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Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Headaches

Question: Migraine or TIA ?

 lisa2122 - Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:47 am

I'm a 25 year old mother of three. During my last pregnancy I had a few very scary attacks. I was 7 months pregnant, when I woke up I noticed that I coudnt see the left side of my son's face, it wasnt the hole side, more like just his left eye. It was like I looked at a very bright light, or like a sun spot. well my vision clear up but about 10 mins later i had tingling in my left arm that spread to my right arm, around my mouth, it was like my teeth and touge were tingling. 911 was called, my vital's were fine, and the tingling went away. I had a CT scan, it came back normal, blood work, all was fine, but i was still told it was a TIA. I do have factor five leiden, a blood clotting disorder. I told my OBGYN I had a TIA, she said she believed it was a migraine since they were common with pregnancy. I had three more of these attacks, with two of them it started out with my hand seeming to be really far from my face then came the spot in my vision. I began to look it up on the computer, I could not see the first two letters i was typing. Does this sound like a TIA? or a migraine. Would somthing have showed up on the CT it was a migraine ? also I still get tingling in my finger's a little, also have slight dizziness, doctor said dizziness was from allergys.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:23 pm

User avatar Hello -

Unfortunately, the symptoms of migraine often mimic TIA symptoms, which is what's happened in your case. The odds are great that this was migraine because of all the classic visual symptoms, plus the fact that migraine is very common during pregnancy, and it sounds like you've been having optical migraine without the headache. Further stuff which makes it likely to be migraine-related is that the tingling you experienced in one arm eventually spread to the other as well. Strokes or TIAs are always unilateral unless there has been a catastropic bleed on the brain (in which case you wouldn't likely be typing anything or doing much else for quite a while). The clots that are sometimes associated with Factor V Leiden are sometimes the cause of a stroke, more often a pulmonary embolism, but in either case the clots are usually too large to cause repeated TIAs with complete recovery in between. While this condition does place you at some slight risk of a DVT and possible pulmonary embolism (or even, though less likely, a stroke), it really does sound as though you've experienced multiple episodes of optical migraine. You didn't mention any headached developing, but you did mention the sense of having looked at a bright light, which is also classic for optical migraine. If you don't get the headaches you are ahead of the game, although the aura symptoms you've described can be pretty disturbing, at least until they've happened a few times. If you do happen to get the headaches, I'm going to assume they develop during or after these more bizarre symptoms, and that would also argue in favor of migraine, since TIAs or any sort of cerebral embolism almost never causes headache (although cerebral hemmorhage, which is not a feature of eboli, causes exquisite pain as a rule). Based on all this, it seems extremely likely your problems have been due to optical migraine aggravated by pregnancy.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you and please follow up here as needed.
 croat - Fri May 01, 2009 3:35 pm

Hi, I have been taking Silica for approximately 2.5 weeks now for hair thinning. I'm 41, female and generally fit. A couple of days ago I lost eyesight in one eye for half an hour and for the next three days had a headache (actually still have a general headache). As I have not had this before wondering if perhaps Silica causes this? I am also taking Omega 3 in the form of Flax oil. Many thanks, Tanya

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