Prodrome: Signs of a migraine on the road


Up to 80% of migraine sufferers experience prodrome. Here, we explore the common prodromal symptoms and find out what it could mean for treatment.

Prodromos is the first of four potential stages of a migraine attack. Up to 80% of migraineurs (migraine sufferers) experience prodromal phase, which lasts between 2-48 hours before the onset of headache and other symptoms, such as light and sound sensitivity and extreme nausea.

If you can learn to recognize your symptoms, it might be possible to abort their migraines before they reach the attack phase.

I am sorry… You cannot believe it

Luciani and colleagues studied 20 patients with migraine. In the initial phase, they were asked to record their migraines and any prodrome, but they could treat their migraine headache until he began. In the treatment phase of the study, 20 patients were treated with naratriptan, and used it when they had prodromal symptoms. The prodrome developed into a migraine only 40% of the time.


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A study of 19 patients with migraine Waelkens found that treatment of patients during the prodrome phase decreased the amount of migraines 65%.

Although you should not treat yourself in the prodromal phase, if you have reliable and recognizable prodromal symptoms, you could discuss this option with your doctor at your next appointment.

Possible prodromal symptoms

Here are fourteen possible prodromal symptoms, which can predict the migraine attack. If you are unsure about whether you are experiencing prodrome, try to keep a headache diary. Identifying your migraine pattern could help cut root as soon as it begins.

Symptom 1: Speech problems

Aphasia (problems with production, understanding or selecting the correct word, which causes a problem with both speaking and writing) is an early symptom of common prodrome. Reading and speaking are problematic.

Symptom 2: Low mood

Depression often occurs in the prodrome, even in people who do not normally experience depression. This is due to serotonin, which is an important regulator of mood.

Symptom 3: Irritability

If you are in the prodromal phase, you can bite the people closest to you. This can cause migraine in quite difficult to live prodromal phase. If people wonder why you are in such a bad mood suddenly aware that may have a migraine on the road.

Symptom 4: Lack of concentration

This can not only be a major irritation for patients with migraine, so it is difficult to work during the prodromal phase, but can also be dangerous if migraineurs are required to drive or operate machinery while your concentration is affected.

Symptom 5: Fatigue

When you have a prodrome, which is just being tired, you may be so exhausted and weak that all he wants to do is crawl off to bed in a dark room and cold to sleep.

Symptom 6: constipation or diarrhea

Both are possible during the prodromal phase of a migraine attack. Children are more likely to experience diarrhea than adults. However, many patients with migraine is risky venture can not be away from your bathroom during the prodromal phase.

Symptom 7: Sensitivity to sound

If you frequently want to use headphones, or crawl away and cover your ears with pillows, you may be suffering with phonophobia (sensitivity to sound). Phonophobia is one of the most enduring symptoms that often start with prodromal and continues through the aura phase and the attack.

Symptom 8: Sensitivity to light

Photophobia (sensitivity to light) is one of the most common symptoms. As with phonophobia, the symptom usually continues throughout the attack. Light makes the most painful migraines and may cause sensitivity in patients with migraine, even between attacks.

Symptom 9: Thirst

Need to consume a lot more before a migraine is a symptom of the least recognized migraine. People rarely is able to detect, especially if they have other medical conditions (such as diabetes), or taking medications that can cause dry mouth.

Symptom 10: Yawn

If you are yawning while people have asked: “Am I boring” It could be a first sign of prodrome. It is very common, although rarely notice that we are doing. It is believed to be due to changes in dopamine levels. However, more research is needed.

Symptom 11: Insomnia

Migraineurs cmplete a bit stuck. Insomnia or not getting a break, can act as a trigger of migraine. It is also a symptom of prodrome and migraine itself, many patients suffer from insomnia or interrupted sleep until the attack has passed. This insomnia can continue to worsen the attack. And so the cycle continues.

Symptom 12: Stiff neck

If you only have a stiff neck before migraine is a symptom prodrome. If stiff neck after his migraine has been maintained, see your doctor because it could be a sign of something that requires treatment.

Symptom 13: Nausea

Did you know that nausea can start in the prodromal phase, up to two days before the migraine? If you feel sick without other symptoms of migraine, it may not be at the stage of migraine.

Symptom 14: The food cravings

Many migraine patients have cravings for certain types of food in the prodromal phase: salty, sweet, crunchy, carbohydrates or any mixture thereof. Although it is well to satisfy your craving, there is no evidence that there is no biological need behind them.


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What does this mean?

A 2016 study of Nicola Giffin, published in the journal Neurology, found that patients who control the prodromal symptoms could predict a migraine with a success rate of 93%, up to 24 hours before it reaches the attack phase. As noted above, this could be very valuable to prevent debilitating pain and other symptoms of migraine.

Working with chronic migraine, they could find the perfect time to take his abortive medication (when they know that a migraine is imminent, but before it becomes completely incapacitating) and thus prevent migraines root and devastate life migrañoso.

Watch your triggers

We all know that prevention is better than cure. While you’re monitoring their prodrome, try to see if your migraines seem to have any particular trigger.

Common triggers include:

  • Flashing or strobe lights or fluorescent lights hard.
  • Strong odors
  • High altitude
  • Lack of sleep (occasionally, or during a prolonged bout of insomnia), or oversleeping
  • The high voltage and / or prolonged
  • Skipping meals (the irregular blood sugar is a major cause, you should eat little and often); excess caffeine or alcohol; consumption of red wine (containing tyramine was related to migraine); large amounts of camembert and brie (tyramine again).
  • Additives, in particular: monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates and nitrites, Sunset Yellow (also known as Yellow No. 6 and E110) and aspartame.
  • Dehydration: Dehydration leads to migraine, so you should drink 8 glasses of water a day. Also, avoid diet drinks with aspartame.
  • As screens for hours. If you work with a screen, take regular breaks to do other tasks, and make sure you feel comfortable with the supported neck (neck strain is believed to contribute to migraine).
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