Prodrome

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Prodrome is the very initial onset of the migraine, occasionally before any headache or obvious symptoms appear.[1] The time-frame of a prodrome varies widely, from a few hours to a few days.[1] Sometimes the prodrome phase bleeds into the aura or “headache” phases, and so it can be difficult to determine how long the prodrome phase lasted. [1] The prodrome phase may also be referred to as the "engorgement" or the "premonitory" phase.[2][3]

Symptoms

Prodrome symptoms can be subtle, and so it is very possible that migraine sufferers never notice having a prodrome phase. Discerning your prodrome symptoms can be very helpful in treating your migraines, as the knowledge will give you more notice, and more time to act, when a migraine starts. As you can see below, some symptoms usually associated with the “headache” phase, such as photophobia, phonophobia, and osmophobia can actually begin during the prodrome phase.[3]

Common Digestive Symptoms

 * Hunger[1][3]   
 * Thirst[3]
 * Food cravings[1][3]   
 * Nausea[3]
 * Diarrhea[3]
 * Increased urination[3]
 * Constipation[3]
 * Loss of appetite[3]

Common Psychological Symptoms

 * Inattention[1]  
 * Confusion[1]  
 * Irritability[1][3]  
 * Anxiety[1][3]
 * Depression[3]
 * Sluggishness[3]
 * Hyperactivity[3]
 * Obsessive Behavior[3]

Common Neurological Symptoms

 * Lack of concentration[1][3]
 * Yawning[3]
 * Trembling hands[3]
 * Phonophobia[1][3]
 * Photophobia[1][3]
 * Osmophobia[1][3]
 * Blurred vision[3]
 * Dizziness[3]

Miscellaneous

 * Fatigue[1][3]
 * Joint aches[1][3]
 * Insomnia[1]    
 * Restlessness[1]   
 * Stiff neck[3]
 * Goosebumps[3]
 * Shivering[3]

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Tepper, Stewart J., M.D. Understanding Migraine and Other Headaches. UP of Mississippi, 2004, pp. 7-8
  2. Oliver Sacks. "Migraine". First Vintage Books, 1999, p. 110
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 Jerry W. Swanson, M.D. "Mayo Clinic on Headache." Mayo Foundation, 2004: p. 41.