Migraine Tracking

Hi all,

I suffer from chronic migraines which means that for the past year and a bit I’ve had a migraine every single day. On top of that, the drugs haven’t worked and following severe reactions to my last two trials of medication I’ve decided I can’t risk taking anything new. I’ve been signed off work for the last two months because of it but will be returning in the new year. My doctor is hopeless and has decided that I just need to take anti-depressants; my neurologist is NHS so I can only see him every 6 months.

I’m desperate to take back control of my life and I am still yet to understand what is causing me to be in constant pain. Number 1 rule of sorting out migraines is identifying your triggers - I have failed abysmally at keeping a diary and haven’t managed to identify anything obvious. This is what led me to this site.

I need something to track the severity of the head pain, the type, any additional symptoms e.g. nausea and overlay with exercise, food, sleep, mood. As I’m completely new to this (and also in a lot of constant pain) I would really appreciate any advice on tools that could provide any of this functionality, or whether I just need to build my own spreadsheet. And for those that are also trying to identify the cause of their medical problem - are there any other things I should track?

Thanks :slight_smile:

I tried to post a reply before. Here is an iOS App that does a great job of tracking headaches

You should look into allergies as they play a big impact on migraines. Eating Wheat, Soy, Nuts, Etc might be causing the problem. Keeping active and working out can help. Also stress is a big factor in headaches, so stress reduction is important.

I get migraines due to an autoimmune disease I have and I know my triggers well…

Processed food
Lack of Sleep

Hey there,

i am sorry to hear about migranes. Have you had a look at meditation and biofeedback? There has been research about it!

cheers, anonjum

I also suffer from migraine and must say that i feel that its quite random, but people close to me are trying to convince me that it shouldn’t be. My mother for example have certain triggers she knows about, like the standard ones, chocolate and red wine.

I can also find a few triggers of my own, but as I sad before, they seem to be quite random. I can have a glass of wine and have a head-ace the whole next day, or I can have a bottle of wine and be quite alright in the morning (not completely, but at least with our any serious migraine.) So i think a lot of combinations can give very different results, and that certain triggers are connected to other triggers that might have happened

So why do I bring this up on this forum? Well, in an attempt to track my own triggers I have tried the android apps that are out there, mainly since i have my phone on me all the time so its a perfect platform for doing things like this. In that process i found out that non of them really fits me and are now prepared to create my own program for this.

My question to you are, have you tried any of the programs that exits and what features do you like and what do you miss? I don’t want to do a program that only fits me, so if you have any wishes on how and what to track, please let me know.

Hi Mikael,

Can I ask you to say a bit more about why the current programs don’t work for you? What have you tried? What are the good points and bad points of what is currently available? A brief post about this will be more substantive and provoke better, more useful replies.

I have only tested the free versions of the softwares, and only the ones that doesnt require an account (the ones with accounts normally is a web-service with an interface and needs internet connectivity in order to work)

All of the trackers I’ve seen tracks the specific event of the head-ace, non seems to track what could have lead up to it.

I want to have the all the information I manage and want to add prior to the head-ace. To figure out my own trigger I whould probably add a lot of information for a few month time, like what I’m eating and drinking basically day by day (yes its a lot of work, but to figure out my triggers I would probably do it.)
I also want the phone to try to monitor data that it could figure out for itself, like what the weather was like prior and on that day i got the migraine attack, air-pressure and atleast a guess of my sleep pattern.

After a few migraine events the phone should try to crossreference the events before each attack to see if a pattern emerges.

Just logging my migraine is not better than a piece of pen and paper.

Here is something that may be helpful for you as you work on your app. What you say about “crossreference” for events before the attack was discussed in a clear way by Mark Drangsholt in a wonderful Seattle Quantified Self talk. Here’s the link to our post with Mark’s talk included:

QS Primer: Case-Crossover Design