How is migraine diagnosed?

Migraine FAQs: How is migraine diagnosed?

Migraine is considered a diagnosis of exclusion. That means in order to diagnose migraine, other possible causes of the symptoms must be ruled out or excluded. Therefore many people ask, can you diagnose migraines with certainty?

Doctors have a range of criteria and tests for diagnosing migraine. Migraine diagnosis typically centers around a description of the different migraine symptoms, how long they occur and how long they last. That's why it's key to keep a record of your symptoms — their intensity and frequency — in your migraine symptoms journal. This will help your migraine specialist determine what tests to run to rule out other reasons for your discomfort.

Some tests than can be conducted to exclude other causes of the attacks:

  • MRI, Magnetic resonance imaging
  • CT/Cat SCAN for Migraine, Computed Tomography
  • Blood Chemistry and Urinalysis
  • Sinus X-Ray
  • EEG, Electroencephalogram
  • Eye Exam
  • Spinal Tap/ lumbar puncture

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