new year. new features

here you have Miggy's big improvements for early 2013

First of all we wanted to thank everyone for their incredibly valuable feedback throughout the past months.
It's been so awesome hearing that you like and find the journal to be helpful.
Never hesitate to get in touch with us! As you well know, Miggy is a  family operation. Your opinion matters! about us

Migraine Reports

You create your migraine entries, Miggy does the statistics for you:
  • total number of migraine entries
  • your average number of migraines/month
  • your average pain scale
  • your most common triggers and symptoms

Check out your report

Medication now editable

We've just made the Medication section editable. This means that you now have the possibility of personalizing your medication, same as you had for your triggers and symptoms.
For customizing Miggy even more visit your Profile section.

How to get the best out of Miggy

We've added some tips and tricks for a faster migraine entry to the migraine form
                        


Access your migraine journal

Happy Holidays from Miggy


Thanks for using Miggy this past year, and for helping us provide a way for all migraineurs out there to take control over their headaches.

At the moment we're working on fine tuning your Migraine Report and Statistics part.

We're also developing a 'How to' section within the journal, that will give you tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your migraine journal.

There is lots to do next year so please stick with us while we develop the most loveable migraine journal ever ;)

Thanks,
Alexandra and Alex
The Miggy team

Keeping a migraine diary even with Chronic Migraines?

A cartoon from the 1800s shows how awful a headache can feel1

What are chronic migraines?

If you are suffering from Chronic Migraines, it means you have migraines that occur at least 15 times a month with headaches lasting 4 hours or longer for at least 3 consecutive months.

Unfortunately there is no cause for Chronic Migraines, just like there's no exact cause for episodic migraines (migraines that occur less than 15 days/month). Still there are people who experience a steady progression in their migraine frequency.
This is where keeping a diary is crucial: it helps by placing the changes you experience in your migraines into the context of your daily activity and life.
It's easier to connect the dots when the data is being stored.

My advice is to never stop trying to identify triggers, therefore never stop keeping track. It can be difficult to spot any patterns when migraines are daily, but it’s a must. If there is the slightest chance you could be reducing the number of migraines you have through avoiding certain triggers, then it should definitely be worth it!

Keeping a diary: printable vs. online

When I first started using a diary, it was a printable one. My husband and I had designed the printable .pdf ourselves, back when Miggy - the online migraine journal - was just in the project phase, we were encouraging people to use a printable diary so that they don't lose any data.

Sometimes it seemed redundant and completely pointless to always have to record my migraines: during one I was too annoyed and felt like writing it down would not make it go away so why bother? and of course, after the migraine had passed I used to feel so relieved that I couldn't see the point in noting it down anymore. 
It's especially hard to be consistent with something that has no short term results.

How the online journal helped me be in control

When I switched from paper to the online Miggy, it finally payed off. After about 6 months of tracking your migraines you can start enjoying the benefits of migraine reports and statistics. 

It's great that now I actually know my average number of migraines/month, I've identified clear patterns in my triggers and I can also show all this to my doctor.
What I still regret though, is not using a migraine diary for the first 7 years. I realized I can't even remember how many migraines I had/month back when they first started. 
So even if now I know my monthly average for example, I still don't know if it progressed or regressed.
Same goes for my triggers: I used to think that weather, cold wind and not drying my hair properly after a shower were my most common triggers, only to find out after one year of keeping the journal, that my first and most common trigger is stress, followed by hormones/menstrual and that cold wind is only rarely the problem.

Should we rely only on memory?

It's funny how our brain works when it comes to memories. Although we like to think that our memory works like a recording equipment, that's not actually the case. Research has revealed that we construct our memories when we encode them and/or when we recall them. A bit worrisome, right?

Chronic Migraine Treatment

Many of the therapies prescribed for chronic migraine are the same as those prescribed for episodic migraine. These include both prescription and over the counter painkillers and as well as migraine specific drugs such as triptans. These are known as abortive or acute medications.
A combination of lifestyle changes and understanding the migraine triggers is important. There are also preventative treatments available for chronic migraine, but these are often associated with side effects, and many people cannot tolerate them for long periods of time.

Neurostimulation: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for chronic migraines

"Neurostimulation therapies inaugurate a new era in headache management and offer a promising alternative to medications. Future studies are necessary to provide evidence-based efficacy data, knowledge on their mode of action and information about their pharmaco-economic advantages."2


For the US: 

Advanced Migraine Relief & Treatment Center
-- the latest procedures, techniques, and pain relief treatments for chronic migraines including the revolutionary Transforma ProcedureSM
-- a network of physicians that are experts in these solutions.
-- hosting of free educational seminars to help you learn about new migraine pain relief options.


For the UK:

-- A portable device known as SpringTMS™ Total Migraine System has been developed by eNeura Therapeutics and is being investigated for potential use in the treatment and prevention of migraine.  The hand-held device sends two brief magnetic pulses to the brain at the press of a button.  Data was presented at the recent European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress (EHMTIC) 2012.
__________________________
1 -- headache. [Photograph]. In Britannica Online for Kids. Retrieved from http://kids.britannica.com/elementary/art-169567
2 -- Headache Research Unit, University Departement of Neurology, CHR Citadelle, Li├Ęge, Belgium. June 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22543428

Miggy now brings migraine reports


My husband and I are super happy to report the addition of one really cool feature to Miggy - the much awaited migraine reports.

Basically a summary of all your entries, under the form of some really crafty statistics:
- your average number of migraines per month,
- your most common triggers and symptoms,
- your average pain scale etc.

Pretty soon we're going to also include the possibility to download all these useful figures as .PDF

Link to our general page.
Direct link to the journal (for accessing your account).


Migraine reports coming soon!



My husband and I are back this fall with new ideas and energy to further building miggy.

This is to let you know about one really cool feature we're planning on releasing soon:

Migraine reports. We're working on a way for you to be able to have a summary of your migraines - frequency, your most common symptoms and triggers etc. You'll also be able to print and show it to your doctor.

I'm still using the tool even without the reports, for example I can look back on the past months to see how many migraines I had each month, but still having a report that centralizes all my entries in one pdf would be even more awesome.

We'll keep you posted and hope that you can enjoy the benefits of this upcoming feature!

___________________________________________________________________

miggy is a family operation. your opinion matters! 

just drop us an email with your comments and ideas at alexandra@migrainevibe.com and we'll get back to you asap.

___________________________________________________________________

Botox provides small benefit for migraine sufferers

article from CNN Health

Just a few days after new migraine treatment guidelines were released at the American Academy of Neurology's annual convention, new research published in this week's edition of JAMA, finds Botox may not work as well on migraines as originally thought.
The AAN's recommendations found that numerous drugs, such as the seizure drugs divalproex sodium, sodium valproate and topiramate, along with the beta-blockers metoprolol, propranolol and timolol, are effective for migraine prevention.
The guidelines also noted herbal drugs such as petasites relieved migraine pain and nonsterodial anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium should be offered to people with migraines to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
Botulinum toxin A, otherwise known as Botox, was not mentioned.

Since Botox has become a popular way to eliminate wrinkles in the forehead, doctors have been using it for all types of treatments, from excessive sweating to headaches. But even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved botulinum toxin A injections for the prevention of chronic migraines, a new analysis finds Botox provides only a small to modest benefit for patients with migraine or daily headaches.
The review states that migraines and tension headaches are extremely common, about 42% of adults in the U.S. experience a tension-type headache sometime in their lives. But many of these headache sufferers don't seek medical help. Migraines are less common - about 8 to 18% of the population suffers from these types of headaches, which are far more debilitating.
Botulinum toxin A injections were first proposed as headache treatments when doctors noticed patients with chronic headaches receiving cosmetic Botox injections also found relief for their headaches. Studies on botulinum effectiveness for headaches have been mixed.
Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, reviewed previous studies on botulinum toxin A when used for the treatment of migraine, tension or chronic daily headaches in adults. The headaches were categorized as episodic (less than 15 headaches per month) or chronic (15 or more headaches per month), migraine and episodic, or chronic daily or tension headaches.
The researchers reviewed 27 randomized placebo-controlled trials that included a little more than 5,000 study participants and four randomized Botox comparisons with other medications for migraines and chronic headaches.
They found Botox was associated with approximately three fewer headaches per month among patients with chronic daily headaches and among patients with chronic migraine headaches, about two less per month.
There was no significant association between the use of Botox and reduction in the number of episodic migraine or chronic tension-type headaches.
And compared with those on a placebo, Botox caused users to have side effects such as drooping of the upper eyelids, skin tightness, a tingling sensation in the injection area, neck stiffness, muscle weakness and neck pain.
When compared to other drugs, Botox did not prevent chronic migraine headaches any better than drugs like topiramate or amitriptyline.
According to the study authors, "Our analyses suggest that botulinum toxin A may be associated with improvement in the frequency of chronic migraine and chronic daily headaches, but not with improvement in the frequency of episodic migraine, chronic tension-type headaches, or episodic tension-type headaches. However, the association of botulinum toxin A with clinical benefit was small."

Friendly migraine journal - the printable version

We've just created this 2 page migraine journal, it's friendly colored and easy to use.
You just need to print 2 sided, fold in 2, this way you'll get like a little booklet with the triggers on the cover and the actual migraine journal entries inside. Download pdf

I'm actually the first tester of this print. My copy already has 2 entries :) but please feel free to drop us an email at alexandra[at]migrainevibe.com if you have any feedback.

Once you've collected a few entries in your journal you can already notice different patterns: you can identify a trigger or experiment and find you're most responsive medicine. For me the most interesting part about keeping track of my headaches was that I can now have a better overview on their frequency. It's like their timed, apparently they always start at night time, every ten days.

You too can be you're own migraine Sherlock!