One of the first and most essential weapons to add to our Migraine arsenal is a Migraine and headache diary. As I’ve mentioned before, our diaries are extremely valuable in determining our Migraine trigger management.
There are other reasons to maintain a Migraine and headache diary, including:
- spotting patterns
- knowing if our Migraine frequency is changing
- knowing if our Migraine intensity or level of disability caused by our Migraines is changing
- correlating our Migraine frequency with when we begin new treatments, change medication dosages, etc.
- spotting changes in our response to acute treatments
It’s difficult to know with certainty if our Migraine patterns are changing, how well our medications are working, and how much our Migraine frequency and severity are changing just going by memory. It’s especially difficult to track these issues long-term without documenting them in a diary. Our diaries also make it far easier and more efficient to share this information with our doctors.
There are now many mobile apps for Migraine and headache diaries. Which one is “best” is subjective, depending on our preferences. I haven’t found an app that tracks and charts all the information I want, so I still use a spreadsheet for my diary. If you’re curious about that spreadsheet, or if you’d like a paper diary to use, you can download a free diary workbook from our article, Your Migraine and Headache Diary.
Even having had Migraines for more than 50 years and treating with a Migraine specialist for 16 years, I still find great value in maintaining my Migraine diary. My Migraine specialist agrees and reviews my diary at every visit. There’s simply no substitute for the data we accumulate in our diaries.
More Migraine Arsenal Essentials:
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.