Help with Migraine Diary?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/23/2009 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to this forum. I want to start a migraine diary or log and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions. My migraines have increased enough in frequency and severity now that I'm ready to get serious about them. (I'm currently on day 6 of what my doctor is saying is a cluster of migraines. I've been taking Vicodin for a few years and recently tried Maxalt and Imitrex with no success - since my attacks mostly start when I'm asleep and I can't catch them early.)  I want to start a diary to identify triggers and anything that helps. I'm thinking of carrying around a little pocket diary of some sort just for recording what I eat for meals, snacks and any possible triggers I might have encountered. Also, I'm thinking of creating an Excel spreadsheet with two sheets, one for recording each migraine along with duration and meds taken, the other for making any observations, like which triggers resulted in migraines, which did not. Am I missing any information or is there a better way of organizing it or tying it all together? I want to devote my energy into improving the migraine situation and not so much on creating a good system. What do some of you guys do that works for you?
Thanks very much.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 1/24/2009 7:22 AM (GMT -6)   
In like a notebook put the date, then anything you eat or drink write in with that date. If you get a cluster headache, migraine, write down when and what time. When I did mine, I had it in meal segements like Breakfast: 10am granola bar, orange juice lunch2pm, soup, sandwhich, etc. migraine 3pm.. then i would look the next day and try to trigger it by drinking orange juice... if i didnt get a migraine t hat day next day i tried the granola bar, to try to trigger. and that is how you keep a diary and find triggers.
Smurfy Shadow
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux
Medications: Imuran, Prednisone, Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 1/24/2009 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Smurfy gave you good advice on the food trigger diary.

I maintain an excel spreadsheet to record my head pain; the columns I include are date, headache (Y/N); level (0 - 10 or 0 to 5 depending on your neurologist); when it started/duration; med(s) taken and quantity; and any notes you may want to include. I wrap the text on several of the columns..especially the notes.

I take this to every appointment as well as a sheet where I've compiled the data; since I report on the number of days that I've had a headache having a column that says Y/N makes it easy to count the days. I always have to report on the meds that I've taken and how much, so the quantity is important too. A section on the report asks for any new headache symptom or or pertinent information, so the note section helps a lot.

In the long run, this also helps spot trends and keeps a good drug diary of what works, what doesn't and any side effects that you need to remember.

Good luck,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 1/24/2009 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I think they are all great ideas!
I carried a small book in my purse because if I didnt write things down at the time I would forget later...but then transfer that info into a spreadsheet is so much neater and easier to catch patterns!
Good luck with that, it sounds like you are on track!
Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/27/2009 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all!  I created a spreadsheet just after posting and it looks like what you all are doing is very close to what I came up with. Looks like I AM on track.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/28/2009 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
OMG, I'm so scared... I did not have my MRI yet so they are not 100% sure if this is the Acephalgic Migrane yet... they think it is... I don't know how I will be able to function never knowing when it is going to strike, and even if it's not a TIA how will I ever know down the road if I have an episode and it is a TIA or stroke, the symptoms are identical. I need somebody to help me because it's like I'm sitting here waiting for an episode. I'm very sad....
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