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Other less talked about symptoms of migraines

So, I’m liking this story thing. Here’s another.

We know the standard symptoms. Visual aura. Nausea and Vomiting. Most importantly, the pain. I’ve already went into why the pain is so bad. Most people understand the normal symptoms. I’m here to talk about the other stuff. The lesser known facts about migraines.

First of all I read a story about olfactory aura as well as an aura with their sense of taste? That got me thinking. I have weird things with my migraines that people don’t talk about.

First of all, core body temperature. I’m not sure if others experience this, but my internal thermostat goes crazy when I have a migraine. I have some instances with hot and cold flashes alternating every minute or so. I’ve had instances where I’m hot and can’t stop sweating. I’ve had instances where I’m in a cold sweat. Simply speaking, I simply struggle with being comfortable with a migraine. My internal temperatures go haywire. One time it was so bad for two days I left my window open during a hard freeze because my body wouldn’t cool down. Yes, I’ve taken my temperature, and I assure you it has never been a fever. I just feel that hot.

Second of all, I feel hyper aware, yet unaware at all. Easily distracted and unable to focus. An instance of this is I am sitting, trying to pay attention in class. The door is open because the room has bad circulation, but the very sound of people walking in the halls made it impossible to concentrate. But the slightest movement in my field of vision would make me jump. My brain and focus won’t go anywhere, but I notice every change to the usual. Which makes it very hard when I’m sensitive to lights and sounds.

Third, depression. Yeah, it’s self explanatory, but let me explain why this is weird. It’s a catch-22. I read somewhere that for a lot of us, crying is a trigger. Weird, right? It’s a trigger for me. Migraines (especially chronic ones) can cause depression. Migraine medicines can cause depression. Plus, crying can cause sinus pressure and possibly a sinus headache, which makes the migraine worse, if that’s even possible. It’s a very fucked up scenario. You can’t cry because it’ll cause a migraine. But not being able to cry can cause a migraine because of the tension that builds up. Crying is supposed to unleash emotions that help relieve pain, but the tension could trigger a migraine. But the tension of not crying could cause a migraine. So you’ll have a migraine either way. And the migraine will make you want to cry. But that’ll make your migraine worse. And it’s just a never ending loop.

Fourth, is the insomnia. So, insomnia isn’t directly linked to migraines unless it’s because you’re in so much pain that you can’t sleep. At least, that’s what I’ve found in a normal non-migraine caused insomniac state one night. So lack of sleep can cause migraines, and migraines can cause lack of sleep. IT’s another vicious cycle that you can’t seem to escape (without a visit to your local ER for some stronger meds).

I don’t really know what the point of me pointing this out is, but I do have a reason for doing it. Migraines do really weird things to your body. I’ve heard people with a bad headache say that they have a migraine. I’ve heard people say a migraine is just a bad headache. The truth is, migraines are messed up. It does some messed up stuff to your body. When you really get into it, migraines aren’t just headaches. Even if the headaches aren’t at a 10, you’re guaranteed to be messed up in one way or another because of one.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Wayne
    2 years ago

    All of these things. The being hyper aware of things, but often not sure how or even see why I should react to them. I often find myself in an Ahhhahh moment when I remember that what I am feeling or perceiving is migraine. I feel so many symptoms consistently, the intensity brings particular ones to the forefront where I discern them individually.

  • kim716
    2 years ago

    SAME! You put it in words. This was my weekend exactly!

    Thank you!

  • Teresa
    2 years ago

    I understand completely. Before and after a really bad migraine episode, I just feel wrong. Everything about me feels off and I can’t figure out what to do with myself. I will wander from room to room and just and look around trying to figure out what to do, when I really just want to find a corner and cry.
    I have also just recently come to realise that aphasia is one of my auras. The worse it gets, the worse my migraine will be.

  • Tiaa
    2 years ago

    Everything you described in your article is how I’m feeling right now! I often experience these symptoms as well more frequently than not. I just wish there was something out there that could provide REAL relief from the pain and discomfort of this disease.

  • Jeeni
    2 years ago

    Seems to be a connection between migraines and tinnitus for me. I always have the hum – what I call “ciacadas on a summer night”. I can live with that. But then the clicking starts and then a horrible sound I can’t really describe. That sound always precefes the visual auras and vertigo
    I don’t know if that sound is a trigger or a symptom. Always on the verge of tears too when these events happen. I hate that I seem to have no control of my brain these days.

  • VdeV
    2 years ago

    I love your points, and the hot inside feeling, more than cold, is what happens to me and I need open windows (sadly, in L.A. it’s often too hot for that to help me, so I have gotten a dyson fan for that need) and I make everyone around me cold! Also, that sensitive nose!! darn it I smell EVERYTHING, BUT….it is always something in the room, or next room, or coming in from outside. My daughter thinks I’m an animal, because half of the things aren’t being sensed by her, and my husband cannot smell at all. hahaha……but it IS NOT an olfactory hallucination. I think, still, that we smell parts of things that are there but not noticeable by other people whose sense of smell isn’t fine tuned.
    Crying!! strong emotions! depression! yes yes yes. Sometimes if I cannot get back to sleep (I often get my migraines in the am hours during sleep) after getting my triptan + ginger or naproxen, I listen to “healing’ music. The artist MOBY has free downloads of music that he wrote for just this situation. stress, panic, etc. It’s extremely soothing and you can find it if you google him. Also, youtube has ALOT to choose from in the ‘healing” dept. and I have found two that I go back and forth with. There is something there for everyone, you can listen for a few mintues to different ones and you’ll know what is soothing! So when you need it, you can get it quickly!

  • DonnaWagner
    2 years ago

    I just joined and can’t believe how alone I have felt over many years! I totally relate. I am always too warm. I even get a migraine when I am too hot. The girls at work are always freezing. I dress cool year round.

  • ginachap66
    2 years ago

    Yes, yes, yes and yes.

  • Chugach
    2 years ago

    goodness, I completely agree with all those symptoms, it also seems that I get major paranoia when my migraines are in full swing. Especially the temperature, I always feel like its 90 degrees outside. I consider “warm” to be 50s.

    I havent experienced the aura with the sense of taste but I do have it with smell.

  • Macbeck
    2 years ago

    The temperature thing – oh good golly!! I’m newly post-menopausal so I can’t tell if the hot & cold flashes are one or the other. For many years My face has gotten hot during a migraine only I didn’t know what was causing it. For me, pain is not a bad symptom. Oh it’s there, but having a high pain tolerance means I notice the “odd” symptoms before I recognize pain. Vestibular and Optical symptoms are the worst – double and/or triple vision in my left eye pretty much every day.

    Thanks for this article.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Macbeck! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, we’re glad the article resonated with you! You are absolutely not alone and I thought I would share an article that generated a lot of discussion, It’s Getting Hot in Here (so hot). There’s also a link at the end of the article to an expert answer, be sure to check that and the discussion there as well! Thanks for being part of the community! -Warmly, Donna (Migraine.come team)

  • Tamara
    3 years ago

    I will second the depression … that has been the hardest thing to combat, worse than the pain because when the depression flares the pain also flares and then I have to fight a candle burning at both ends.

    You finally got the hypersensitive part explained well for me. I normally just say my brain is fuzzy but you are correct – you are hyper aware and jump from every little sound/experience etc with no focus.

    I also get Allyodnia – when you get extreme burning pain from a light touch – like brushing your hair, clothes, washing hair etc. At the moment my scalp has had this for a few months so washing is horrible and I’m growing it out because I can’t bear to get it cut. I also tend to get it on my upper arms, neck and face.

    Extreme extreme fatigue – like today. I’m going for a nap at 9:30am after being awake since 7:30 ….. I slept a full 8 hours and slept well.

    Those are the only ones I can think of and explain right now with my head.

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