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What Happens During a Migraine?

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Migraine Headache Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person and from migraine to migraine. Five phases can often be identified:

  • Prodrome: A variety of warnings can come before a migraine. These may consist of a change in mood (for example, feeling "high," irritable, or depressed) or a subtle change of sensation (for example, a funny taste or smell). Fatigue and muscle tension are also common.
  • Aura: This is commonly a visual disturbance that precedes the headache phase. Some migraine sufferers develop blind spots (called scotomas); see geometric patterns or flashing, colorful lights; or lose vision on one side (hemianopsia).
  • Headache: Migraine pain usually appears on one side of the head. Sometimes migraines occur on both sides. Throbbing pain may be present. Most people with migraines feel nauseated, and some vomit. Most also become sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia) during a migraine.This phase may last 4-72 hours.
  • Headache termination: Even if untreated, the pain usually goes away with sleep.
  • Postdrome: Other signs of the migraine (for example, inability to eat, problems with concentration, or fatigue) may linger after the pain has disappeared.

 

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Tyramine and Migraines

In some people, certain foods and drinks -- or components they contain -- can trigger a migraine. One well-accepted migraine trigger is tyramine. Tyramine is a substance found naturally in some foods. It's especially found in aged and fermented foods, such as: Aged cheeses Smoked fish Cured meats Some types of beer Also, foods high in protein may contain more tyramine if: They have been stored for a long time They have not been kept cold enough

Read the Tyramine and Migraines article > >

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 11, 2014
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