Talking to your doctor
To help ensure your doctor gets the treatment best suited to your particular condition, he or she may ask you several specific questions about your health and symptoms, including:
Questions your doctor may ask:
- When did your symptoms first start to appear?
- How often do you experience your symptoms?
- How long do your symptoms usually last?
- Do your symptoms limit your activities (i.e., work, school, leisure activities)? If so, for how long?
- Do you experience nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) when you have your headache?
- Does light bother you when you have your headache?
- What – if anything – seems to trigger (or bring on) your headaches?
- What – if anything – seems to improve your symptoms?
- What – if anything – seems to worsen your symptoms?
- Has anyone in your family experienced migraines?
- Have you experienced any major life stresses or changes recently?
- What medications are you taking (if any)? Be sure to mention all prescription and non-prescription medications, including vitamin and “natural” supplements, as well as the dosages.
Questions you may ask your doctor:
- What do you think is triggering my migraines?
- What are my treatment options?
- How does my medication work?
- How do I take my medication?
- Are there side effects that I should be aware of?
- What changes to my lifestyle or diet do you suggest?
- Ramage-Morin PL and Gilmour H. Prevalence of migraine in the Canadian household population. Statistics Canada. Available at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2014006/article/14033-eng.htm. Accessed March 12, 2017.
- LJ Stovner, K Hagen, R Jensen, Z Katsarava, RB Lipton, AI Scher, TJ Steiner & J-A Zwart. The global burden of headache: a documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide.
- Lipton RB, Dodick D, Sadovsky R, et al. A self-administered screener for migraine in primary care. Neurology 2003;61:375-382.
- World Health Organization. Headache Disorders Fact Sheet. Available at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs277/en/. Accessed March 21, 2017.
- Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS). The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version). Cephalalgia. 2013;33(9):629-808.
- Mayo Clinic website. Migraine Symptoms and Causes. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/dxc-20202434. Accessed March 21, 2017.
- National Library of Medicine. Migraine. National Library of Medicine website. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000709.htm. Updated January 5, 2016. Accessed March 21, 2017.
- Worthington I, Pringsheim T, Gawel MJ, et al. Canadian Headache Society Guideline: Acute drug therapy for migraine headache. Can J Neurol Sci 2013;40(5): Suppl. 3(S1-S79).
- Mayo Clinic website. Migraine: preparing for your appointment. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/diagnosis-treatment/preparing-for-appointment/ptc-20202833. Accessed April 20, 2017.
- Migraine.com website. Questions to ask your doctor about migraine treatment. Available at https://migraine.com/blog/questions-to-ask-your-doctor-about-your-migraine-treatment/. Accessed April 20, 2017.