Keeping a migraine diary

A general guide to recording your migraine attacks

Why keep a migraine 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:

  • date
  • 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 (PDF or Word version) you may find helpful.

Migraine diary for children and young people

Parents, carers, children and teens can find information about migraine in young people here. This includes information aimed at 7 to 12 year olds and a migraine diary template for children.

Did you find this information helpful?

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