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Insights on Autoimmune Health and Inflammatory Conditions

How to Track Autoimmune Disease Symptoms

Jan 25, 2023 | Inflammation & Autoimmune Disease

Tracking your autoimmune disease symptoms is imperative to your healing journey. Why? Because you want to make sure the work and effort you’ve put into your healing journey are paying off. Many times we start throwing everything we’ve got at our autoimmune diseases and without tracking, we don’t know what specific things have made a difference. Today I’m giving you an overview of how to better track your progress and the tools you should start implementing now to make sure your sacrifices are paying off.

Why Track?

Let’s kick this off by discussing WHY it’s important to track your symptoms. 

  • First of all, it’s really good to have a system in place for tracking progress, no matter what activity you are doing. You wouldn’t start a training program for a 10k or even strength training without analyzing your speed, distance, or weight stack. So why wouldn’t you track your progress in your healing journey?
  • Second, when you are healing an autoimmune disease or an inflammatory disorder, progress can be REALLY slow Sometimes we forget where we were and how far we’ve come. Tracking your progress is a great way to remind you that what you are doing is paying off.
  • Lastly, tracking helps you figure out what is NOT working. This is really important because if you are doing something that takes either time or money (like supplements), you want to make sure those efforts are paying off.

What To Track

Before you start tracking, it’s important to figure out what you want to track. I want you to sit down and pull out a blank piece of paper. Write down the symptoms that you are experiencing with your disease or just in general. Remember, a lot of times we don’t associate symptoms with disease.
Some examples could be
  • digestive health
  • fatigue
  • pain
  • rashes
  • mood swings
  • stress levels
  • acne
  • hair
  • sleep quality
  • dizziness
For example, take digestive health. One way to track progress is by analyzing the consistency of your stool. Using a bristol stool chart can help you assign a number to your stool and track how it changes over time.
To start your tracking journey, choose one metric to start tracking on a daily basis. The key here is consistency. Ideally, you want to track this every day. But if not, aim for tracking weekly at a minimum. Whichever metric you chose, you need to assign an objective way to track this. I like using number scales because that gives you a concrete, measurable scale to see how your treatments and other modalities are working for you.

How to Track Your Symptoms

Now that you know the WHY and WHAT, let’s discuss the HOW. Here are a few easy steps to get you started:
  1.  Pick your metric and assign your objective measure. For instance, if you have joint pain in a specific joint, use a number scale where 0 is no pain and 10 is intense pain.
  2. Figure out where you want to track this. If you keep a journal, you could write it at the top of each entry. You could create a spreadsheet or a note on your phone. Honestly whatever will be easiest for you to remember and be consistent with.
  3.  Once you feel like you’ve mastered your first metric, you can add another one that you think would be helpful and important.
You want to look back at your tracker over time to see what progress you are making. If the needle isn’t moving, it might be time to try something new. Remember, the key with tracking is being consistent and objective. If you need more help with this or anything related to your autoimmune journey, please contact me to see if I can help.

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