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Informed Health Online [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-.

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Migraine diary

Created: ; Last Update: May 30, 2018; Next update: 2021.

You can find out what triggers your migraines by keeping a diary or log of your symptoms for a few weeks or months. You will find a printable template (PDF) for this kind of diary here.

You can use the form to make a note of what happened on days when you have a migraine, such as:

  • Did you feel stressed out?
  • Did you have trouble sleeping?
  • What did you eat or drink?

You can describe the migraine attacks in greater detail, including

  • what time the pain started,
  • how long the attack lasted, and
  • how severe the headache was.

It's also important to record

  • whether you took medication,
  • and – if so – what kind of medication and how much.

Migraine diaries not only help you to find possible migraine triggers. They can also help you to find out more about your migraines – like whether they are chronic. You can see how often the attacks occur – and how frequently you take medication.

Keeping a migraine diary can also be helpful if it's not absolutely clear whether you have migraines or another type of headache – such as cluster headaches.

To get a better overview, you can also mark the days on the calendar when you've had a headache, as well as the days you took medication, for example. Or you can try a digital diary (app) if you prefer.

© IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care)
Bookshelf ID: NBK328459

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