Keeping a headache diary
A general guide to recording your migraine attacks
Why keep a headache diary?
Recording details of your migraine attacks or headache can be useful. It can help:
- your doctor make a diagnosis
- you recognise triggers and warning signs
- assess whether your acute or preventive medication is working
- show any patterns to attacks.
A headache diary can include information on a range of things, however, it’s often best to keep it simple and record basic information. This can include:
- day of the week
- duration (how long the attack lasted)
- severity (how bad the attack was). This can either be recorded as mild, moderate or severe. Or on a scale from 1-10, where 10 is the worst pain you can imagine
- other symptoms you experience alongside the headache such as dizziness, vertigo, sensitivity to light, sound, smells or any symptoms that affect your movement (e.g. numbness).
- medication you take, including if you take a second dose
- anything else that may be helpful. Such as side effects from medication, any potential triggers, your period, any changes in medication, and anything else that may be helpful.
Below is a monthly template of a headache diary you may find helpful.