As soon as they set in, migraine headaches alter the ordinary course of your day. You can’t perform school or work tasks, and it is difficult to enjoy time with friends and family. If you suffer from these headache attacks, a migraine journal, also called a migraine diary, will help you in the long run.
A migraine journal is used to record the details of a headache attack - such as time, length, intensity, and triggers. Keeping a record of these details will help your migraine doctor make a solid diagnosis and will help you identify your migraine triggers. Identifying your migraine triggers is extremely important, because it will help you figure out what you need to avoid. Reducing exposure to your migraine triggers can help decrease the frequency of attacks and lessen the intensity of the migraine. Additionally, keeping a journal may help identify any lifestyle factors or medications that are affecting your headaches.
Creating a Migraine Journal
You can use many different formats for your migraine journal - an excel sheet, a printable table, or a notebook. Your migraine specialist may even have his/her own version to give you. When creating a migraine journal, it is important to note the following for each day you have a migraine attack:
- Day of the migraine/headache
- Time of the attack
- Duration of the attack
- Pain level
- Location of pain
- Type of pain (throbbing, piercing, etc)
- Did anything make it better?
- Did anything make it worse?
- When and what you ate or if you missed a meal
- What medications you took and when
- Amount of sleep you had
- Amount of water you drank
- Vitamins and supplements you took
- What activity you were doing
- Did any stressful events or situations occur prior?
- For women, menstrual cycle information
Capturing what happened in the 6-8 hours prior to a migraine attack is very important. It may be difficult to remember all of these details, so having this checklist printed out and available will make recording the details easier. Also, when recording the details, try to keep it simple and easy to interpret. This will help both you and your migraine doctor later on when determining the effectiveness of a preventative plan or when trying to make a diagnosis.
If you are looking for a Las Vegas migraine doctor, contact Apex Medical Center. At Apex Medical Center, you will have access to the latest treatments for migraine headaches. Our migraine doctors work with you to devise an individualized treatment approach that will help get you back to your normal routine.