I see hundreds of migraine patients a month and one of the simplest but most useful tools to monitor how things are going is a headache diary. At a glance, you can see what is going on.
Not uncommonly, patients come in and quote their headache frequency as much lower (often half) of the true number once using a diary. So getting that accurate number is very useful, especially since it can open the option of using Botox and CGRP blockers, the advanced therapies for migraines.
You can download my new 2023 Headache diary HERE.
Two frequently used apps include:
Migraines are a common and often debilitating type of headache that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. They are typically characterised by intense throbbing or pulsing in one area of the head, accompanied by a variety of other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances.
Migraines can be difficult to manage, as they can be triggered by a wide range of factors including stress, changes in weather, certain foods, and hormonal changes. Keeping track of migraines in a diary can be a helpful tool for identifying potential triggers and finding ways to manage or prevent future migraines.
There are several reasons why tracking migraines in a diary is important:
Determining the effectiveness of treatments: By keeping track of the treatments used for each migraine, including medications and other remedies, it can be easier to determine which treatments are most effective in managing or preventing migraines. As above, it is important to keep track of the frequency of migraines to see how a preventative is working.
Identifying triggers: By recording days and potential triggers that may have been present (such as certain foods or changes in weather), it can be easier to identify patterns and determine what might be causing the migraines.
Communicating with your doctor: A migraine diary can be a valuable tool for communicating with healthcare providers about the frequency, severity, and duration of migraines, as well as any potential triggers or treatments that may be helpful. This can help healthcare providers develop a more personalized treatment plan.
Managing stress: Migraines can be exacerbated by stress, and tracking migraines in a diary can help identify potential stressors and find ways to manage them.
There are many different ways to track migraines in a diary, including using a paper diary or an app on a smartphone. It’s important to be as detailed as possible when recording information, as even seemingly minor details can be helpful in identifying patterns and triggers.
Tracking migraines in a diary is an important tool for managing and preventing migraines. By recording the date, time, location, and symptoms of each migraine, as well as any potential triggers and treatments, it can be easier to identify patterns, determine the effectiveness of treatments, and communicate with healthcare providers.