Treating Migraine Prodrome
Take Your Steps to Stop It!
October 2012 – Issue 20 – Treating Migraine Prodrome
The Continuing Pursuit for Migraine Elimination and Pain Reduction
Editors Note: For those of you who don’t what the word Prodrome means here it is. Migraine attacks most commonly have up to 4 phases, the first phase or stage is called the Prodrome. I have found that treating a migraine at the earliest warning sign, aka the prodrome, has been THE most beneficial thing to me to surviving chronic migraine attacks.
Inspiring a new name for my monthly e-zine - what do you think?
I have listed some details below and provided a print out to help you recognize and track your prodrome symptoms. If you haven’t read up on this first stage yet – I think it is well worth a once over. I believe that treating your migraine as early as possible is your best defense.
Take the steps to stop it before it starts!
If you would like to read more about the other migraine phases please read our
article which explains each phase in detail.
The First Phase of Migraine Attack – Prodrome
Symptoms that occur before migraines are considered the first phase of the migraine attack and is called the prodrome. Your symptoms can start from two hours to two days before a migraine episode. This used to annoy me but now I realize that it provides an early warning signal that tells me a migraine is on its way, so I can take the actions I need to.
This is when I take my abortive, get my ice pack, and go to bed with my favorite relaxation CD of the month. Getting to know my body and its prodrome symptoms have made my life more manageable.
Some typical prodrome symptoms are:
• increased sensitivity to light called photophobia; and
• sensitivity to loud noises and sounds called phonophobia. These two symptoms can continue throughout the attack.
• nausea – can start two days before the pain
• food cravings or immense hunger. AKA the munchies! So you might crave any kind of food – sweet, salt, carbs, or any combination of foods. Just fyi – there is no scientific evidence yet that indicates the body is lacking what it is craving. Especially not with migraine attacks.
• constipation or diarrhea;
• mood swings: depression, irritability, anger, anxiety. This is my hardest one to admit to!
• neck pain or pressure. I feel like I've been hit in the neck with a crow bar, for example!
• eye pressure or pain, tearing on one side;
• sinus congestion, cold or flu like symptoms;
• fatigue – which is more like exhaustion when you are unable to respond to things the way you normally do.
• increased frequency of urination;
• increased thirst – be careful here as many medications can cause this symptom.
• decreased ability to concentrate – I call brain fog which also includes
difficulty reading and speaking;
• hyper or hypo activity;
• excessive and repetitive yawning (tied to dopamine levels);
• and the double sided sleeping problems which can be both a trigger and a symptom.
Most doctors do not ask about the symptoms before a migraine – so it might be useful for both yourself and your doctor to use a symptom tracker. Download your free
migraine prodrome symptom tracker
and keep it with your other records to help you see patterns and learn the steps you need to take to stop your migraines before they even start.
Use the symptom tracker when you next get a migraine and then go back over the last 48 hours and record your symptoms. Being forewarned is being forearmed …
"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, both glory and danger alike. And yet notwithstanding, they go out and they meet it." Thucydides 430 B.C.
That’s us – brave!
Ask the Editor
Do you have a question you’d like to ask the editor on this topic? If so please
to contact me. I will respond as soon as possible.
Your Input – Tell YOUR Migraine Story
This is a safe forum to express your troubles – tell
- find solutions with
- and get
professional health advice
. Just click on the links underlined above if you would like to contribute.
Remember that your contribution will help others too! We are not in this alone, even though it feels like it most of the time. Our stories and input can help each other.
My Question(s) to You
What are your prodrome symptoms? Do you act immediately when you have them or wait until the pain phase hits? Do you know how long it is between the prodrome and the pain phase? Please
to tell us.
The next issue is: Issue 21 – TBA
Stay tuned for more current issues around surviving chronic migraine and sharing new ways to increase our awareness around this disease so we can stop them in their tracks.
I hope you ENJOYED this (new) issue of Surviving Chronic Migraine!
If you’ve missed an issue
to read the back issues.
And before I forget!
Please send this to your friends and family. It’s time to spread the word about Migraines and educate our loved ones! They can click on this link to
I wish you Migraine FREE Life full of fun and adventure, and peace and tranquility should you desire that too. Talk to you next month.