Preparing For Your Doctor Visit

If you have migraine symptoms that keep returning, it may be time to see your primary care doctor or a headache specialist. Preparing in advance and finding the right doctor will help you and your doctor make the most of your visit.

Doctors will ask:

  • How often do migraines occur?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • Have any migraine triggers or causes have been identified?
  • Have you suffered any head injuries?
  • Did anything about the your routine change before the migraine pain began?
  • Are you taking any medications?
  • When did the migraine symptoms first begin?
  • What makes the symptoms improve?
  • What makes the symptoms worse?
  • Does anyone else in your immediate family suffer from migraines?

Therefore you should take a migraine journal to the appointment. The journal should describe past migraines, how long they last, and what you were doing immediately before the migraine symptoms began.

Most doctors will exclude any other causes for your symptoms before they diagnose migraine disease.

The doctor may:

  • Take blood samples
  • Measure blood pressure
  • Ask you to record information about your migraine pain in a journal
  • Suggest changes in lifestyle to reduce migraine pain, such as getting eight hours of sleep, avoiding caffeine, reducing stress, exercising regularly etc.
  • Teach relaxation techniques
  • Order brain imaging tests, such as a CAT scan or MRI to rule out any other cause of the pain
  • Suggest trying over-the-counter pain relievers
  • If nothing else works, prescribe medications to prevent the migraine attacks from happening as frequently or to make them less severe
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Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010