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Your Less Talked About Symptoms of Migraine

Recently, a story was published to our site detailing one of our member’s struggles with the lesser-known symptoms of migraine.  Visual aura, pain, nausea, and vomiting are all symptoms known too well to those with migraine, but that’s not all! Those with migraine frequently report other symptoms, like trouble with body temperature regulation, hypersensitivity, brain fog, depression, and much more. We reached out to you, the community, to find out what you’re less-talked about migraine symptoms were and your answers were incredible!  Here are some of your responses!

Problems with regulating body temperature

“I get very hot when I have a strong of migraines, and I’ve never heard of anyone else who does! If I exercise, I am so hot for the rest of the night that my body is still radiating heat hours later and I can’t sleep

“I’m usually hot, but freezing, and very restless”

“Gosh, I can relate to that!! All I want is to sleep under covers, but I’ll turn the AC so far down, and I’m still radiating heat!”

“Yes, I am the same way, even leaving the window open all night in the dead of winter and sleeping with ice packs just to control it. Or constantly asking if anyone else is freezing, and not being able to get warm”

Many individuals with migraine report having difficulty controlling their body temperature. One minute you may be burning up, and the next freezing! And this change doesn’t have to be accompanied by a fever or any signs of illness.

Hypersensitivity and Cognitive Fog

“I want the comfort of being wrapped warmly, but the fabric hurts when it touches my skin. I am aware of every fold in the fabric, every lump in the bed”

“It’s like being in a fog and hyped up on a lot of caffeine, but with “SQUIRREL!” moments added”

“The heightened sensitivity to everything. Every movement every light, flash, noise, whisper is magnified times 10000”

“I get the hypersensitivity as well—every sound cases more pain, especially repetitive sounds”

Although they may seem contrasting, many individuals with migraine report feeling both of these sensations either cyclically, or even at the same time!

Color changes, out-of-body experiences, and olfactory auras

“Sometimes my arms are different colors too. One is redder than the other and it’s not due to sun exposure”

“Can feel like you’re outside your body, watching things from a distance, while experiencing the pain in your body”

“The smells. The other day I kept smelling rotting meat! It was awful!”

Comments

  • emily
    3 weeks ago

    every migraine without fail brings night blindness and shaky vision. it seriously looks like the everything is jumping up and down. the more i try to stop it, the worse it gets.

    i also get this really weird aura that makes outlines around everything and outlines around those and so on. they’re transparent so i can still see more or less but it’s a lot to handle visually.

    sometimes my entire field of vision is tinted. colors ranging from pink to yellow to blue.

    when the pain is really bad, my vision is completely broken. it’s almost like looking at a room using pieces of a shattered mirror or through a kaleidoscope.

  • emily
    3 weeks ago

    i guess the bigger, more unusual symptom is that i spontaneously lose consciousness. my doctors’ running theory is that the pain gets too intense and my brain panics and hits the reset button. sometimes i’m down for a few seconds, other times i’ll be gone for over an hour.

  • glassmind
    3 weeks ago

    What a challenge! May your unconscious states be as voluntary as possible (like sleep, etc). Hugs

  • Peggy Artman moderator
    3 weeks ago

    helmetgirl,
    It sounds like you are dealing with some tough issues. I’m so sorry you are in so much pain. Anxiety can also be disabling. I can definitely relate to the vertigo you experience. It makes everything else worse.

    I would like to encourage you to get some help. First, do you have a doctor that is knowledgeable about headache medicine? If not, it might be a good time to find one. See if you can find a headache specialist. Also, you may find that getting help with your anxiety and PTSD may help your migraines. Anxiety can be a factor contributing to a migraine attack. You might need another doctor or therapist for help with these issues.
    ~ Peggy (Migraine.com team)

    In the meantime, take good care of yourself.
    ~ Peggy (Migraine.com team)

  • Peggy Artman moderator
    3 weeks ago

    Prytro, you are definitely among others who can relate to you. Your migraine attacks sound like they are interfering with your life. Do you have a good headache specialist? Some neurologists can be good too if they have taken interest in treating migraine. If you already have a doctor, maybe it’s worth getting a second opinion at least. There may be some other meds that could be helpful for you. Keep us posted!
    ~Peggy (Migraine.com)

  • Prytro
    3 weeks ago

    It definitely helps to see so many others how have the same symptoms or at least who see the same things.

    I get extreme muscle fatigue, vomiting, any level of light sends me into a tail spin of pain. I also get partial blindness sometimes. Brain fog is always there and a level of aphasia.

    My SO always gets worried when I go into silent mode. If i stop moaning in pain and go completely silent that’s usually a sign of it getting to the vomiting and extreme pain categories. My migraines also do not allow me to sleep. When I have one No matter how what I try I can’t shut down .

  • helmetgirl
    4 weeks ago

    I have crazy vertigo. Sometimes my face will swell up. I twitch a lot. And all the common symptoms are there. I have them every day. I also have PTSD with acute anxiety so that doesn’t help. Putting pressure on my neck relives pain. Like if I am sitting in a hard chair I will rest my neck at the top. Also those hand warmer packets are great for the muscle on my neck. I tape them on when I sleep. I wake with terrible night terrors that someone is taking a knife, hammer, axe to my head. I get migraine es 3 different ways. 1. Started in my neck then off to my head 2. I have a deviated septum and I can feel it creeping up my nose to my head. 3. Starts as a tension headache then turns into a migraine. Oh wait! One more. Crying. When I cry to much I get a migraine. that may have something to due with the deviated septum.

  • elevan
    4 weeks ago

    Migraines can be a symptom of dysautonomia and a lot of these more unusual symptoms are also symptoms of dysautonomia. If you are experiencing migraines in the fashion, you should see a neuromuscular neurologist to have your autonomic nervous system tested

  • Kate
    1 month ago

    I agree with all of this about being hot and light sensitivity. I used to throw up all the time with migraines esoecially if I ate or smelt something really strong. It was aweful. Thankfully my headaches have gotten less severe. I didnt do anything different, just time. I did try everything and so many people did not believe me when I had them so severe, esoecially coworkers.

  • Mojca
    1 month ago

    Depending on the tipe of migraine I have, I can be hypersensitive to noise, I can get extremely weak, have my hair hurting as well or I cannot lay down without feeling nauseous, which makes it almost impossible to rest. Concentration is almost always hard and thinking painful

  • Kate
    1 month ago

    Yes I get very weak and tired also. After thr vomiting, being hot, pain like someone is drilling I would sleep.

  • Peggy Artman moderator
    1 month ago

    @Shadow1234,
    Thank you for sharing about your migraine symptoms. This neurological disease can affect several areas of the brain and cause some strange sensations. I hope you find this website useful and visit us again.
    ~ Peggy (Migraine.com Team)

  • Shadow1234
    1 month ago

    I am so grateful to have a place to share my weird migraine symptoms that aren’t typically listed anywhere on the internet. I always think I’m dying or something is really wrong with me because a lot of my symptoms aren’t listed anywhere. Like I posted earlier, I had a fever of 100 degrees with my most recent migraine. I was so hot I could barely stand it. Then the chills came. I’ve had straight-up vertigo where everything is spinning and I can’t stand up. My heart beats really fast and I think I’m going to have a heart attack. I have to lie down because I cannot stand up without the rapid heart rate and vomiting. I usually get a panic attack with that type of migraine. My head can hurt on one side or all over. My ears can ring. I can also get just mildly dizzy and bump into things due to a small balance loss. I have had a visual aura about five times in my life, zig-zag lines or seeing only half of everything. Sometimes I have to shut my eyes because keeping them open hurts my eyes. Sometimes I can’t comprehend what people are saying to me. Sometimes I can’t think of the right words to say. I’ve had my blood pressure go up really high with migraine and stay that way for hours. My scalp has the feeling of pins and needles. The weirdest thing to me of all is I’ve had a migraine, had it get “better” (tolerable and most symptoms are gone) then have it come back in the next day or two, sometimes with different symptoms than the first time around. Thanks for letting me share this.

  • Kate
    1 month ago

    My husband used to get so worried when I went from hot to cold, pale, wretching in pain and vomitting until I had nothing left. Thankfully now they are less severe.

  • Shadow1234
    1 month ago

    I experienced an actual fever a few weeks ago which preceded a migraine. This was the first time this had ever happened to me. I am 55 years old and have had migraines since my teenage years. My fever was 100 degrees. It lasted about 3 hours and then other migraine symptoms started. I don’t know of anyone else who truly has gotten a fever with migraine.

  • JR
    1 month ago

    I thought I was the only one that is freezing & hot at the same time & all kind of feelings like lumps in the bed & irritation of certain materials!! It’s bad enough with light & sound & this together on a bad migraine day & I don’t want to do anything!!! Semper Fidelis!!!

  • amy1979
    1 month ago

    Yes i get the same very hot and sweaty. one of my migraines this past winter was so bad it was like 5 degrees outside , i came home took a cold shower and the fan on high. finally fell asleep around 2 hrs latter.

  • GrammyB
    2 months ago

    I sometimes get very hot and I sweat..(forgive me!) so bad that I am drenched but then I will get the chills ….it’s a very debilitating effect to deal with…not too many times but I do get the spots and more than not a headache comes a day or two after. Just very draining all around

  • Rachael
    2 months ago

    In particular, I definitely have the body temperature regulation issue. I am either freezing or insanely overheated, or, frequently enough, both at the same time. I need an ice pack and blankets.

    I am not sure how to phrase this other thing because “out of body experience” isn’t quite right. It certainly does feel like there is a signficant disconnect between thoughts and being capable of performing an action. I think it is most similar to descriptions of cataplexy; being awake but feeling paralyzed. I start to wonder if I even tried telling my body to perform an action because if it isn’t doing it, maybe I dreamed telling it to. Or maybe sleep paralysis works? It happens when I am completely unable to function. Of course, what I am trying to do most of the time when it happens is reach for my phone to call or text my husband (who is usually in the next room) for help. The muscle weakness prevents me from getting enough volume to be heard, so phone would work if I could make myself reach it.

  • helmetgirl
    4 weeks ago

    I have problem forming sentences and will say the wrong word also. It just hurts to think hard.

  • sarahblankenship
    2 months ago

    I have all of these! I have a defective thermostat on migraine days. My hair hurts, brain fog, aphasia, and just flat out inability to think sticks with me for days. It’s so frustrating.

  • JuLee
    2 months ago

    I get angry real easy. I feel real bad for my husband, but can’t stop. I also have increased ringing in my ears, and everything smells really strong.

  • DinaMay
    2 years ago

    I’m really weak on days with migraine, too, Wanderer. Plus, one of the more disconcerting symptoms is this dreadful sense of foreboding. It can last a whole day before the pain sets in. At that point I finally realize that no, the world is not about to end, it’s a migraine. I’m also more sensitive to light, to sound, to smells, to wrinkles in the bedclothes, to itchiness, to heat, to cold, you name it. Yes, Ann Wallace, even my hair hurts. I can’t bear to have a ponytail or braid, not even a bobby pin in my hair during a migraine..

  • Wanderer
    2 years ago

    I feel very weak on major migraine days and just somewhat weak on the days with minor migraine. Does anyone else experience this?

  • Kippieloo
    2 years ago

    I was surprised to read recently that one of my complaints was “real”. In the midst of a nasty migraine, my HAIR would hurt! It was as if I could feel every follicle. They actually have a name for it. I think it’s spelled allodynia.
    I’m 68 years old and have had migraine since I was 13. I’ve waited decades for mine to disappear (because there’s always someone to tell you that you’ll outgrow them). Although they are not always as intense as they were when I was younger, they are still incapacitating. And friends and co-workers still don’t really understand.

  • sunshy
    2 years ago

    Oh, the lights and the smells. When I am having a migraine, I have super-human olfactory senses, which is not the super-power I would choose.

  • voiceofjoyce
    2 years ago

    Me too! You are the first other person to state it as a Superpower. And not a good one. All my senses are heightened, even my hearing.

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