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What should I do before I see my doctor about my headaches?

Dr. Dawn Marcus
Neurologist

Before seeing your doctor about your headaches, maintaining a headache diary and paying attention to your unique headache patterns can provide good information for you to take to your doctor.

The following are tips for improving your visits to your headache doctor:

  • Prepare for every visit with your healthcare provider. Write down and 
           bring a list of concerns—prioritize those key concerns that are 
           most important for you.
  • Ask specific questions that are of most concern to you right now and 
           save less-urgent questions for a later visit.
  • Use direct and specific questions, such as how long should I wait to take 
           the next acute medication.
  • Restate what you hear your doctor saying to make sure you 
           understand. For example, "so, let me get this straight—you think 
           that my headaches are migraines without aura and you want me to 
           take this medication Topamax every night to reduce headache 
           frequency—right?"
  • Speak up about any concerns that you have about your diagnosis, 
           treatment, or other symptoms.
  • Keep your doctor informed about hormonal links with your headache, 
           your current method of contraception, plans for conceiving, 
           concerns about pregnancy, and changes with menopause.
  • Do your homework. There are many excellent books and websites 
           about headaches. Knowledge is power!

Preparing for your visit in advance is the best way to make sure that your healthcare provider will have what she needs to best determine what's causing your headaches and what treatments are most likely to be helpful.

The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

More About this Book

The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.