5 Surprising Signs You’re About to Get a Migraine
1. You have food cravings
“Eating abnormally may be part of the prodrome of the migraine,” says Noah Rosen, MD, director of the Northwell Health Headache Center in Great Neck, New York. “While you may blame that chocolate bar you ate at your 11 a.m. break for causing your headache, it may have been part of the prodrome that led you to eat it in the first place.” (Cocoa may be protective of migraine, he notes.)
2. You’re yawning excessively
This is likely due to changes in the activity of neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, Dr. Minen says.
3. You have neck pain or stiffness
This can be part of the prodrome or it can be accompanied by the head pain, Minen says. She estimates that up to 70 percent of people with migraine have neck pain.
“Recent neuroimaging fMRI studies have shown that this is due to the nerve fibers extending down from the brain to the cervical spine — the neck region,” she says. “These fibers then loop back up toward the brain. So while people may feel that their pain is muscular, it actually stems from the changes in the brain related to migraine.”
4. You’re excessively sleepy during the daytime
Feeling drowsy during the day could be one sign of an impending migraine attack. For example, a study published in April 2019 inThe Journal of Headache and Painfound that nearly 20 percent of people with migraines reported experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness compared with about 13 percent of those who don’t have migraines. (It’s worth noting that daytime fatigue is a symptom of other conditions, too, including sleep disorders.)
5. You have to urinate frequently
Some people feel a need to urinate frequently during the premonitory phase of the migraine, according to the American Headache Society; this urge can also be accompanied by pelvic pain, says the Association of Migraine Disorders.
After the migraine attack, which can last for hours or up to three days, comes what’s called the postdrome, or the “migraine hangover.” The MRF estimates that approximately 80 percent of people can experience fatigue, body aches, dizziness, and sensitivity to sound — and the organization points out that these symptoms can be just as debilitating as those of a migraine itself.
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