Migraine Warning Signs: What Your Body is Telling You

Do You Get Visual Disturbances? Could be a Migraine Warning!

I think we can all agree that it’s nice to be forewarned if something unpleasant is about to happen. Fortunately for us, a migraine is one of those things that our body will often warn us about. A little advance noticed that blinding head pain is about to get you in it’s grip is often all that’s needed to lessen the pain or duration of the attack, or at least buy you a little time to make preparations (like getting home).

Migraine warning signs vary from person to person in intensity, nature & duration (and some people have no signs), but these are the five most common ways your body is cluing you in on a migraine.

Vision Disturbances

Seeing stars or zigzag lines for no apparent reason? It could be a warning  sign of an impending migraine. Quickly passing eye pain or blurred vision is often chalked up to eye strain or fatigue, but it could be a warning that an incapacitating headache is on its way. Tunnel vision, a temporary blind spot or any other vision disturbances can be your body sending clues.

Flu-like Symptoms

You may think you are coming down with a cold, flu or stomach virus, but the chills, fatigue, nausea and vomiting could be early warning signs that a migraine is on the way. Pay careful attention to flu-like symptoms, especially if they occur during the ‘off’ season. Those pseudo-flu symptoms could be an internal clue from your body.

Stroke-like Symptoms

An oncoming migraine could send out stroke-like symptoms to the confusion of everyone. While it’s better to be safe than sorry, warning signs of migraines and strokes are very similar – slurred speech, numbness, weakness/tingling in the extremities, not being able to find the right words, overall confusion, excessive sweating and overall fatigue are all very common. Knowing your own body language and having observant family and friends will help discern these body clues to determine what type of medical help is needed. Don’t be afraid to raise these topics to those in your life so they can help you prepare.

Diabetes-like Symptoms

Your body only has so many physical clues it can send, so often those clues will mimic other ailments, as in the case of migraines. We’ve covered the flu and a stroke, but diabetes is also a common copycat. When blood sugar is high, a person experiences increased urination, loss of appetite, fatigue and sweating. These symptoms could also indicate a migraine is on the way, so be sure to take heed, and see a doctor if a migraine doesn’t pan out.

Feeling Hung-over

After a migraine, feeling hung-over is a residual effect. These after feelings can occur before as well. Not feeling mentally sharp and experiencing difficulty with routine tasks, being excessively sleepy and having neck pain and stiffness are clues which can occur before, or the hangover which occurs afterwards.

Need Assistance?

If you suffer from migraines, keep a journal to help determine a pattern of the clues your body may be giving you prior to the onset of a crushing headache. Those few extra minutes or hours can buy you enough time to make whatever preparations you need to retreat to the solace of your bedroom until the pain subsides.

Ron Craymore is an avid blogger who writes about health. He specialties include migraines, diabetes & helping readers finding the best masters in nursing degrees.

Editor’s Note:  Our bodies have an amazing way of giving us warning signs that migraines are coming.  The hard part is knowing what those are for you since each person is different.  For example, one of my triggers is dehydration and my warning sign is actually that I need to spit.  Gross I know, but I know that when I have that urge I need to head straight for some water or Gatorade.  Take the time to fill out your headache diary and learn more about migraine warning signs.  I for one did not know many of mine until I read The Migraine Brain, stuff that was talked about there I just thought was part of me not a sign of an upcoming migraine.  Remember that knowledge is power.