The relief is overwhelming when the migraine’s characteristic throbbing eventually goes away. However, for many people who suffer from these potentially crippling headaches on a regular basis, their suffering doesn’t end just because the pain subsides. Instead, they experience the postdrome, a unique stage of migraine that causes symptoms that are uncannily similar to those of another condition.
Studies show it might not be that unique, though. The postdrome, or migraine hangover, happens after 80% of migraine attacks. What are the symptoms of these hangovers, and how do you prevent them?
Symptoms of Migraine Hangovers
The symptoms of hangovers may differ, but one thing is for certain, they can wipe you out when you’re already feeling like you’ve just been run over by a truck. Postdrome makes you tired, unable to focus, and simply exhausted.
You may also find yourself on edge more than you normally are, snapping when you normally wouldn’t. There are physical symptoms you might deal with as well. Besides the general weakness, you may feel, you might also struggle with gastrointestinal issues, a stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and nausea.
Can You Prevent Migraine Hangovers?
It sounds simple, but the best way to prevent a migraine hangover is to prevent the migraine itself. When studying what causes postdrome, it seems it is simply part of the migraine and not separate. Thankfully the postdrome symptoms don’t seem to last longer than two days. There are things you can do in the meantime to decrease the symptoms. Just follow a couple of key steps.
- Get plenty of water.
- Make sure to rest.
- Try slow stretches, like yoga.
- Steer clear of lighting triggers, such as your phone or laptop.
- Massaging oil for your temples
- Ice packs or a heating pad
- Lowering your lights can help with light sensitivity.
What works for one migraine sufferer might not work for another. It’s important to keep notes on what works and what doesn’t, much like you would when trying to prevent migraine in the first place.
What Help is Available?
Let your doctor know if you’re suffering from migraine hangovers. They may be able to give you relief in the way of prescription medication or other options not listed above. Talking to your family about your symptoms and how you’re feeling can help them understand if they notice something off. They can also help you with things around the house while you’re recovering. It’s also a good idea to talk to your co-workers and boss as well, so they understand what is going on. This is especially important if your migraine and migraine hangovers begin to affect your work life.
Continue to take care of yourself like you do when you have migraines. Prevention is key, but so is rest. Keep hydrated and pay attention to triggers for your migraines. This is the best way to work through your hangovers.