Mysterious symptoms of migraines

Posted on September 3, 2018 by kerri
Most people are aware of migraines—moderate to severe, sometimes disabling, headaches that can cause significant interruption to a person’s life. However, there are some symptoms of migraines that can be more “mysterious” seeming, and that you may not even connect to the headache itself.
Sometimes, migraines are preceded by an aura, which can last 20-60 minutes and may indicate a migraine headache is coming—most people do not experience aura with their migraines, but for some, it can enable them to rest and/or take medications to help them cope with the impending migraine. Common aura symptoms are visual phenomena—halos, flashes of light or bright spots, vision loss, “pins and needles” feelings in a limb, hearing “phantom” noises or music (tinnitus), difficulty speaking, and uncontrolled muscle movement like jerking. [1] Weakness or numbness in one side of the body is also a symptom of hemiplegic migraine, but this—like difficulty speaking [1] —must be assessed with caution as it can also signal a stroke.
Potentially even more mysterious than aura is experiencing prodrome 1-2 days before the actual migraine itself hits—the length of time between the symptoms of prodrome and the headache itself can make it difficult to correlate these symptoms to those that precipitate a migraine! Prodrome symptoms seem nonspecific, and include constipation, a range of mood changes, stiffness in the neck, yawning, food cravings, and increased thirst and urination. [1] These symptoms can seem random, so it may be difficult them to connect to an impending migraine—keeping a symptom diary for a few months may help you clue in to symptoms that may indicate a migraine is coming.
Symptoms of a migraine
Migraines may be moderate-to-severe headaches with pain on one or both sides of the head, and the pain may feel pulsing or throbbing. You may be sensitive to light and sounds, and sometimes even smells and touch. More often than “normal” headaches, migraines may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, light-headedness and even sometimes fainting.  [1]
Keeping a headache/symptom diary may help your doctor determine if you experience migraines, and help you figure out how to treat them.
Wearing a medical ID for migraine
Depending on your migraine symptoms, it may be helpful to wear a medical ID bracelet for migraine—one author, Alexandra, on The Mighty outlines her experience when her doctor recommended she wear medical ID for hemiplegic migraines. Symptoms such as speech problems could lead to law enforcement or medics believing one was intoxicated rather than suffering a migraine, and migraine-induced seizures the author experienced could be mistaken for other problems. [2]
Migraine medical ID jewelry, such as a migraine medical bracelet or migraine alert necklace can help you feel safer as you navigate life with the unpredictability of migraine. View our selection of bracelets and necklaces on our shop, My Identity Doctor.

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