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Expert Answer: Sensation of heat during migraine attack

Question: Is it normal to feel “heat” at the location of my head pain during a migraine? I sometimes mistake it for a fever but when I check my temperature it is fine….

A sensation of heat at the site of the headache is quite common. Many people also feel a throbbing sensation, which suggests that opening of the blood vessels and increased blood flow to the area may be responsible for the warmth. Actually, many migraine sufferers find that applying cold to the head helps relieve pain. At the same time, some people feel that their body is cold and they even shiver. If that is the case, taking a hot bath and applying an ice pack to the head at the same time seems to work for many people.

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The cause of feeling cold is constriction of blood vessels in the body, possibly triggered by low magnesium levels. Many migraine sufferers feel cold or at least have cold hands and feet all the time, even when not having a migraine attack. Taking magnesium daily can prevent migraine headaches and make people feel warmer by improving circulation.

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