Symptom Diary

IBD can seem like a mystery in the beginning. You and your doctors try to understand your symptoms, figure out the cause and then the best treatment plan. Keeping the Symptom Diary will help to find the triggers causing symptoms like pain or diarrhea.

What you should notice if you have pain

  • Where is the pain? Top, where the stomach sits? On her lower right side, near the appendix? Or her left? Is it always the same place? Does it start one place and move?
  • How long does it last? Seconds, minutes, hours?
  • How often is the pain? Has it changed (was it once a month and now every day)?
  • How bad is it? Enough to cause tears? Does it wake you at night or stop you from eating?
  • Does anything trigger the pain? Eating, drinking, pooping, peeing, movement, stress? Any particular foods?
  • Does anything happen along with the pain? Nausea, diarrhea or a headache–if so does it have the same pattern or a different one?

If You Have Diarrhea, Bleeding, Nausea, or Other Symptoms

  • Is there any pattern? Is it worse in the morning? After meals? Is it getting worse?
  • How long has it been happening? Days, weeks, months?
  • Does anything come first or with the event? Pain, headache, bloating?
  • Are there any triggers? Stress, particular foods?

Chart the symptoms, whatever they are, pain, diarrhea, fever, nausea, etc. See the example and then download the chart below or keep your notes on a calendar. Keep track of your symptoms until you see your doctor or primary provider.

DateTime StartTime overDescriptionPossible TriggerWhen
Sept 1
(Sun)
1 pm1:30Nausea at home Vanilla milk shake 4 ounces, after church15 minutes before
1:151:30Pain at belly button, gradually increasing
1:201:30Vomited almost all of milkshake
Sept 7
(Sat)
3:054:30Nausea, gradually got better after lying down, normal BMLunch (pizza, water) noon
Sept 96 am6:15Woke vomiting yellow fluid
No nausea or pain
Went to work after
None, slept well fried fish, peas, water, cupcake at 7 pm last night

Hopefully, tracking the triggers

closely will give you and your doctor a better understanding so you can do what is needed to treat or…
stop the problem.

For your convenience, you can download a blank  Symptom Diary here.

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