The Food Diary (or Journal or Log or Codex…)

How to keep track of what you eat and your inflammation symptoms.

One of the things your doctor will ask you to do when you have digestive inflammation is to keep a food diary. By keeping copious notes of what’s happening over a period of time, your doctor can get a better idea as to what’s going on in your gut. Sometimes, tracking your food can lead you to see a pattern with your inflammation.

However, the term “food diary” is misleading. You are not just tracking what you are eating, but also your bowel movements (or BM) and any pain issues. All three of those things are helpful during the diagnosis process. (And please remember to see your doctor immediately if you ever see blood in your BM or vomit.)

When writing down your day’s digestive activities, you don’t have to be extremely detailed. You just need to be observant and notate your food and drinks intake, and keep track of any changes that happen to your digestive tract. For example, your lunch could be written as “12:15pm – chicken sandwich with lettuce and ketchup, no cheese or mayo. 8 oz cranberry juice.” An inflammation report would look like this: “1:00pm – stabbing pains in stomach; loose BM.” Basically, anything that feels like this needs to be recorded.

And remember, this is YOUR diary. The only other people who should be privy to this information are your doctors and specialists. Keep it somewhere private, but where you can access it easily. You could keep it in an actual journal, type it into a spreadsheet program, or even print out a daily chart to keep in your purse or wallet.

If you need help creating a food diary, here’s one to get you started. WebMD originally made this printable for people with food allergies, but it can be used for tracking inflammation problems, too. Digestive disorders have similar symptoms to one another, so this is a great way to take charge of your situation and aid in the diagnosis process.

Call it whatever you want, but make sure to keep your food diary/journal/log/codex/etc. up to date and to give your doctor a copy of it upon your visit. Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to let me know in the comments section.

Hilary

PS – I am not a medical professional.

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About tmidigestion

Living life with my inflammation avatar, "Pesky." Current mantra: I may have TMI, but it does not have me.
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