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Keep a Migraine Diary

Content provided by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School
Excerpted from a Harvard Special Health Report

A headache diary can be valuable in helping you and your doctor diagnose and treat your headaches. You can use it to map out the characteristics of your headaches, including their frequency, duration, and intensity. It can help in identifying possible triggers and related symptoms, as well as tracking the dosage and effectiveness of any medications you're taking.

You can use a preprinted form, like the one below, or a regular calendar or notebook to record this information. Your doctor may recommend keeping such a diary every day for a week, a month, or the duration of your treatment. He or she may review the diary with you to assess your progress, weigh the effectiveness of medications, or make adjustments in your treatment plan.

 

First episode

Second episode

Third episode

Date/day of the week of headache

     

Time of onset

     

Time of resolution

     

Warning signs

     

Location(s) of the pain

     

Type of pain

     

Intensity of the pain*

     

Additional symptoms

     

Activities/circumstances at time of onset

     

Time of most recent meal prior to onset

     

Food/drink most recently consumed prior to onset

     

Medication(s) taken for headache

     

Response to medication(s)

     

Other action(s) taken for relief

     

Response to action(s)

     

Last menstrual period**

     

Medication(s) currently taken for other condition(s)

     

*on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain possible

**beginning date and ending date

Note: Permission is granted to reproduce this page of the report for individual use.

Last Annual Review Date: 2011-01-01T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright: Copyright Harvard Health Publications

Reference: Migraine & Headaches section on Better Medicine


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Did You Know?

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Although most people experience headaches only from time to time, an unfortunate but significant minority — about 1 in 20 people — experience them daily or almost every day.