Am I Having a Migraine? Common Migraine Symptoms

You know you have a headache, but do you actually have a migraine? What’s the difference? It’s a question that comes up a lot, especially from people who have chronic head pain. Migraines are not that well understood, so it makes sense that you might be trying to figure out if you have them and why? Consider five migraine symptoms that might help you determine if you have migraine attacks.

1. Constipation

Most people already know the obvious migraine symptoms migraine like nausea, head pain and sensitivity to light so this one might surprise you. Constipation is often a sign of an approaching migraine. It occurs during what doctors call the prodrome, the time about one or two days before the migraine attack. It’s the subtle symptoms like this one that can help confirm that your headaches are indeed migraines.

2. Pins and Needles

The pins and needles sensation typically occurs as part of the aura. Not everyone who gets migraines has an aura, but it can start a few hours before the attack or a few minutes. The pins and needles feeling will be in either your arms or legs. It might be on one side or both, too. It will feel like that limb fell asleep and is now coming back alive.

3. Increased Urination

The need to pee a lot is another potential sign of an impending migraine. It can also happen after the pain subsides or even during the attack. It’s important to keep track of things that you notice before during and after a headache not only to figure out the warning signs but to look for migraine triggers, too, such as:

  • Stress
  • Strong smells
  • Food additives
  • Being overtired
  • Not sleeping well
  • Bright lights
  • New medication
  • Missing meals
  • Cigarette smoke

If it does seem like you are heading to the bathroom a lot, write it down and anything else you notice just in case there is a migraine in your immediate future.  

4. Confusion

It is common to feel brain fog and confusion post migraine in the period referred to as the post-drome. It typically lasts for about 24 hours after the pain stops. You will likely feel drained at the same time or even feel abnormally happy and energetic. These are all signs that you’ve experienced a migraine.

5. Weird Food Cravings

Strange eating habits can be part of the predrome, too. It’s not clear why this happens, but it’s possible your body is trying to ward off the attack. You might crave coffee even if you are not a fan, for example, because caffeine is a treatment for a migraine and can stop an attack at times. Chocolate is another possibility, according to Everyday Health. There is some indication that cocoa might help protect you from a migraine. Be careful though – food sensitivities have been known to cause migraines. If you have a sensitivity or allergy to the food you are craving, you may be perpetuating your symptoms. 

 

It’s important to keep in mind that no two people experience migraines in the same way. Your sister might see bright lights before hers, but you don’t have those. Also, remember that not all headaches are clinical migraines. Things like muscle tension and neck pain can also cause a headache. If you are experiencing headaches or other migraine symptoms, contact BackFit for a complimentary assessment to find out why.