Did you know that migraine symptoms also occur in other areas of the body? These symptoms are triggered by abnormal activities in the brain that affects these areas, and may occur days or hours before the migraine even begins.
Why Migraines Produce Symptoms in Other Parts of the Body
Migraines are triggered by abnormal activity in the brain. Scientists are still in the dark of what events take place before or after this activity occurs; however, they do know that these abnormal activities involve nerve pathways and chemicals in the brain. These abnormal activities affect the brain’s blood flow and surrounding tissues. Since blood vessels and nerve pathways are involved, the symptoms of a migraine are usually far reaching. Some people have visual disturbances due to the ocular nerves being affected. Others experience pain in their mouths due to the nerves being affected in their gums.
Symptoms that People Don’t Always Associate With Migraines
People often think of migraines as only affecting the head, neck and shoulders; however, the symptoms of migraines can occur in different areas of the body, and may appear long before the migraine even takes place. Below are a few symptoms that people don’t normally equate with migraines.
1. Jumbled Language or Difficulty Speaking
If you’ve ever seen those horrifying videos on YouTube of reporters suddenly losing their ability to speak, then you’ve witnessed someone with a complex migraine. This symptom is called “dysphasic language dysfunction” and it causes the migraine sufferer to have trouble getting their words out. Sometimes they speak gibberish, stumble over their words or slur. The symptom is caused by changes in blood flow affecting the part of the brain related to speech.
2. Vision Loss
Before the migraine sets in, some people develop strange sensations in their eyes. It normally begins as a visible spot in the vision field, quickly changing to zigzag patterns, then vision loss affecting the area of focus and then the peripheral view. The event is called an ocular migraine or retinal migraine which is different from an aura that occurs with a classic migraine. The symptoms from an ocular migraine may be scary, but they only last for 20 to 30 minutes. Irritation in the optic nerves is normally the cause.
3. Digestive Disturbances
Experts aren’t really sure of why digestive disturbances, such as nausea, constipation, stomach pains or diarrhea, occur with migraines. However, they speculate that people with hormone triggered migraines (women going through menopause and PMS sufferers mainly) and those with acid reflux issues may be more prone to these symptoms.
4. Mood Swings
During migraines, the sufferer is understandably agitated by the pain, which may cause fluctuations in his or her mood. However, mood swings that occur before the migraine, may be triggered by a shift in hormones or the area responsible for behavior being affected by restricted blood flow or abnormal brain activity.
Once the migraine goes away, these symptoms normally subside; however, if they persist, discuss them with your primary care physician to rule out additional conditions.
Image Credit: pixieclipx