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Weird Migraine Symptoms You May Experience

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Most people know that migraine can make your head hurt a lot, make you not like bright lights, and make you feel sick to your stomach. But there are other kinds of symptoms that don’t happen as much. These symptoms are not well-known, and they can be confusing. Sometimes, people don’t notice them, or they don’t know that these symptoms are also because of migraine.

Typical Migraine Symptoms

Migraine is a condition that can cause significant discomfort for many people. It’s known for a few common symptoms that signal the beginning of an episode. Let’s take a look at these symptoms one by one:

  • Pounding headache: Often, the main sign of migraine is a headache that feels like pounding or throbbing pain. It can be so strong that it gets in the way of daily activities.
  • Sensitivity to light and sound: Bright lights and loud sounds can become a problem during a migraine. This sensitivity can make being in well-lit rooms or around noisy environments challenging.
  • Feeling nauseous: During a migraine, you might feel like your stomach is churning or upset, which is called nausea.
  • Vomiting: Migraine can make you feel so nauseous that you might vomit.

These symptoms are the most common ones associated with migraine. They act as warning signs that a migraine is on its way. Recognizing these symptoms is helpful because it can alert us to other less common symptoms that may appear with migraine.

Less Common Migraine Symptoms

When we talk about migraine, most people think of a bad headache. But other, less common symptoms can be just as troubling. Some people with migraine deal with weird symptoms that they may not even realize are part of their condition. Here are some of these unusual symptoms:

Sensory Oddities

  • Smelling things that aren’t there: Some people with migraine smell odors that no one else can smell. This can be confusing and a bit scary.
  • Seeing things differently: Colors may seem too bright, or patterns may dance or move. It’s like looking through a kaleidoscope. These changes in sight are known as “altered perception” and can make everyday sights feel strange.

Digestive Disturbances

  • Stomach upsets: A person with migraine may feel like their stomach is always upset. They might have diarrhea or need to go to the bathroom more often.
  • Craving different foods: Sometimes, a person with migraine might want to eat certain foods they don’t usually think about.
  • Feeling uncomfortable in the stomach: Migraine can cause a lot of discomfort in the belly, not just a headache.

Cognitive and Speech Irregularities

  • Getting confused easily: Someone with migraine may find it challenging to think clearly or get confused about simple things.
  • Having trouble paying attention: They might have trouble focusing on work or school tasks.
  • Difficult to find the right words: It can be frustrating when you can’t speak smoothly or remember the words you want to say. This can happen to people with migraine, too.

Motor Skills and Coordination Challenges

  • Feeling weak or unsteady: In rare cases, a person with migraine might find one side of their body weakening. This is called hemiplegic migraine. It can make it hard to move around and do everyday things.
  • Problems with balance: When migraine affects how you move, you might feel clumsy or have trouble keeping your balance.

These symptoms might not be what we usually expect with migraine, but they are important to know. They can help doctors and patients understand migraine better. When people with migraine know about these weird symptoms, they can get support faster and find ways to feel better. It’s important to remember that migraine is more than just a headache—it can affect many parts of the body in different ways.

Understanding Why Migraine Has Weird Symptoms

Migraine is a tricky condition because it can affect the brain in different ways. This section will help explain why people with migraine might experience a bunch of weird symptoms.

How Migraine Affects the Brain

The brain is like the boss of the body, telling it what to do. But when migraine happens, it’s like the brain’s signals get mixed up. This can lead to strange feelings and actions in the body. For example:

  • Nerves acting weirdly: The brain has many nerves that send messages all over the body. During a migraine, these nerves can send wrong signals, like false alarms. That’s why someone might smell things that aren’t there or see lights flashing.
  • Brain chemicals changing: The brain also uses special chemicals to talk to itself. Migraine can mess with these chemicals, which can make a person feel or act differently than usual.

Why Different Things Trigger Migraine

Many things can start a migraine, and what causes one for one person might not cause one for someone else. Here are some reasons why:

  • Stress: When a person is stressed, their body reacts in many ways, sometimes triggering a migraine.
  • Food: Certain foods have things in them that can trigger a migraine. It’s like the brain doesn’t agree with these foods.
  • The world around us: Bright lights, loud sounds, or changes in the weather can also trigger a migraine. It’s as if the brain is more sensitive to these things than usual.

Finding Out and Fixing Unusual Migraine Symptoms

Knowing these weird symptoms can help doctors determine if someone has migraine. It’s like being a detective looking for clues.

When to Get Help

It’s imperative to talk to a doctor if weird symptoms happen because it might be migraine or something else. A doctor can help sort this out.

Ways to Treat These Symptoms

Treating weird migraine symptoms can include different things like:

  • Medicine: Some medicines are made just for migraine. They can help stop the migraine or make it not as bad.
  • Changing daily habits: Doing things like getting more sleep, eating different foods, or finding ways to relax can help keep migraine away or make them happen less often.

Understanding and treating migraine can be challenging because it’s more than just headaches. But once people know all about the weird symptoms, they can look for the right help and start to feel better.

Understanding the full range of migraine symptoms, including the weird and less typical ones, is essential. Acknowledging and learning about these symptoms can help those living with migraine manage their condition more effectively and find solace in knowing they are not alone.

Originally published: November 10, 2023
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