Migraine and Headache Triggers: The Importance of a Journal

Journaling for Migraine and Headache Triggers

Know your triggers, know your triggers, know your triggers. This cannot be stressed enough. Keeping a journal is one of the first, and most important parts of diagnosing and treating migraine headaches. There are seemingly as many things that can trigger headaches and migraines as there are people who have them. Here is a common but not exhaustive list:

  • Foods
  • Smells
  • Sounds
  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Physical Exertion
  • Poor Posture
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Jet Lag
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Head injury
  • Muscle Pain
  • Poor vision correction
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Medications
  • Medication overuse
  • Supplementation overuse/overdose
  • And more!

When keeping a journal it is important to keep track of the foods you are eating, amount of sleep, stress level, medications, supplements, and what you did that day. It is possible that over time you can build a list of your most important triggers for your migraine headaches. Then once you know the triggers you can practice avoiding those triggers to help manage your migraine headache frequency and intensity.

Keeping a journal and knowing your triggers can also help your doctor to manage your case. For example, if you know that stress is your primary trigger your doctor may prescribe counseling, stress reduction techniques, nutrients, botanical medicine, or prescription drugs to help manage your stress.

You may prefer to keep your journal in a notebook, a planner, or on your phone. A quick internet search or app store search will also turn up results for migraine headache tracking applications. These can be helpful to organize your journal, and remind you to do your journal on a regular basis.

If you think you could benefit from working with Dr. Smitherman please book a free 15 minute consultation or appointment online.

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