Migraines and Stress: My Personal Journey to Relief

Migraines and Stress: My Personal Journey to Relief


Living with migraine attacks can be challenging, especially when stress comes into the picture. Personally, I have experienced the debilitating effects of migraine attacks and the undeniable connection to stress. Through my journey, I have discovered the vital role of tracking symptom changes during migraine attacks in finding relief. This article will delve into the reasons why tracking symptom changes is essential and provide practical guidance on how to do it effectively.

Section 1: Why Tracking Symptom Changes is Essential

Migraine attacks can be overwhelming, making it difficult to accurately remember and document all the details during and after an attack. By tracking symptom changes, you can:

  • Ensure accurate documentation of your experience
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Provide valuable information to your healthcare team

During a migraine attack, the pain and associated symptoms can make it challenging to recall the sequence of events, duration, and intensity of the migraine. Keeping track of symptom changes helps you provide a comprehensive account of your experience, making it easier for your healthcare team to diagnose and develop a suitable treatment plan.

Tracking symptom changes also helps reduce stress and anxiety. When you write down your symptoms, it allows you to “dump” everything that’s going on in your brain onto paper. This act of getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper creates a sense of control and can bring a small sense of relief during a migraine attack.

Furthermore, a symptom report provides valuable information to your healthcare team. By maintaining detailed records of your symptoms, you can identify patterns and potential triggers, enabling your doctors to develop a more targeted approach to your treatment plan.

Section 2: How to Record Symptom Changes During an Attack

When it comes to recording symptom changes during a migraine attack, a few key strategies can be helpful:

  • Take quick notes during the attack
  • Track the effectiveness and side effects of medication
  • Prepare questions for your next doctor’s visit

One practical way to document symptoms is by using a migraine diary or a mobile app specifically designed for tracking migraine attacks. These tools typically allow you to note the time of onset, rate the severity of the pain on a scale of 0-10, and record associated symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, or visual disturbances.

For example, you might write in your symptom report: “Migraine attack started at 2:00 PM. Pain severity: 8/10. Experienced nausea, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision.”

Tracking the effectiveness and side effects of medication is crucial in understanding which treatments work best for you. Note the time of medication intake, how quickly it provided relief (within 30 minutes or within 2 hours), and any side effects experienced. This information will help you and your healthcare team make informed decisions about your treatment plan.

Additionally, use your symptom report to prepare questions for your next doctor’s visit. This ensures you address any concerns you may have, ask about potential medication side effects, and seek clarification on proper usage and timing of your medications.

Section 3: When to Provide All the Details to Your Doctor

While compiling a detailed symptom report can be valuable, it may not be necessary to provide all the details to your doctor every time. Consider the following factors:

  • Time constraints during appointments
  • Focus on medication quantities and combinations
  • Acute medication effectiveness within 2 hours
  • Insurance considerations

Doctors often have limited time during appointments, so it may not be feasible for them to thoroughly review extensive records. In such cases, prioritize discussing medication quantities, ensuring you’re avoiding exceeding dosage limits or unsafe drug combinations.

Furthermore, doctors are interested in determining if the acute medication you’re taking provides relief within the expected timeframe, typically within 2 hours. This information helps them assess the efficacy of the medication and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

When considering insurance considerations, extensive details may not be required. Instead, proof of incapacity and the number of days lost may be more critical for insurance claims purposes.

Section 4: Tracking Symptoms with a Specific Objective

It’s not necessary to track your symptoms all the time. However, there are specific objectives for tracking symptoms that can be incredibly beneficial:

  • Determining which medications work best for you
  • Understanding the speed of medication action

By regularly updating your symptom report, you can assess the effectiveness of different medications and document improvements or changes in your condition. For example, you might notice that one medication consistently provides more relief and fewer side effects. This information helps you and your healthcare team make more informed decisions about your treatment plan.

In addition, tracking the speed of medication action can indicate how quickly a specific medication provides relief. This knowledge empowers you to choose the most effective option for managing your migraine attacks, especially during times when prompt relief is crucial.


Tracking symptom changes during migraine attacks is crucial for finding relief and managing the impact of stress. By accurately documenting your experience, reducing stress and anxiety, and providing valuable information to your healthcare team, you can empower yourself in managing migraine attacks effectively. My personal journey has shown me the immense benefits of tracking symptoms, and I encourage you to embark on your own path to relief.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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