How To Keep A Migraine Diary

By | December 6, 2016
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Don’t you know how to keep a migraine diary? While it’s a simple process, many of us we don’t know how to start. Keeping a diary is one of our top tips for migraine relief. Today, I’m going to try to answer any questions you may have on using one.

A migraine diary can be helpful in many ways. It can help you understand your triggers, if there is any improvement with your medications or treatments and it can also help your doctor understand what it works for you when you’ll show him the results of your diary. In my opinion it is a helpful tool for every migraineur.

How To Keep A Migraine DiaryWhat should you write in your migraine diary? Our plan is to write as more information as possible about our migraines and our possible triggers.

Before we start, it would be easier for you to plan your writing in a way that you can understand it easily. You should be able to find the information you want after some months of tracking your migraines.  You could structure your pages in fields to improve your diary readability . There is also, an Android application on Google Play with the name ‘migraine diary’. Let’s see what we can include in our diary.

Your Migraine Diary Should Include Information On:

    • Date And Time: The time your migraine starts and the time it ends. It could be useful to know exactly how much time your migraines last every time they happen.
    • Symptoms And Warning Signals: The symptoms that we experience on our migraines differs from person to person. For example, you might feel sick, having vision problems or dizziness.
    • Pain: Try to describe the pain as more detailed as possible. Keep notes of pain intensity, pain location and type of pain.
    • Treatment: What treatment do you take, if it’s effective and any other way you use to relief from the migraine pain.

Information On Factors That May Trigger Your Migraines:

  • What And When You Ate And Drunk: Many foods and drinks can trigger a migraine so, don’t forget to include everything. You should also write if you have skipped any meals because this is a common migraine trigger too.
  • Sleep: The hours and the quality of your sleep.
  • Social Activities And Work: Any stressful or unusual event which can cause stress or excitement and as a result can trigger migraine.
  • Exercise: Intense exercise can be a trigger, however light exercise could be helpful. You should note the days you exercise, the intensity and the type of exercise.

Update Your Diary

The more information you write in your diary, the most useful it’s going to be. So, daily updates generally are recommended unless your doctor has asked you weekly or monthly updates.

You could also write by detail how helpful or not is your medication. Is it effective? Has it any side effects? Take notes of every treatments for migraine relief you may try.

How To Use Your Migraine Diary

When you’ll have enough information about your migraines (usually 1-3 months), there are three things you can do:

  1. Look for patterns: You should look on your migraine triggers, treatments and medications. Is there something that triggers your migraines? Which treatment is more effective? If you can’t find anything yet, don’t give up. Keep writing and soon you’ll find something helpful.
  2. Avoid the triggers and use the most effective treatments: This is a little obvious. The most common triggers can be found on your diet, sleep and on your activities.
  3. Visit Your Doctor: Your doctor is more experienced than you. Show him your diary and inform him of your results. He’ll help you find out more triggers, if there is something you didn’t notice and he’ll advise you about your next steps.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, making a migraine diary is a great technique to figure out what works for you and what triggers your migraines. For faster results, track your migraines daily and in one or two months probably you’ll find out something. It’s a first step of preventing your migraines and find the best treatments for you.

I hope this post was helpful for you, for any questions and if you want to share your story with us don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Check Out Our Top Recommendation For A Natural Way To Eliminate Your Migraines.


7 thoughts on “How To Keep A Migraine Diary

  1. luca

    Really interesting and helpful ! i never thought about it! but if we can keep a diary for a diet to help understand what to eat and when, i can see how doing it for migraine can absolutely help you the same way ! I should try your 3 steps on my back pain! And ask my chiropractor!

    1. Ilias Post author

      Hi Luca, I do not know if it can help with your back pain but I wish you to get better.

  2. Simon

    I’ve suffered from migraines since I was a kid but what used to be a seldom occurrence has generated into a regular event as I have gotten older.

    A few years ago I started suffering from horrendous migraine auras which leaves you unable to do anything as your vision goes, this follows with the most horrendous headache which is hard to get shut of.

    I went to the doctors because they were happening weekly but they never asked me to write a diary like you have written in this informative article.

    All they did was give me some steroids simply because they don’t understand migraines. Over the year I became worse having them daily yet the doctors simply couldn’t help so I packed them in.

    I now have now gone back to receiving them once a week.
    I’ve learnt a lot reading your plan about making a migraine diary.

    1. Ilias Post author

      Hi Simon, I wish you to get better soon. I think that you could ask your doctor if it would be helpful for you to keep one. I also wonder if you have ever tried to find your triggers. Anyway, doctors are the experts but make sure that they have enough experience with migraines.

  3. Maureen

    I have been very fortunate that in all my 60+ years I have never experienced a migraine. For those that do suffer from migraines I hope they find your site and follow your advice. Keeping a diary is a great way to help with many things and if it helps you get control of your migraines it is a very cheap and effective tool anyone can use.
    I see you are also recommending natural ways to eliminate migraines. Since your diet can have an affect on your migraines one section of your diary could be related to this. It would help identify some of your food triggers.

    1. Ilias Post author

      Hi Maureen and thanks for your comment. Sure one of the things you need to keep track on your migraine diary is you diet. Everything you may eat at any time of the day. For those people who have food related migraines a diary can be very helpfull.

  4. Nemira

    Hello here. It is a great idea to keep a diary for migraine symptoms and all things that is associated with it. We can see patterns especially if food is involved.
    Writing down all experience during whole day, how do we feel and that kind of intensity pain is, we can show it to doctor and get some insights from her or him.
    Migraine is a common problem and as I know medications do not help to heal.
    Keeping diary, we can see patterns and maybe avoid some of periods of migraine occurrence.
    Thanks for tips and advice regarding migraine issues.
    All the best, Nemira.


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