Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by melissanreynolds
Why you should be tracking fibromyalgia symptoms now. And what on earth should you track?
Keeping an eye on our health through a daily symptom log and maximising the many choices we make each day can have tremendous impact on our quality of life. I firmly believe that we have the power to impact our life, dramatically, with each little choice.
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Succinctly, Why Tracking Fibromyalgia Symptoms is Important?
Aka what are the benefits?
- Knowing the longer term patterns
- Ensuring the things I am trying are working
- Knowing what doesn’t help
- To help me communicate with my medical team
In short, to help me target my treatments (so I don’t waste money on the things that don’t work) to improve as much as possible.
But also because we can’t remember everything. It all blurs together and it is helpful to tease out the strands and watch the patterns. By writing it down we have the data to discuss important topics with our medical team.
I don’t have any kind of specialist, I have a GP who is not tracking the wider picture. They help me with the thing I see them for at one visit. So I need to keep track of each piece, each symptom (new and old), do my own research and hold the big picture of my health together. I can’t do that without some way to track it.
What I Track in my Daily Log
Tracking experiments – like diets, new supplements or medicines and the like – are a good time to take note of what is going on. You want to be sure things are tracking upwards.
Even though I’m not actively logging my Low Dose Naltrexone experiment any longer. I keep track of a few key details.
Namely: Sleep hours and quality, three key symptoms (neck, back and fatigue), medicine/supplements, exercise and self-care.
By jotting down quick notes each day, I can see patterns arise and continue the good ones and work on the bad ones.
Key Metrics to Track
- Sleep – quality and quantity
- Key symptoms – specific areas of pain, fatigue, headaches
- Medicines and supplements
- Self-care mechanisms
- Notes of external contributors (including other conditions)
- For people who have a menstrual cycle, this is important to track
I believe self-efficacy is vital in managing pervasive symptoms like pain and fatigue. I also believe we are our own best advocate. And with brain fog as a likely issue, we need to write things down. This also helps us when we are seeking help from our health professionals.
What are our Options for Tracking Fibromyalgia?
You can write notes in a journal, make a bullet journal, print a template, try an app or purchase a specifically designed journal.
I started out writing notes in a diary. When that got too tricky to follow, I created one on the computer and printed that out to use. Once I started sharing those printables with people and they told me how helpful they were, I created a few physical journals you can purchase from Amazon.
You might also like to look into bullet journals. I find the setting up of the sections a bit too time consuming, but if you are creative and enjoy doing that – a simple Google search will equip you with ideas – and there are a lot.
I created a simple weekly graph-like chart printable as well -it’s a simple, visually focused tracker that takes moments each day to fill in.
For more comprehensive tracking, including a food diary, my Annual Health Tracker Journal could help.
What and how we track will change depending on how we are feeling, if we are actively experimenting and preferences.
However you choose to do it, I would encourage you to keep track of your key symptoms in order to help you manage this beast.
Tell us: Do you track your symptoms? What works best for you?
My Video: Tracking Fibromyalgia Symptoms
I’d love to hear if you track your health and how it works for you.