Migraine Diary How to

Published 01/17/13


A migraine diary is a great tool for you and your doctor. It helps to identify triggers and patterns which will help you in finding the best treatment options and pain management for your migraines.


Hi. My name is Terry Robert. I'm a migraine educator and advocate, and today I'd like to talk to you about how to keep a migraine diary. Your migraine diary can be one of your best tools, both for you and your doctor. A migraine diary helps you spot patterns that can lead you to identify triggers and can help you to define better treatment patterns and better ways to manage migraine disease and your migraine attacks. There are many things that can be recorded on a migraine diary. Of course you want the date when you have a migraine, what time it began, medications you took, what you think the triggers might have been. When you look at that, be sure to include the weather, because weather can often be a migraine trigger. You'll want to record your pain level, and you'll want to record what we call the disability level, which means, how much is this migraine keeping you from functioning in your daily life? Since pain is such a subjective thing, our doctors can often tell more about the impact of our migraines, or at least as much by knowing our level of disability, as well as our level of pain. Check with your doctor to see what kind of format he or she wants you to keep. Some doctors have specific diary forms they want you to use. Others don't care what form you use, as long as you do it. Some prefer them on paper, or some prefer electronic formats such as Word or Excel, where you can chart it and even email it into your doctor, or at the very least take printed copies with you at your next visit. A diary can be really hard to keep during a migraine, especially if your vision is affected. So please, get in the habit of maybe putting with your medications, a notebook and a pen, so you can write down the details such as what time you took what medication, how you may have reacted to it. Make complete enough notes that if you're not able to keep your diary form during a migraine, you can go back after the migraine and fill it in from your notes. A migraine diary can be one of the most effective tools you and your doctors have. It offers you clues that can lead to identifying triggers, managing triggers, choosing the best treatment patterns for you, and get the best migraine management strategies. Keep in mind, your migraine diary can be a good friend to you during these times. That's how I see it as a migraine educator and advocate. But I would also suggest that you reach out to your doctor for more details, and go to Google and type in "migraine diary" for more information. Thank you for watching.

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