Migraine Headache Phases

Migraine Headache Phases - Migraine can present many symptoms that occur before, during, and after the headache. For this reason migraine has been classified as having four phases. Here are the four phases:
  1. The prodrome phase – Occurs hours or days before the onset of headache.
  2. The aura phase – Precedes the headache by 10 to 60 minutes.
  3. The pain phase – This is when the headache is present.
  4. The postdrome phase – This concerns the after effects.
Migraine Headache Phases
Migraine Headache Phases

The Prodome Phase

Roughly half of all migraine sufferers will have symptoms that appear in the prodrome phase. These symptoms will occur several hours to several days before onset of the headache. Prodromal symptoms can be depression, irritability, mood swings, euphoria, fatigue, excessive tiredness, stiff muscles, food cravings, diarrhea, constipation, and others. Once a person becomes familiar with the symptoms in their specific prodrome phase they are often able to predict when a migraine headache will occur. This gives the migraineur an opportunity to use some of the methods in this book in an effort to prevent or lessen the severity of the upcoming headache while at the same time following my 4-step process for complete migraine elimination.

The Aura Phase

Approximately 20% of migraineurs experience auras before the onset of headache. Auras are visual disturbances that can be bright flashes of light, zigzag patterns in the field of vision, blind spots, increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), and others. It can also include disturbances that are auditory (hearing sensitivities) or olfactory (sensitivities to odor). Auras generally occur anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes before the headache, but can occasionally occur several hours before.

As with the prodrome phase, auras can often alert a migraineur to an upcoming headache and therefore there is a short period of time to prepare. With this advance warning a migraine headache can sometimes be prevented or the symptoms reduced.

The Pain Phase

This is the phase where the headaches appear as well as other symptoms. Typical migraine headaches are one-sided, throbbing or stabbing in nature, moderate to severe in intensity, and the pain can intensify due to strenuous activities or exercise. Most often the headache pain comes on gradually as opposed to suddenly. The pain is typically moderate to severe in intensity. There are many other symptoms that can accompany migraine headaches, one of which is nausea. Nausea accompanies almost 90% of migraine headaches and vomiting occurs about 30% of the time.

The Postdrome Phase

Once the headache pain has subsided a migraine sufferer can be exhausted and feel tired. Other post-headache symptoms can include digestive and gastrointestinal disturbances, mood swings and changes, muscle weakness, and depression. On the other side of the spectrum a person can feel a sense of euphoria after a migraine attack.

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