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Migraines and Other Headaches

Recognizing Migraine HeadachesYour Headache Diary

The idea of a diary devoted exclusively to your headaches may not appeal to you. Some headaches are so bad that you wonder how you could ever forget them. But as one headache merges into another, you may not remember as much as you expect. Do you remember exactly what stressed you on Monday, or when you ate chocolate on Tuesday? The answer to a memory problem is a precise headache diary.

Some doctors will give you a headache diary with a formatted table, but you can also design your own pages. Get a loose-leaf notebook and fill it with paper, or make up a form on your computer. Below are some categories that you might want to include.

  • Day and date
  • When headache began and ended
  • Warning signs
  • Other symptoms
  • Medications taken
  • Things that helped you feel better
  • Location of headache
  • Type of pain
  • Intensity of pain on a scale of 1 to 10
  • What you ate or drank pre-headache
  • Unusual events or stressors

Keep your headache diary as faithfully as you can and for as long as you can. Be sure to take your headache diary to your doctor. Together, the two of you can try to find headache patterns and contributing factors.

Additional topics

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