes, uncontrollable yawning, fluid retention, and increased urination.
  • Aura. If you have this phase, you might see flashing or bright lights or zig-zag lines. You may have muscle weakness or feel like you are being touched or grabbed. An aura can happen just before or during a migraine.
  • Headache. A migraine usually starts gradually and then becomes more severe. It typically causes throbbing or pulsing pain, which is often on one side of your head. But sometimes you can have a migraine without a headache. Other migraine symptoms may include
    • Increased sensitivity to light, noise, and odors
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Worsened pain when you move, cough, or sneeze
  • Postdrome . You may feel exhausted, weak, and confused after a migraine. This can last up to a day.

Migraines are more common in the morning; people often wake up with them. Some people have migraines at predictable times, such as before menstruation or on weekends following a stressful week of work.

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How Can I Support Someone With Migraine

Simply being with the person, and asking if there is anything you can do to help, is most important. Acknowledge their pain, and be patient with them. Be understanding if the person needs to cancel a plan or event, and recognize that the person has migraines but that the condition doesnt represent her entire identity.

Perhaps even more important than what to do is what not to do. Since the condition is invisible to others, people often make comments that minimize the migraineurs suffering. Avoid making comments such as, You dont look sick, or Do you need a Tylenol or something? Chances are that the person has already tried the tips you think of, and many more.

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

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Why Does Fatigue Occur With Migraine

When the fatigue occurs after a migraine attack, it is called postdrome.4Postdrome is the group of symptoms that can happen after the actual pain of the migraine attack has gone, but it is still part of the migraine. It can include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, body aches, and trouble concentrating.4

It is not known why postdrome and its symptoms happen.4 The physiological changes that occur during the pain of the migraine itself can persist, which may cause the postdrome.

Managing Them Can Be Quite Complicated

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Although I am on several medications aimed at preventing my migraines, they only seem to work some of the time. Unfortunately, migraine headaches can be triggered by a lot of different factors, like;certain foods, sleep patterns, weather changes, dehydration;;the list goes on and on. Personally, my big food triggers are chocolate and gluten products. Also, if my sleep in disturbed in any way;;either if I sleep too little or at the wrong times;;a migraine is likely to result. I constantly have to keep all these things in the back of my mind, and it isnt always easy.

Aside from medications, Ive tried so many different things to prevent and treat my headaches: acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, aromatherapy, hot/cold therapy, and something I call cold-water torture . Sometimes they work, most of the time they dont. A cure sure would be great.

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Southern Cross Medical Library

The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to;the Medical Library index page.

How Are Migraines Diagnosed

To make a diagnosis, your health care provider will

  • Take your medical history
  • Ask about your symptoms
  • Do a physical and neurological exam

An important part of diagnosing migraines is to rule out other medical conditions which could be causing the symptoms. So you may also have blood tests, an MRI or CT scan, or other tests.

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Light Noise Or Smells Trigger Or Worsen Pain

In the throes of a migraine attack, the migraine sufferer tends to seek refuge in a dark, quiet place. Bright lights and loud noises can trigger a migraine or intensify the pain. The same is true of certain odors.

“Once you’ve already got a migraine, smells can seem more intense and make it worse,” Dr. Calhoun says. “But a smell can also trigger a migraine in someone who didn’t have one before walked past the perfume counter.”

A Migraine Is Different From A Typical Headache

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I once heard a neurologist refer to migraine as a neurological firestorm, and that really resonated with me.;Nothing about a migraine headache is typical. There are different phases. There are often warning signs. There are a wide variety of symptoms that can accompany the actual headache. For me, lightheadedness, blurred vision, and irritability are all clues that a migraine may be on the horizon. Once I get the head pain, its often accompanied by nausea, vertigo, and eye pain. There are so many things happening in my body at once that the only real solace comes when I can lie down in a dark, quiet room.

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What Should I Do If I’m Worried About Side Effects

Dr Cheng said it’s important to call your GP or go to the emergency department;if you’re experiencing more serious side effects such as difficulty breathing and chest pain.

And if you have a severe;reaction to the first dose,;your health provider can advise you about whether to go ahead with a second shot of Pfizer or to have the AstraZeneca vaccine instead.

It’s also important to report any unexpected side effects either directly to the TGA or to your state or territory health unit.;

This can be done;on your behalf by your health professional, but there are a range of self-reporting options available.;

Unusual side effects can be reported online via the TGA website or you can call your local;health department.;

AusVaxSafety also texts some patients;three days after their;the first or second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine;with a link to a reporting platform.;

Reporting side effects is important because it helps health units build a better picture of adverse reactions people may experience after receiving the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines, Dr Cheng said.;

It can also help health units pick up on rare;side effects that haven’t been seen in clinical trials.;

“The more people report, the more data we have to actively look for any potential side effects,” Dr Cheng said.;

How Long Does A Migraine Postdrome Last

This phase can last anywhere from hours to days, explain the Migraine Trust and The American Migraine Foundation. Both organizations advise people to pay attention to minimizing their exposure to things that trigger symptoms

One recent study of people with Migraine found most participants reported relief of their symptoms within about 24 hours

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Migraine Is Much More Than Just A Headache

There are different;types of migraine;that involve different symptoms. There are many features or symptoms that are a part of migraine. There are also differences in how severe a symptom might be.

The most common symptoms of a migraine attack include:

  • throbbing headache
  • sensitivity to light, noise and smell
  • nausea
  • lethargy

Overall Nonheadache Symptoms In The Postdrome Before Electronic Diary Use

Why Do People Get Migraines?

Of the analyzed patients, 82 of 97 patients estimated before using the electronic diary that they experienced nonheadache symptoms after the headache resolved. Of these 82 patients, 54 estimated that they had nonheadache postdrome symptoms in more than 90% of their migraine attacks. The postdrome was estimated to linger for at least a day in 49% of patients .

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How Can I Be Sure It Is Not A More Serious Type Of Headache

With tension headaches, you are normally well between headaches, and have no other ongoing symptoms. A doctor diagnoses tension headaches by their description. In addition, there is nothing abnormal to find if a doctor examines you . Tests are not needed unless you have unusual symptoms, or something other than chronic tension headache is suspected. Of particular note, medication-overuse headache should be ruled out as this can often be mistaken for chronic tension headache.

Compared to migraine, a tension headache is usually less severe, and is constant rather than throbbing. Also, migraine attacks usually cause a one-sided headache, and many people with a migraine attack feel sick or are sick . Some people have both migraine attacks and tension headaches at different times. In addition, some people find that one of the types of headaches is followed by another, perhaps because the pain and tiredness due to the first headache cause the second.

Migraine Hangover Treatment And Home Remedies

A doctor who specializes in headaches can help you understand your migraines and find treatments that work.

Once youâre in postdrome, itâs important to practice whatâs called good headache hygiene.

Drink plenty of water. Get some rest, too. Relaxing activities like yoga can be helpful. What works for someone else wonât necessarily work for you, so you might need to experiment.

Do you notice that your postdrome is worse when you look at a screen? Stay off your phone or laptop.

Do you find that caffeine eases your symptoms? Make a cup of tea.

You can also try:

  • Heating pads
  • Massages

It can be a good idea to keep a headache diary. On a notepad, on your phone, or in an app, keep track of:

  • What your symptoms are
  • How youâve dealt with them
  • Which things work or donât work

This will help you in the future when you need to feel better.

Donât ignore your symptoms or try to push through them and return to your regular life too fast. Let yourself recover completely from both the headache and the postdrome before you dive back into everything.

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What Causes ‘your’ Fatigue

Many physical and mental illnesses, as well as lifestyle factors, can cause your fatigue, and that can make it hard to diagnose. In some cases, it might be something simple and easy to fix, like having caffeine at bedtime. But other causes, like heart disease or COPD, are serious, and you may need to start long-term treatment right away.

Your doctor can help you sift through your health issues, as well as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits, in order to zero in on the cause and help you on the road to recovery.

The Relationship Between Fatigue And Headaches

Why am I So Exhausted?

Fatigue is a common symptom in many diseases such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis, HIV, depression, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea.

It’s also common for people who get frequent headaches. As researchers have looked into the connection between fatigue and headaches, they’ve uncovered a definite relationship.

One study found fatigue in 70% of people with headaches, and another study found fatigue in 84% of those with chronic migraine.

People with chronic fatigue syndrome, a medical condition characterized by fatigue lasting at least six months plus flu-like symptoms and cognitive dysfunction, also have a higher prevalence of migraine, with and without aura.

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What Is A Migraine Postdrome And What Does It Feel Like

There are four stages of a migraine experience, according to the American Migraine Foundation:;

  • Prodrome phase: A few hours to a couple of days before a migraine. Prodromal symptoms include mood changes, food cravings, neck stiffness, and fogginess among others.
  • Aura: 25% to 30% of people with migraine experience a migraine with aura five to 60 minutes before a migraine headache begins. Aura symptoms include visual disturbances and numbness or tingling.
  • Headache: This pain phase can last up to 72 hours. Headache symptoms range from a throbbing to a drilling sensation, accompanied by nausea, insomnia, congestion, and more.
  • Postdrome phase: Its the phase of migraine that occurs after the head pain ends. Common symptoms are similar to a hangover, and can include:
    • Fatigue or brain fog
    • Stiff neck;
    • Pale face

    During a migraine, your body undergoes this huge storm of activity that affects all different parts of your brain, says Deborah I. Friedman, MD, MPH, professor of Neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a member of the American Headache Society. That doesnt magically turn off it takes time for things to reset and come back to your baseline, which is different for everyone.

    When To Seek Medical Help

    The American Migraine Foundation estimate that less than 50% of people with migraine seek help from a doctor.

    If a migraine episode lasts for longer than is typical for an individual, they should seek a doctors advice.

    They should visit the emergency room if a migraine episode becomes too severe and at-home treatments do not alleviate symptoms.

    An individual should seek immediate medical attention if they have the following :

    • an extremely severe headache
    • a headache that starts abruptly like a thunderclap, especially if the individual is aged over 50 years
    • a migraine headache accompanied with a stiff neck, or fever, confusion, slurred speech, or seizures
    • speech, vision, movement, or balance problems that differ from the regular migraine pattern

    Always seek medical attention if someone has a headache following a head injury.

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