Migraine-My New Stress-O-Meter?

Do you have a physical symptom like headache or stomach upset that is a sign you’re getting  stressed out and it’s time to slow down?

I think I actually have a fresh new stress-o-meter: migraine headaches! I have never had migraine headaches before, but suddenly this fall I’ve had several tête-à-têtes with them.  It’s and understatement to say I’m not very thrilled with my new burden, because it’s not so long ago when I suffered from chronic tension headaches.

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But let’s talk about body types or physiques. I don’t know what to call them but I think there are different body types that react differently to external stimuli and stresses.

I have the kind of “oversensitive” physique that kindly informs me when something is even a little out of whack in my life. My physique reminds me of a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. In the fairy tale, the “real” princess was so sensitive she couldn’t sleep because she sensed a pea that was placed in hear bed even through 20 mattresses.

It’s the same thing with my body: it seems to tell me immediately if I sleep too little, work at a computer too much, exercise too much or too little or in a wrong way. Too bad that the way my knows how to tell me something is pain.

A couple of days ago I was so fed up with myself I half jokingly suggested my mother I could return my body to the sender, i.e. “her”. (She refused because I’m such an old case; the warranty has expired a long time ago.)

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But back to migraines.

Migraines are something new to me – I think I had my first migraine about one year ago, I just didn’t recognize it. I think it’s because in addition to a bad case of headache I had plenty of symptoms I didn’t associate with migraines: nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, cold sweats (but no fever), odd food cravings, vivid nightmares and rock-bottom moods.

I thought I just had eaten something spoiled.

Now I have had them several times and have come to recognize the warning signs. If I can’t prevent them, they usually last for days and make my life utterly miserable.

The one thing I really don’t understand is why migraines are thought as headaches: the experience is much more holistic than a mere pain in the head.

I don’t know much about migraines yet, but I’m pretty sure that in my case it’s stress and sudden changes to daily routine trigger them, not specific substances like cheese or wine. I guess I just have to start familiarizing myself with the subject if I want to avoid them as much as possible in future.

Just like I did with my tension headaches.

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Do you have some recurring physical symptom that is a sign you’re getting overstressed?