What is the Connection Between Fatigue and Migraines?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 March 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Fatigue and migraines commonly occur together, especially in people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Fatigue can bring on a migraine, and a migraine can also lead to feeling tired or drained of energy. Depression and sleep disturbances are commonly cited by people who suffer fatigue and migraines.

Migraine headaches are more severe than the typical headache most people get occasionally. Fatigue and migraines are closely linked with the fatigue, sometimes lasting days after the headache is gone. More than three-fourths of patients report fatigue before, during, or after the migraine develops. Sometimes fatigue is a warning sign that a migraine is imminent.

Since there is no known cause for migraines, doctors routinely tell patients to keep a log to pinpoint what triggers the headaches. Patients write down what they were doing when the fatigue and migraine symptoms began, what they ate, even the weather conditions. Food additives may spark migraines in some people, which happens more commonly in women than men.

Some people suffer a migraine that hurts only on one side of the head. The pain might be debilitating and last for a few hours or days. Vision disturbances are described as spots or an aura, which may worsen in lit areas. Migraines may be connected to genetic factors or brain chemicals, since the condition often runs in families. Medication is used to treat or prevent the recurrence of fatigue and migraines.


Fibromyalgia can also produce fatigue and migraines, along with areas of the body that become sensitive to pressure. This condition can also cause diarrhea from spasms of the colon. Sufferers report tenderness in tendons, muscles and ligaments and feeling tired even after resting. Experts believe fibromyalgia might be caused by an imbalance in the part of the brain that controls pain.

Chronic fatigue syndrome can trigger headaches and tiredness even upon waking. Someone who suffers from this condition often becomes mentally and physically exhausted from minor activity. He or she may be unable to perform normal daily activities and suffer joint pain or muscle aches. Sore throat and tender lymph nodes are also possible. These symptoms typically persist for six months or more.

Two other conditions that cause fatigue and migraines are diabetes and adrenal syndrome. Those with diabetes sometimes report blurred vision, along with excessive thirst, unexpected weight loss, and skin problems. Adrenal syndrome occurs when the adrenal glands malfunction, leading to fatigue and migraines in some people. It typically surfaces after a respiratory illness.



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