Download Migraine & Headache Diary
Keeping a migraine journal is recommended by medical professionals for good reason. A migraine diary allows the assessment of headache characteristics, to differentiate between migraine and tension-type (or other) headaches and to record the use and efficacy of acute medication.
A diary also helps to analyze the relation between migraine, menstruation and other factors, including lighting and environment. Finally, the diary can help to identify trigger factors. A trigger may occur up to 24 hours prior to the onset of symptoms, however the majority of migraines are not caused by easily identifiable triggers, and keeping a diary or journal can be extremely important.
You can download Dr. Teplitz’ Migraine Headache Diaries, which include 3 different forms for ways to keep track depending on your choice – hourly, daily, weekly, with factor columns and notes.
Things you can do with this download:
Track any and all symptoms related to the migraine, even if it does not seem important. Write down or type up any bouts of mild nausea or actual vomiting. Was this caused by eating certain foods or certain combinations of foods? Did you eat at a new restaurant or try a new type of condiment? Or perhaps you went too long without eating a nutritious meal.
Note your anxiety level, whether it was a trigger of the migraine, or a result. Do your migraines occur when you are feeling stressed? Or do you get stressed out because of your migraines? Also note if the anxiety exacerbated the level of the migraine pain.
Store a calendar in the journal and mark severe episodes with a red marker. Look for patterns that may emerge. For women, also note where you are in your monthly cycle, if you are also experiencing PMS or if you’re menstruating. When the migraines can be linked to the menstrual cycle, your OB/GYN will be more likely to treat the migraines. If there is no clear connection, she may refer you to a general practitioner.
Record how many hours you slept during the past two nights. Note if you had a solid eight hours sleep or not. Also note if you got up too early or if you slept in. Any changes to the sleeping cycle, including oversleeping, can be a trigger.
Write down what you were doing when you first noticed the migraine symptoms. What were you doing when the migraine struck? Were you working at a computer, driving, or stressing out about a situation?
Record any strange sights, sounds or scents. Also note if you experienced sensitivity to environmental elements. Did you become sensitive to light, sound or scent? Did you see colored spots?
Measure how long the migraines last by recording their duration in the migraine journal. Migraines can last an hour or a day. Sometimes one migraine can spawn a series of migraine headaches.
Score each migraine on a pain level of one to 10. Were you still able to go about your day? Or were you incapacitated to the point that you could not move out of bed? The severity of each headache can help you and your doctor determine if you need migraine medication. If you could not function at all that is a 10. A 10 may require a doctor’s visit.
Evaluate the migraine over time. Be sure to write down any natural remedies or over-the-counter remedies that worked. Did you eat or drink something? Did you use a cold ice pack or cover your eyes? Did you go to bed and sleep it off? Knowing what works, even if it is just enough to take the edge off a painful migraine, can help you the next time you suffer a migraine headache.