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Keeping a headache diary

April 16, 2015

A headache diary can be valuable in helping you and your doctor diagnose and treat your headaches. You can use it to map out the 79df4eac-dd01-4eaf-822f-1c1fbca286b416207267087506characteristics of your headaches, including their frequency, duration, and intensity. A diary can also help identify possible triggers and related symptoms, as well as track the dosage and effectiveness of any medications you're taking.

There are many ways to keep a headache diary. You can record this information on a preprinted form like the one below, or on a regular calendar or notebook to. Or you can download a headache app and use it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Your doctor may recommend keeping such a diary every day for a week, a month, or the duration of your treatment. He or she may review the diary with you to assess your progress, weigh the effectiveness of medications, or make adjustments in your treatment plan.

Headache diary

Feel free to reproduce this diary for your own use. You can also download a formatted copy.

 

First episode

Second episode

Third episode

Date/day of the week of headache

     

Time of onset

     

Time of resolution

     

Warning signs

     

Location(s) of the pain

     

Type of pain

     

Intensity of the pain  *

     

Additional symptoms

     

Activities/circumstances at time of onset

     

Time of most recent meal prior to onset

     

Food/drink most recently consumed prior to onset

     

Medication(s) taken for headache

     

Response to medication(s)

     

Other action(s) taken for relief

     

Response to action(s)

     

Last menstrual period  **

     

Medication(s) currently taken for other condition(s)

     

 * On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain possible

** Beginning date and ending date

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As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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