Have you ever experienced a pounding headache accompanied by a high temperature? Might a question pop up in your brain: can migraine cause fever? It’s natural to wonder if your migraine could be causing the fever.
While migraines are a common type of headache, they typically do not cause a fever. Some medical conditions can cause migraines and fever, including infections, autoimmune diseases, and inflammatory conditions. Headache associated with any fever should always be evaluated by your doctor to make sure more concerning causes such as meningitis and encephalitis (infections in the spinal fluid or brain) have been excluded.
However, it is possible for someone who experiences migraines also to develop a fever, but this would be due to a different underlying condition. For example, a viral or bacterial infection can cause a fever and migraine. In such cases, addressing the underlying condition causing the fever is important to alleviate both symptoms.
The Connection Between Migraine and Fever:
The connection between migraines and fever is an important topic worth exploring to understand these two symptoms better. It’s not uncommon to ask questions like whether migraines cause fever and if there’s a connection between your migraine and fever.
If you’re someone who suffers from migraines, you may have found yourself feeling feverish at times. Migraines are a common type of headache. They don’t typically cause a fever. Similarly, migraine patients often complain of cold hands and feet and are sensitive to temperature changes. Many patients can have associated autonomic imbalance (dysautonomia) which can contribute to these symptoms. The autonomic nervous system controls things such as temperature, sweating, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Explanation Of The Link Between Migraine And Fever:
Migraines are a common and painful neurological condition affecting millions worldwide. While not all migraines cause fevers, some can trigger a rise in body temperature, leaving you feeling hot, sweaty, and miserable. This temperature rise can be alarming and confusing, but it is important to understand why it happens.
The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The onset of a migraine is thought to be triggered by the activation of the trigeminal nerve, which sends pain signals to the brain. This activation can also cause inflammation in the blood vessels in the head, leading to a throbbing headache. During a migraine there are many highly inflammatory proteins released by the trigeminal nerves such as CGRP.
When the body experiences this type of inflammation, migraines cause fever in response to what triggers the immune system. The immune response can include an increase in body temperature, which we know as a fever. So, in some cases, migraines can cause a fever due to the immune system’s response to the inflammation caused by the trigeminal nerve.
Not all migraines will cause a fever; fever alone is not necessarily a sign of a migraine. However, for those who experience fevers during a migraine, it can be an uncomfortable and distressing symptom. It is important to stay hydrated and rest during a migraine to help your body fight inflammation and fever.
How Migraines Can Trigger Fevers:
The trigeminal nerve transmits sensations from the face and head to the brain. When activated, it can cause inflammation in the blood vessels in the head, leading to a migraine attack.
A fever is the body’s natural response to an infection or other harmful stimulus. It raises the body temperature to make it less hospitable to harmful agents. In the case of migraines, the inflammation caused by the trigeminal nerve can trigger a fever as a secondary response.
The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but it is believed that certain triggers, such as stress, hormonal changes, and certain foods, can activate the trigeminal nerve.
The inflammation caused by the trigeminal nerve can result in migraines that cause fever and activate the immune system. The immune system’s response to inflammation can include a fever. A fever is the body’s natural defense mechanism to fight infections or other harmful stimuli. When the body experiences a fever, it raises the temperature to make it less hospitable to harmful agents.
Common Types of Migraines Associated with Fever:
Migraines with fever are not common, but two types of migraines are commonly associated with fever: migraine with aura and migraine without aura. Migraine with aura is a type of migraine accompanied by neurological symptoms, such as visual disturbances, speech disturbances, or numbness, and can also cause a fever. On the other hand, a migraine without aura is a type of migraine that does not have any accompanying neurological symptoms but can still be accompanied by fever.
Hemiplegic migraine (now known as migraine with motor aura) is a rare type characterized by temporary paralysis on one side of the body, which other neurological symptoms can accompany. It is caused by changes in the brain that affect the transmission of nerve signals.
Hemiplegic migraine can also cause fever in some cases. This inflammation can cause fever and chills and trigger an immune response, which can lead to a fever.
Basilar-type migraine (BTM) (now known as migraine with brainstem aura) is a rare subtype that occurs due to a dysfunction of the brainstem, which is part of the brain that controls the body’s autonomic functions. The symptoms of BTM can be very severe and include dizziness, loss of balance, double vision, and difficulty speaking.
BTM can also cause a fever in some cases. The exact mechanism of this is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to brainstem dysfunction during a BTM attack. This dysfunction can trigger an immune response, which can lead to the development of a fever.
Vestibular migraine is characterized by vertigo, which is a feeling of spinning or dizziness and can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. It occurs when a disturbance in the vestibular system is responsible for maintaining balance and spatial orientation. Vestibular migraine can also cause fever in some cases. The inflammation can trigger an immune response, which can lead to the development of a fever.
Other Factors That Can Cause Migraines and Fevers
Migraines with fever are not common, and if you experience this symptom, it is essential to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying conditions. Therefore, it can cause fever and chills and can be caused by other factors, such as infections, autoimmune diseases, and medication side effects.
Infections can cause both migraines and fevers through various mechanisms. Migraines are typically severe headaches that are throbbing pain on one side of the head, sensitivity to light and sound, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. On the other hand, fever is an increase in body temperature above the normal range, usually in response to an infection or inflammation.
Certain medications can cause migraines and fevers as side effects.
1- Some antibiotics, such as penicillin and sulfa drugs, can cause headaches and fever in some people.
2- Blood pressure medications: Blood pressure medications, such as nitroglycerin and calcium channel blockers, can cause headaches as a side effect.
3- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can cause headaches as a side effect.
4- Some antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants, can cause headaches and fever as side effects.
Dehydration can cause migraines and fevers by disrupting the body’s normal physiological processes. It also causes blood vessels in the brain to narrow, reducing blood flow and triggering migraines that cause fever. Additionally, dehydration can cause an increase in body temperature, leading to a fever.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis and treatment of migraines and fever will depend on the underlying cause and severity of the symptoms. Here are some general guidelines:
- Measurement of body temperature: Your healthcare provider will measure your body temperature using a thermometer to determine if you have a fever.
- Medical history and physical examination: Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, including any other signs of infection or inflammation, as well as any recent travel or exposure to sick people.
Treatment of migraines:
- Pain relief medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, can help relieve the pain associated with migraines. In severe cases, prescription medications may be necessary.
- Medications: Over-the-counter fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help lower fever
- Rest and hydration: Getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids can help the body recover from a fever.
Importance of a Proper Diagnosis
It is essential to properly diagnose the cause of a fever before starting treatment because different underlying conditions can cause fevers, and the treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Treating a fever without identifying the underlying cause can lead to inadequate or inappropriate treatment, prolonging or worsening the illness.
1- Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen, can help relieve the pain associated with migraines and reduce fever, which are chemicals in the body that contribute to inflammation and pain.
2- Anti-inflammatory medications
Anti-inflammatory medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help reduce inflammation associated with migraines and fevers by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that contribute to inflammation and pain.
3- Antibiotics (if an infection is present)
Antibiotics work by killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria that are causing the infection. Antibiotics can help alleviate the symptoms associated with the infection, including migraines and fever.
Migraines and fever are common health conditions that various factors, including infections, dehydration, medication side effects, and underlying health conditions, can cause. If you are experiencing migraines and fever, seeking medical attention is important to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. With proper diagnosis and treatment, migraines and fever can be effectively improving your overall health and well-being.
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