• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

Symptoms Diary

Do you keep one? how do you lay it out?
I want to keep track of my food, pain, fatigue, and bowel movements, but i can't seem to figure out a good way to lay it out so there's not a lot of empty space, but it's still easy to read.....do you do it hourly, every few hours, just before and after you eat, etc? Thanks!
I tried to do that for a while when I first got sick....after a month it looked like all the pages were the same so I just gave up.
Yeah, that's my worry, so i'm wondering if anyone has a good way to track things....Maybe i'll just make a bunch of matching graphs and over lap them somehow?i wish i knew how to make spreadsheets! LOL
Hi Pam, I use an actual diary, like one may use for work. It means there is a page for each day. I make note of a lot of things and then just put an * when there is a bad symptom/poo.I have a poop section and just write whenever I have one, a general symptom section below that. If I have an episode I highlight the date and give it a rating out of ten for severity. If you make it too complicated you will never do it!!
Hi Pam.. the way Shaz does it seems to be the best way.. I did keep a diary when I was first sick and for about another couple months after being diagnosed but now that I only have attacks/episodes every few weeks I just note down stuff then. I generally just kept it on the computer and would put the date and what had happened for the day ie how often when to toilet food I ate how I felt pain wise etc. But Shaz way is heaps easier I might even go out and buy a diary and start doing it that way. I did try to keep it as simple as possible tho even on the computer. My GI said that it has really helped him understand how I feel to cause generaly when I see him Im feeling better! So he get a proper insight into what has been happening as I found I would skip stuff out or play down how sick I was seeing as I felt fine at the time of seeing him.
Good luck hun
thanks Tan! :) It's one of my fave's.

You guys are probably right, simple is better, as said though, i guess i just want it to be quick and easy for the GI to read....guess i'll break out those highlighters! :p

I have it seperated into two columns right now, one for food, the rest for everything else....although i might change it to three....Or maybe best to not even have columns, just write a little blurb a few times a day...i guess i'll just fiddle for a few days to find something that works. :)
Yeah see what works for you but when it comes to GI you could always then convert it into a word document or something with the important stuff that has happened.

I kinda keep mine as a journal on my computer and then just get rid of any crap before I print it off for the GI. This is how one of my diary entry is like:

3rd March:
Symptoms: list any symptoms im experiencing and how often
Pain: list back & stomach pain or joint pain and scale of 1 to 10
Food: List food for the day and if any reaction.

Also if Im going ok for a few days don't bother writing anything down for those days.


Sports Crohnie
I did a food diary when I first got sick. One column was what I ate, one was # of trips to bathroom, one was my poop scale (1-5 with 1 being perfect poop and 5 being pure liquid). I would footnote any unusual stress. Did it on my computer in excel. Using numbers or colors for categories makes it fast and easy to keep and review.

I kept it up for a couple months then stopped. But it helped me identify foods that triggered bad days.
Hi! I'm still trying to figure out how to organize my symptom tracker (I started one back in Sept. with my current flare-up) - I tend to over-complicate things! Right now I have two different trackers, and they're working fairly well for me.

(1) Spiral bound notebook. One page per day, each page divided into four columns: 1. time, 2. medicine/supplement, 3. food, 4. symptom/exercise/etc. There ends up being a fair amount of blank space on the page but this actually makes it easier for me to read (I'm a very visual person, and it looks to me like a "picture" of my day, if this makes any sense!).

For example:

8:30 -------------------------------------------------------- Stretches
8:45 -- Pred 15mg ---------------Orange juice
--------- 6mp 75mg ---------------Banana
--------- Multivit, B-complex------Fiber granola bar
--------- Calc w/D, magnes.
9:00 -------------------------------------------------------- B.M. norm, little crampy

(2) The monthly pages in my day planner. I'll note the day's worst symptoms and that gives me a "big picture" view of what's going on, and helps me note when new symptoms start/happen more frequently.

Then before an appt I'll make a sheet consolidating the most important info so my doc can see at a glance what's bothering me the most - the last one I made had 3 columns: 1. symptom, 2. date of onset, 3. "notes" (frequency, duration, description, etc).

Good luck finding a system that works for you!