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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

14 Migraine Symptoms That You Should Know About

Every migraine sufferer knows that it is not just the terrible headache that they need to prepare for before its onset. Migraine occurs in various stages, namely prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome phase. All these phases are characterized by their own set of symptoms.

Migraine prodrome symptoms, however, are not uniformly experienced by everyone. Even all the above-mentioned phases do not occur for everyone. Some may feel only migraine prodrome anxiety, while others may feel migraine postdrome symptoms for a very short period of time compared to others. In such a scenario, many migraine sufferers get confused and are not able to identify if they are dealing with prodrome symptoms or not.

It is a known fact that effectively managing the warning signs or pre-headache symptoms can help a lot in reducing the severity of the attack. Here are all the signs and symptoms that accompany the initial phase of the migraine attack that you should know about.

Most Common Migraine Prodrome Symptoms

  1. Feelings of depression

  2. Difficulty in comprehension

  3. Difficulty in concentrating

  4. Frustration and irritability

  5. Frequent urination

  6. Fatigue

  7. Sensitivity to sound

  8. Sensitivity to light

  9. Excessive yawning

  10. Distubed sleep

  11. Nausea and vomiting

  12. Stiffness in the neck

  13. Cravings of sweet and salty food

  14. Feeling excessively thirsty

Keep in mind that a crucial indicator to help you know that you’re in the pre-headache phase is the severity of the symptoms during or after physical exertion. Exercise induced migraine prodrome symptoms usually start with neck pain. It’s a sign for you to stop exerting yourself physically.

1.   Feelings of Depression

depression symptoms

Woman feeling depressed, Credit: Pixabay

It is a very common symptom that migraine sufferers experience. Feeling low or depressed during the pre-headache phase should prepare you for the impending attack. The migrainous process that occurs in the brain affects the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. Hence, mood swings accompany this phase.

2.   Difficulty in Comprehension

exercise-induced migraine prodrome symptoms

Person unable to comprehend, Credit: Pixabay

This phase is characterized by reduced comprehension powers. It is called Aphasia. You may feel an impairment of your ability to understand or comprehend phrases and words. Hence, speaking and reading will become difficult.

3.   Difficulty in Concentrating

migraine postdrome symptoms

Person not able to concentrate, Credit: Pixabay

People in the prodrome phase may find it very difficult to concentrate on a task. It brings a halt to their important daily activities. The situation becomes particularly difficult when these people are working in the office or are engaged in a really important task.

4.   Frustration and Irritability


Woman feeling frustrated, Credit: Pixabay

You should immediately become aware of your irritable nature during the prodrome phase. Feeling excessively frustrated and irritated with nothing in particular is common during this phase. It also makes it difficult for them to deal with those who are close to them.

5.   Frequent Urination

migraine prodrome anxiety

Picture of a washroom, Credit: Pixabay

This stage is also characterized by an upset stomach. You may feel an excessive need to urinate and also diarrhea. So do not go out of your home if you’re experiencing any disturbance in your bowel movements.

6.   Fatigue

fatigue symptoms

Woman feeling fatigued, Credit: Pixabay

Feeling tired and fatigue is a common feature of the prodrome phase. The intense exhaustion may make it difficult for you to involve yourself in any activity. So just take rest and stay in a quiet place.

7.   Sensitivity to Sound

sound migraine

Person feeling sensitivity to sound, Credit: Pixabay

Increased sensitivity to sound makes it imperative for migraine sufferers to find a quiet place where there’s no noise. This sensitivity or phonophobia is the most visible symptom of prodrome as well as the subsequent phases. So take necessary steps to steer away from any sources of noise.

8.   Sensitivity to Light

light migraine

Woman feeling photosensitive, Credit: Pixabay

This symptom starts during the prodrome phase and continues till the attack subsides. Photophobia or the increased sensitivity to light make it difficult for migraineurs to sit in a place that has bright and fluorescent light.

9.   Excessive Yawning

migraine prodrome symptoms

Person yawning Credit: Pixabay

Yawning repetitively is a very common symptom of the pre-headache phase. Yet it is ignored by migraine sufferers. There is not much clarity about the occurrence of this symptom in the medical circle but you should be aware of it to deal with the headache.

10.  Disturbed Sleep

sleep migraine symptoms

Man not being able to sleep, Credit: Pixabay

Migraineurs often suffer from interrupted sleep. It is both a cause as well as a symptom of the migraine. It is essential for them to rest, recover, and maintain good sleeping habits so that they do not face any trouble in sleeping.

11.  Nausea and Vomiting

nausea migraine symptoms

Woman feeling nauseated, Credit: Pixabay

Nausea is common during the prodrome phase. It is one of the widely known signs that is felt by the sufferers throughout the migraine attack. The occurrence of nausea hours or days before the migraine attack should prepare people in advance.

12.  Stiffness in the Neck

migraine prodrome anxiety

Person feeling stiffness in the neck, Credit: Pixabay

The feeling of stiffness in the neck occurs in the pre-headache phase. It also stays in the post-headache phase. This feeling occurs along with other symptoms and it is important to recognise it.

13.  Cravings of Sweet and Salty Food

migraine symptoms

Woman feeling food cravings, Credit: Pixabay

Migraineurs crave sweet and salty food a lot during the prodrome phase. It is not related to any vitamin or mineral deficiency in their body. Hence, become attentive of your cravings and if you suddenly feel the need to eat all kinds of sweet and salty food, then see it as an indication of a migraine attack.

14.  Feeling Excessively Thirsty

migraine symptoms

Woman feeling thirsty, Credit: Pixabay

If you’re feeling too thirsty, then pay attention to it. It is a common yet overlooked symptom of the pre-headache stage. Those with existing health conditions that increase thirst are particularly prone to ignoring this symptom as an indicator of an impending attack.

Presently there exists no specific prodrome treatment. However, certain medications like Naratriptan 2.5 mg can help to reduce the severity of the attack. You should always consult your doctor before beginning any treatment plan.

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