Migraine headaches can be extremely painful and emotionally draining. It is often a debilitating disorder that can greatly affect people’s lives and makes it difficult to fully function.
One of the most important steps you can take to try to find migraine pain relief is to determine what factors are triggering the migraines. One of the best ways to determine what your specific triggers are is to keep a headache diary so you can look for certain patterns. Below is a list of ten factors you should keep track of in your headache diary to help determine your triggers.
1. Date, Time and Duration of Migraine
It is important that you start to document your migraine as soon as it begins. You want to write down the date and time that the migraine starts. You also need to go back and write down the date and time of when the migraine ends.
2. Pain Level
Every time you have a migraine headache, you need to rank the pain associated with the headache. You should rank this on a scale from one to ten, with one being the mildest and ten being the most intense.
3. Stress/Anxiety Level
You also want to rate your stress or anxiety level right before you migraine started. You should also rate this on a scale from one to ten.
4. Environmental Factors
Write down various environmental factors for the day your migraine began. This includes the weather, temperature, and humidity.
6. Sleep Patterns
Include in your diary any recent changes to your sleep pattern or if you got more or less sleep the night before your headache started.
7. Recent Activities
You also want to include any special activities you did the day of or the day before you headache started. This includes any activities you did that are not part of your normal routine. If you are a woman, you also need to mark when you had your last menstrual cycle.
8. Medication Taken
You want to keep track of any medication that you were taking at the time your migraine started. This even includes medicine that you take on a regular basis.
9. Advanced Warning Signs
Many people experience some warning signs right before the onset of a migraine, such as blurred vision or a stiff neck. Write down in your diary any warning signs you experienced prior to your migraine attack.
10. Additional Symptoms
Finally, you want to include any accompanying symptoms you are experiencing with your migraine, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.
After you have had several migraine attacks, you can go back through your diary and see if you can detect any patterns associated with you r headaches. If you do, you should discuss these findings with your doctor. You may need to keep your dairy for several months before a pattern can be detected. Once a trigger is determined, you should try to avoid it if possible in order to find migraine pain relief.