Migraine Warning Signs
The truth is that if you've had migraine headaches for a long time, you are well aware of small and large warning signs that indicate you should brace yourself for another migraine. If you haven't, however, it's important to know what your migraine warning signs are.
Identifying the Warning Signs
Identifying the warning signs is also helpful to figure out the triggers, and for this reason a daily diary should be used by all migraine sufferers. Usually two or more well-known triggers (stress, certain foods or medications, smells, menses in women) are present. By connecting the triggers with the onset of migraines, an individual will be more likely able to avoid those triggers. If certain foods or drugs are the culprits, they should be avoided and replaced with other ones. If the periods are linked with a migraine attack, a treatment for hormonal balance may be recommended. If the stress and lack of sleep correlate with symptoms, biofeedback, meditation and other mind-body techniques offer effective anti-stress results.
Warning signs will tell you a migraine attack is about to come. If their pattern or intensity change, or new symptoms develop you should also see a doctor to rule out other conditions, since chronic migraines are associated with an increased risk of strokes or cardiovascular problems; for example, if the headache is way more intense than usual, if there are vision problems, or weakness, speech problems and dizziness present, then you should go to the hospital as soon as possible to rule out a stroke.
Bottom line: keep track and be aware of the warning signs that precede a migraine. This way it will be easier to treat the migraine and prevent future episodes. It will also help you to recognize (and thus eliminate) the triggers and differentiate the migraine from other health conditions.
Doctors and scientists call symptoms that occur before a migraine sets in the prodrome symptoms. Up to 24 hours before a migraine, you may feel any of these symptoms:
- excessive yawning
- stiff neck
- stuffy nose or sinus congestion
- more urination than usual
- inability to concentrate
- uncontrollable food cravings
- lack of sleep the night before the migraine
- fatigue that is unexplainable
You can see from these symptoms that they occur in many different systems of the body. They are affecting the brain, physical body and spine, respiratory tract, kidney, and digestive system.
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