Headache is the primary symptom presented during a migraine attack without aura. It is mostly accompanied by nausea-vomiting. There can be different symptoms in pre-pain, pain and post pain periods. Mostly, these symptoms are not as significative and primary as headaches. In pre-pain period, the symptoms warning you a migraine is coming can be weakness, restlessness, decreased or increased appetite, distress and irritability. These syptoms usually occur a few hours before pain. And they may also rarely occur a few days before pain.
“Before getting headaches, I am famished and feel the need to eat something. I don’t’know what to eat. I lose my appetite. I try one bite of some food, and then my headache starts.”
“Hours before my headache starts, I have a very increased appetite. I gorge myself with food. Mostly I have a craving for sugar. Eating doesn’t do any good, but if I don’t eat I feel even worse.”
Moderate or more severe throbbing headaches are usually in one side situated around temples. The severity of pain decreases in the beginning and at the end of a migraine attack. Although the overall structure of pain is pulsating, it can also be piercing, tightening, stabbing and penetrating. Throbbing pain feels like a heartbeat.
Migraine, hemicrania is known as half sided headache. However, some migraneurs in all attacks or all migraneurs in some of them can experience pain on the entire head. The characteristic of migraine is that the level of pain is so excruciating that it hinders daily life. Like tension headache, the pain can also be located at the back of the neck. Starting in the neck, it moves to the front of the head and later can become throbbing pain mainly in either side of temple. Also, it can only be located in forehead.
In a simple migraine, nausea and vomiting are the second most common symptoms. Attack can sometimes start with nausea. During the attack, being inappetent, patients cannot eat anything. Even the thought, sight or smell of food can cause increased nausea. Vomiting usually occurs towards the later end of the attack. In some cases migraine attack can end even after the patient is sick. And even though stomach is completely empty, forcable dry-heaving continues in place of vomiting.
During attacks, with their pale faces and deeply sunken eyes, patients may seem to be distressed and suffering. Veins may become noticeble in the side of the temple and forehead where the pain is located. Both eyes or one eye may shrink and collapse inwards. The sufferer can also experience eye redness and nasal blocking.
In all attacks, patients experience various levels of weakness, fatigue, lack of energy, drowsiness and feel the desire to rest. The pain usually ends with sleep. As well as patients feeling rested and refreshed after waking up, there are also ones who continue to suffer from exhaustion the next day. Some patients can also get rid of pain if they manage to sleep immediately after sensing headache is coming.
Taken from the book of “Migraine Solutions”.