Migraine Symptoms: Is it all just headaches?

When it comes to migraine, most people's first thought is to do with headaches. But the condition is associated with many other symptoms.
woman sitting on chair holding head in her hands

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Most people have heard of migraine from somewhere. For those who aren’t intimately acquainted with the condition, a migraine is often believed to be a type of headache. This isn’t too far off. From a medical standpoint, migraine is considered to be part of a group called “Primary Headaches”. The most common symptom of a migraine attack is, after all, a pain felt in head. This pain often begins as a dull ache before developing into a throbbing or pounding pain. But migraine headaches are complex – they may only affect one side of your head, and may switch between sides. You may only feel in the front or the very back of your head. Some even stretch down from your head into your jaw and neck. Nor are headaches the only symptoms of migraine….

What are the other symptoms of migraine attacks?

The symptoms of a migraine attack vary significantly from individual to individual. A few examples include:

  • Increased Sensitivity: This usually involves an increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), sensitivity to sound (phonophobia), and sensitivity to smell (hyperosima). In other words, sensory experiences that most people find unaffecting are uncomfortable – painful, even – for those facing a migraine attack
  • Loss of Appetite: Some individuals experience a reduced desire to eat when suffering a migraine attack.
  • Nausea: A frequently noted symptom of migraine is feeling like you are going to be sick (and, in some cases, actually vomiting). Scientists have even linked a specific type of condition with this symptom – abdominal migraine.
  • Extreme Temperatures: Some individuals experiencing (or about to experience) a migraine attack note feeling either very warm or very cold.
  • Dizziness & Blurred Vision: Migraine is a condition that primarily affects the brain. It is therefore unsurprising that dizziness and blurred vision may accompany a tell-tale headache when an attack is approaching.

These symptoms are, however, very generalised. Not only do symptoms vary between individuals, but they also vary between the different phases of a migraine attack! If you are ever unsure as to whether you are facing a migraine attack or something else, do contact your GP or health professional. They are they to reassure you and will support you in seeking any necessary medical assistance.


Mayo Clinic Migraine Symptoms

NHS on Migraine

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