Can Fatigue Be a Silent Migraine Symptom?

Health Professional

Full Question:

Fatigue as a silent migraine symptom? I have been diagnosed with chronic migraine and am taking Botox and Lamictal preventively.  I also exercise consistently and work to avoid triggers. The preventives have helped reduce the frequency and severity of the migraines significantly, but I have been experiencing severe fatigue starting early afternoon. and along with the fatigue I have a lower level migraine or headache along with severe light sensitivity and nausea. Do you think the fatigue is a migraine symptom? I have taken a triptan and Cambia to treat this fatigue and it goes away.  Thanks, Debra.

Full Answer:

Dear Debra:

Fatigue can be a migraine symptom. In fact, it's a rather common symptom. That said, we have no way of knowing if _your _ fatigue is a migraine symptom. Your question is a bit confusing since you ask about silent migraine, then say that you develop a migraine or headache following the fatigue. A silent migraine is one that occurs with no headache phase. For more on this, take a look at Acephalgic or Silent Migraine – The Basics .

One of the issues with migraine is that so many of the symptoms, including fatigue, can be symptoms of other medical conditions. That's why migraineurs need to see their doctors when they have new, unusual, or frightening symptoms. So, while we can tell you that it's possible that the fatigue you're experiencing is a migraine symptom, we must also tell you that you need to see or talk with your doctor to be sure.

If you'd like more information on the four possible phases of a migraine attack and the possible symptoms of them, please see Anatomy of a Migraine.

Thanks for your question,
David Watson, MD, and Teri Robert

About Ask the Clinician:

Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialists and director of the Headache Center at West Virginia University. He and Lead Health Guide Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about _ Dr. Watson_ or more about _** Teri Robert** _.

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