Prodrome and Postdrome and what they mean for Chronic Migraine sufferers


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  • #83450
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    So, as a chronic migraine sufferer, I obviously have to do research on migraines. Why? Because knowledge is power, especially in this world where the more I know the more that I can expect. I didn’t know that migraines caused fatigue. I just thought it was my busy schedule or the fact that migraines and my medication disrupt my sleep. I didn’t know that migraines could cause difficulty concentrating. Once against I thought it was the pain or the medicine. So on and so forth.

    And in my research I found out about prodrome and postdrome. Once upon a time, I didn’t have chronic migraines this bad. Were they bad enough to be labelled Chronic? I don’t know, the second time around they literally lasted weeks, so possibly. But regardless, there’s been on issue.

    A lot of abortive medication demands that you take it before the migraine takes hold. You have to take it when you feel a migraine coming on. Once it takes hold, the medicine is as useless as sugar pills. The problem? How am I supposed to know? Other than triggered migraines which come on immediately, I had no way of telling if I was about to get a migraine or if this headache I had was going to be a migraine. I’ve always had issues with other types of headaches. Lack of sleep. Allergies. Caffeine. You get the point. How do I know this one is a headache or migraine?

    Well, not I’m reading about prodrome and postdrome. My first thought is, “Hell, that would have been useful back then. My second thought is what does that mean for Chronic migraines? If I can got two days without a migraine it’s a miracle. Prodrome and postdrome stages could last up to days before and after a migraine. So for me who literally always has a migraine, what does that mean for me? Do I experience these stages? Are my “good days” just consumed by these stages? Do they occur even during a migraine? Is this a piece of information that has no affect on me because I literally have some stage of a migraine all of the time? Are these mini migraines (usually a level 4 and lasting a couple of hours) part of these stages?

    It’s really confusing, because I have instances like the last couple of days. No migraine, but I’ve been exhausted. I try to make up for it my a boost in caffeine, sugar, water, etc. Maybe I wasn’t paying enoguh attention to my own nutrition during my migraine. Maybe I’m just exhausted because a migraine can literally sap the energy from you. But what about the nausea? Is that prodrome or postdrome? My depression?

    Considering how well I do at my top (aka when I DON’T have a migraine), every little upset is really the cause of them. The fact that my grammar and vernacular aren’t as good as they used to be. The fact that I get stressed so easily. The fact that I can’t learn as well as I usually could. When I’m not experiencing migraines, I’m really impressive. When I am (even a couple of days a month) I’m as useless as a brick. So, as a chronic migraine sufferer, I was wondering if prodrome and postdrome mean anything to me considering I rarely have more than one day without any type of migraine in a row.

  • #83978

    Hi faeriefate,

    Great questions – I can see you’ve put a lot of thought into this topic. I’m not sure I have an answer for you. But something you may want to think about is keeping a detailed migraine diary, especially if you haven’t done so recently. This will help determine any patterns our attacks have, you can keep track of prodrome/postdrome symptoms, and see what medications work or don’t work. I’ve been keeping one since August when I started Botox and am seeing certain patterns. I print out a calendar keeping track that way instead of an app. I can include the things that pertain to me. Here is information on how to keep a migraine diary:

    Chronic migraine is when we have 15 headache days, of which eight are migraine, per month over a three month period not including medication overuse headache. Episodic migraine is the other migraine sub-type, which is defined as less than 15 headache days per month.

    Forgive me if we’ve discussed this before, but do you take something every day to help relieve the pain? A number of migraine experts I’ve spoken with have told me over 50% of the patients they see for chronic migraine also have medication overuse headache. And the thing is if we have medication overuse headache or moh, our migraine attacks will be more difficult to treat and we will end up in a daily cycle of pain that too is hard to break. If you haven’t seen this article, take a look:

    I wish there was a better answer for you. Let me know what you think,

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