Why Should I Track My Headaches?

Writing a detailed journal of headache episodes can help provide insight about triggers to avoid. Chronic headache sufferers should make an appointment to address the history and severity of pain. Keeping a headache diary to track characteristics and patterns of headaches may help with diagnosis and treatment plans. While relief can be elusive for people with migraine headaches, many can effectively manage symptoms by keeping a detailed headache diary focused on diet, hormone levels, and tracking overall healthy habits.

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1. What should be in my journal

The primary items to include in a headache diary are date, time, intensity, symptoms and treatment. Like other health concerns, migraine headaches can be increased by poor diet and exercise habits. Monitoring when a headache occurs and what happened before the headache is beneficial for pattern recognization. Proper hydration and daily exercise are excellent lifestyle choices to help feel healthier. During exercise, the body delivers specific chemicals that block pain signals to the brain. Chemicals released during exercise help manage pain levels and release the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins

2. Where to keep information

A journal that is not updated regularly will not be helpful. There are many options for keeping a headache diary. With most people carrying smartphones at all times, using a headache diary app may be the most convenient method of maintaining a journal. However, before ruling out the option of using pen and paper, consider many people find using blue light-emitting devices like phones, laptops, and tablets can lead to headaches or migraines.

3. Track your triggers

A trigger tracker can help identify things like food, drinks, weather or activities that may cause or worsen a headache. Being aware of triggers will lead to ways to better manage headaches. While listing the trigger is useful, tracking the percentage of time the trigger leads to a headache is even more beneficial. Always track the weather on days when headaches occur. Barometric pressure headaches occur after a drop in barometric pressure. These headaches may have additional symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness or increased sensitivity to light.

Living pain-free

Headaches can be debilitating and painful but are also quite common. There are numerous over-the-counter (OTC) medications available for treating headaches. To help find a treatment that would be helpful, consult a pharmacist. With the use of a journal, tracking triggers and trying different OTC headache remedies, a pain-free life could be just around the corner.

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