Migraine Diaries

I have just created a poll to gauge how many people have kept a diary of their headaches in the past or are doing so currently.

We at National Migraine Centre feel strongly that they are key to achieving an accurate diagnosis and suitable treatment plan.

Migraine diaries allow you to record information about your attacks of migraine and other headaches, alongside any drugs taken and possible trigger factors.

We ask all our patients to complete diaries and bring them in for their first appointment. All patients are also asked to complete diaries following their first appointment. These will be assessed at the follow up visit.

We have two types of headache diaries: one monthly diary and one annual diary. Both diaries are very easy to use and you can download them from our website: migraineclinic.org.uk/about...

We are in the process of developing an online 'app' style diary that will make the whole process a lot less painful and the information much more accessible for us to improve patient's treatment and for research purposes. Will this electronic version available on smart phones, tablets and PCs make you more likely to keep a diary? Discuss...

11 Replies

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  • I used to keep a migraine diary and kept it going over a number of years but it never led to any useful conclusions.

  • Same here.

  • I've also kept diaries over the years and just completed one for the last six months but, like you, it has never led to any satisfactory help whatsoever. I went to Addebrookes last week and realise there's really nothing they can do for me which is really going to help. I feel very depressed after suffering migraines for 40 years and have been told if I keep taking triptans I will probably have stroke so I should come off them. I explained that I cannot take preventatives as they don't suit me but received a long letter yesterday explaining that I need to come off the triptans and use four different anti-sickness medications and use preventatives. Mine is a long and complicated story but I just feel my life is over now as there seems to be no solution to my problem. I tried a Cefaly machine whilst at Addenbrookes but had to take it off within the first 5 minutes as it nearly drove me crazy but it has been suggest that I buy one to try. It will cost me £250 plus £10 per month for sticky strip things. I have given up now and feel quite desperate. I cannot see how I am going to go cold turkey without any painkillers to help me through. What a nightmare this all is. My life is a complete mess. I am feeling so low today after receiving the long and complicated letter yesterday, I see no way out of this mess. I feel my life is over now as I cannot have a social life, meet friends and spend most of my life in bed with migraines. How to others cope?

  • I've found migraine diaries have been a HUGE and vital step in understanding how my migraines work and what's been triggering them, and they've also helped me plan out my week and work out my personal migraine 'threshold'. They also help me keep a track of the meds I've been keeping which has kept the dreaded Medication Overuse Headache as bay (sometimes!) I also think they're very important when you first start getting migraines. I'm using them a lot now as I'm on a new daily preventative and also trying other new therapies so myself and my Doctor are relying on the diary to gauge their efficacy. I've love an app version of your migraine diary!

  • same here victoria, they are also very important for family members to see how much were getting migraines and advise on seeing a dr when theyre out of control and they are of number 1 importance for the dr treating us to see. when you see a dr its impossible to remember from the top of your head how many migraines youve had and how much medication youve taken each time but if at a glance they can look at your diary and see how many headaches youre getting and what meds youve had they can make a more informed diagnosis.

  • I wrote a mirgraine diary for the mirgraine trust, it was what they called a travelling diary it was sent out to anybody that wanted to write and account of their experiences and how migraines affected people's lives, jobs etc., It was a really interesting read as you could write your account and read other people's enteries before sending the diary back to the trust and then they would forward onto the next person and within a few days my entry along with many others was uploaded onto their website. It was great to know that I wasn't the only one feeling this way and also the sharing of experiences and also what medication works for some and not for others. So I am all for keeping a diary at some point. It certainly helped me.

  • Hi, just incase anyone else wants to do one of the Travelling Migraine Diary entries with the Migraine Trust here is the link

    migrainetrust.org/awareness...

    They're more of a traditional 'dear diary'/journal type than a record of medications/migraine tracker but make for a really interesting read. Would love to read yours Kumsuzw

  • I think you can probably still read them at the web address you quoted above my name is Kim Weightman, is you search for it. I believe mine was dated September 2010 or a bit later.

  • My doctor always praises me for keeping a diary as it helps show how effective different treatments are.

  • Gold star!

  • The thing I find hardest in keeping a diary is to categorise the headache type. Some types have pain are identifiably behind the nose, or in the temples, or one one side or the other; but many are hard to define as the pain has no locus, or moves to whichever side I'm lying on. In other cases the pain is not the intense throbbing of migraine but more like nausea in the head and indeed all over the body, like having been poisoned.

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