One of the things that makes a Migraine very different than an ordinary headache is that it isn’t over once the pain subsides. Most people are not aware that there are after effects that are just has difficult to navigate as the other symptoms. This final phase of Migraine is called the Postdrome phase.
What is the Postdrome Phase?
Also known as the “Migraine Hangover”, this phase can be as debilitating as the Migraine pain itself. Determining what the symptoms are of the postdrome phase can be just as difficult as it is to determine the Prodrome symptoms. This phase can last for up to 48 hours after the headache phase ends.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, “The profound changes in activity and blood flow that occur during the aura and head pain phase of the attack, persists even after the pain has ended.” This means that the pain is gone but there are lingering effects of the Migraine that have not resolved.
What are the Symptoms of the Postdrome Phase?
There are several symptoms that are common during the Postdrome Migraine Phase. You do not have to experience all of them and you may not experience the same ones each time you have a Migraine Attack. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Sensitivity to light
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Body aches
- Brain fog
- Cognitive delay
What Helps Me & the Worst Thing to Do?
I personally find that food high in carbs, salty snacks and rest helps to soothe my migraine hangovers. I have also found that if I ignore or try to push myself too hard that it makes the Migraine hangover much worse.
The way that I describe my Migraine hangovers is that it feels like I am walking about 3 steps behind myself. It is the most exhausting feeling ever! So, the more I push myself, the more exhausted my body becomes.
Pushing too hard has caused me to have a recurrence of the headache phase. It is much better if you learn how hard you can push yourself so that you do not push yourself into having another attack.
The Migraine Attack is not over after the Headache phase is done. The Postdrome phase consists of the lingering effects of the Prodrome and Headache phases. It is ultimately your body’s recovery period. This final phase is one of the things that makes a Migraine very different from a normal headache.
Read about the other Migraine Phases
- Migraine Explained: Prodrome
- Migraine Explained: Aura
- Migraine Explained: Headache Phase
- Migraine Explained: Postdrome Phase