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Monday's Topic: Tracking Migraines
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Monday's Topic: Tracking Migraines

There are usually two parts to a migraine treatment plan: prevention and acute treatment. Acute treatment is what we do when we get an individual migraine attack, such as take a medication. Prevention methods, on the other hand, work to prevent acute attacks from taking place at all. Prevention methods should be an equally important aspect of our overall treatment plan.

Prevention methods can help us control our migraine pattern and reduce our total number of migraine attacks.  A migraine tracker is often a very useful tool in preventative treatment plans. Migraine trackers help us to identify migraine triggers and migraine patterns.

Migraines can be triggered be external stimulus such as the weather, certain foods, certain beverages, scents, hormones, physical stresses, emotional stresses, lights, medications, chemical substances, dehydration and changes in diet. It is often helpful to identify what triggers our migraines, because although some triggers are out of our control, some triggers are also within our control and we can make life-style changes to accommodate the triggers that are within our control.

Sometimes migraines can follow specific patterns, such as the time of day or what day of the week our migraine attacks take place. Sometimes our migraine attacks can even follow seasonal patterns. Tracking our migraines allows us to notices if such patterns exist for us individually, and if such patterns do exist then we can give this type of information to our neurologists and that will help them to provide us with the best medical care possible.

Tracking our migraines also allows us to note if our migraine pattern changes over-time, such as if our migraines increase or decrease. Noticing a change in our overall migraine pattern can be helpful to us, as well as our doctors, as it can show us if our treatment plans our successful or if our treatment plans need to be altered.

MedHelp has a useful online Migraine tracker that will allow you to track your symptoms and treatments relating to migraines: http://www.medhelp.org/user_trackers/new?type=Migraine

Your doctor or neurologist may also give you a paper tracker that they would like you to use. You should always ask your doctor or neurologist how they would like you to track your migraines. Tracking systems and pain scales can vary depending on your doctor or neurologist. I personally use the Medhelp tracker, as I find it easy and convenient to use, and I also remember to use an online tracker more often then I remember to use a paper tracker. Since my neurologist also gives me a paper tracker to use as well, at the end of the month I will transfer the information from my MedHelp Tracker onto the paper tracker in order to give the paper tracker to my Neurologist. If you wish to do this, please consult with your neurologist first.

An extremely helpful feature of the MedHelp migraine tracker is the "print" feature, located in the right hand corner of the tracker. You can print out your MedHelp migraine trackers by using the "print" feature and then bring your trackers to your doctors appointments. Using the "print" feature is a simple way to turn your online tracker instantly into a paper tracker that you can give to your neurologist.

I personally think that bringing your migraine tracker with you to your doctor's appointments is very useful, as your tracker will convey very clear statistical-type information to your doctors about your condition that will help them to both diagnose and treat you.
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