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Status Migrainosus

Updated on Jul 9, 2021 by Dr. Amr Hosny (Headache Specialist) of Advanced Headache Center

Migraine headaches are painful episodes that leave you debilitated, unable to perform the simplest of tasks. Status migrainosus is a rare condition that amplifies the pain and elongates its duration. It can reach a point where this medical condition becomes life-threatening. Don’t wait for treatment. Instead, seek a headache and migraine specialist in New York City and northern New Jersey to identify and treat the type of migraine you’re experiencing. Dr. Amr Hosny of the Advanced Headache Center uses a multi-pronged approach to diagnosis and treatment to stop the pain and help you avoid future migraines. Call today to schedule a consultation.

What Is Status Migrainosus

Status migrainosus is a rare form of migraine headache that can be life-threatening. This condition affects about one percent of migraine sufferers. Unlike other migraines — like hemiplegic migrainesbasilar migraines, or optical migraines — the headaches from status migrainosus can last over 72 hours, and they’re unbearable.

Migraines left untreated become chronic migraines, which can lead to status migrainosus. Consult a headache specialist like Dr. Amr Hosny from the Advanced Headache Center in NYC and Bergen County, NJ. He provides immediate pain relief and medical care to identify and treat your condition. Dr. Hosny employs a multimodal approach that includes rational polypharmacy so that you can get the migraine medications you need.

How Do I Get Status Migrainosus?

Status migrainosus triggers are almost identical to those of a typical migraine. While medical researchers and doctors still debate the exact cause, most specialists agree on certain risk factors, including:

  • If a family member suffers from migraines, you have a higher risk of getting one as well.
  • Hormonal changes, especially in women who go through several cycles where the estrogen level changes — such as premenstrual, menstrual, pregnancy, and menopause — put you at a higher risk.
  • Drinks that are high in caffeine or alcohol are migraine triggers.
  • Processed foods that are high in sugar or salt can cause headaches in some people.
  • Certain food additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), can also trigger the condition.
  • Too much stress can also become one of the causes of your migraines.
  • Smoking harms your body in many ways, including being a potential cause of status migrainosus.
  • Weather changes are known triggers of migraine headaches.
  • Strong odors — such as certain perfumes, paint fumes, and gasoline — can trigger different types of migraine headaches.
  • Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can cause headaches.

Many migraine sufferers take over-the-counter pain relief pills, at least initially, to treat the headaches. The pills work well for mild pain, but for chronic headaches, the pills are less effective. Moreover, if you take more than the prescribed dose of pills, you may cause medication overuse headaches, triggering status migrainosus.

What Are the Symptoms for Status Migrainosus?

Initially, the symptoms are the same if you’re coming down with a migraine headache. You usually experience one or more of the migraine stages. But while a normal migraine episode lasts from four to 72 hours, a status migrainosus attack often lasts for more than 72 hours without any remission periods. That takes a toll on your body and makes it impossible for you to participate in your life fully.

Dr. Hosny recognizes status migrainosus by the length and duration of your headaches. Its symptoms may vary slightly between sufferers, but some common signs can point to a migraine diagnosis. These symptoms include:

  • Pain that’s located on one or both sides of your head
  • Excruciating pain, often described as throbbing or pulsating
  • Pain that worsens with activity, which limits your personal and professional life
  • Changes in your vision, such as a temporary loss of vision, blurry vision, blind spots, zig-zag patterns, flashes of light, or double vision
  • Experiences of migraine light sensitivity
  • Pain that changes your other senses, leaving your taste, touch, and smell diminished
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, and sometimes even diarrhea that can lead to severe dehydration
  • Problems with concentration
  • Extreme fatigue and dizziness
  • Mental confusion impacts your ability to communicate effectively
  • Weakness in certain parts of your body
  • Pins-and-needles sensation in your arms, hands, and legs

Is Status Migrainosus Treatable?

Migraine treatments can be a complicated effort, as one-size-fits-all treatments don’t eliminate the problem. That’s why Dr. Hosny relies on a multimodal approach that uses different remedies, sometimes in tandem with each other. His goals are two-fold:

  • Relieve your immediate headache pain
  • Help you avoid future migraine episodes

Waiting for treatment can lead to other severe medical conditions like hypoglycemia, sleep deprivation from the pain, extreme fatigue, and dehydration from gastrointestinal problems. Several of the available treatment options that Dr. Hosny may recommend include:

The best course of action is to visit an Advanced Headache Center in NYC or NJ as soon as you start feeling a migraine coming on. Contact the nearest office for an expert diagnosis and complete care. Choose from the eight locations in Midtown Manhattan and Bergen County, New Jersey. Pain relief is just a visit away.

Dr. Amr Hosny has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Advanced Headache Center 41 5th Avenue,
New York, NY 10003
(646) 419-3105