Tracking Your Food Intake and Symptoms
Your physician may have told you many ways to control your irritable bowel syndrome. Exercise is thought to help ease the symptoms as well as keeping your stress levels down. However, you may want to consider keeping a journal on your IBS symptoms and food intake.
A symptom diary should be kept for a minimum of 2 weeks, and you need to monitor what goes into your mouth, what specific activity you do, and bodily responses to food and exercise. Beverages and food are accounted for as well as anytime you are stressed or do a particular exercise. What the whole point of the log is to identify triggers to your symptoms. This can be the logging of a particular food you ate prior to having IBS symptoms. A stressful event may prompt the cramping or other type of episode that results from irritable bowel syndrome.
A journal is particularly useful if you are starting a new treatment for IBS; you can see how your body responds to it. You should put the severity of the symptoms in your diary as well. All the information you can put into it helps you and your doctor to determine the best course of action in treating your condition.
Food is a common culprit in irritable bowel syndrome so it is imperative to focus of the foods you eat. Food intolerance can be determined by documenting all the foods you eat and if there is a symptom of IBS that occurs after eating. You may have to isolate some of the suspect foods to figure out which one is causing you grief. For instance, you may want to eat the suspect food with food that you know you are not having problems with. You can also remove a certain food from your diet and wait a week before adding it back. If you start to have IBS symptoms after re-introducing the food back into your diet, it may need to be avoided.
There are many apps that you can use on your laptop or smart phone that track your IBS symptoms and acts as a food log. They let you log in bathroom frequency, medications, and your response to any treatments you are using. Some even help you locate public bathrooms!
Try WellApp’s GI Monitor that features Track GI Symptoms and lets you talk to other patients in real-time. You will be able to log meals, enter your stress patterns, and record pain levels. It is a helpful app that helps you communicate better with your doctor.
Another good app to download and install is mySymptoms by SkyGazer Labs Ltd. It isn’t only for IBS sufferers but also patients who live with food intolerance, heartburn, and other maladies. It offers insights to possible triggers to your symptoms by analyzing the data you input.
Lastly, Patient IBS by Patient.co.uk offers an app that asks you specific questions about your symptoms as if a doctor or nurse were asking you, such as, what did the stool look like, and “Did you have the feeling of not fully finishing?” If you don’t mind an app that is so direct, this is the one for you!