Symptom Diaries for Outpatient Care
Keeping a diary of your symptoms can help you diagnose your health issues quickly, it will help you determine triggers and provide a log as a reference. TrackMyStack is the perfect tool to track your health symptoms easily. If you want to know how to use the tracking features excluding journaling click here. If you would like to learn about why it is important to track your symptoms keep reading.
The symptom logs can be printed and used by your doctor to treat your condition more accurately by having quantifiable data. A corollary to that is that it is vital to track your symptoms as you experience them during the course of your day.
The Best Part…
TrackMyStack can be accessed via your mobile device or desktop at any time with access to the Internet, so you have no reason to carry around a diary at all times. This removes the risk of losing your diary or remembering to take it everywhere you go, as your phone will most likely always be with you.
The Use Case for Journaling
Let’s take the case of Jessica.
Jessica is a 35-year-old who has a bipolar disorder and migraine headaches. She constantly goes in for checkups and reports daily headaches that last for days at a time.
She says she has also “noticed” an increase in symptoms such as lethargy, and anxiety. At the same time, Jessica has been changing and trying different medications, supplements and eats out during lunchtime at different places all the time.
With these many variables in place stating “a bit”, “every now and then” is not enough, the more precise the data, the easier it will be to diagnose her problems.
When this information is presented to a doctor, the information sounds all too vague, is confusing and can be challenging to explain correctly. To your doctor making sense of your information is not only time consuming (as you are given 15 minutes per visit) but your information will contain many errors and biases (such as recall bias).
The Solution? Maintain a Symptom Diary
The solution for Jessica is to maintain a simple Symptoms Diary also known as patient logs. TrackMyStack has the tools available for anyone to track symptoms and daily activities (ODL’s) in a quick, organized manner that will help with your diagnosis.
Here are 6 benefits you will gain from keeping an online symptom journal:
Why does this matter? Here’s the Clear Benefits:
- Time Savings – Your physician can quickly scan through your online diary/print out in seconds accurately, as opposed to you verbally explaining everything.
- Cost Savings – With more accurate information, you are less likely to go through radiographic testing or other unnecessary lab tests.
- Identification of Triggers – Looking at the graph can easily show clear patterns of symptoms occurring linked to your activity for that day, it is easy for physicians or yourself to discover triggers.
- Graphs & Reports – Linked to #1 and #3 + they can be shared and gives you a quick overview of your health.
- Patient Engagement & Empowerment – Once you start tracking your health actively, you are likely to start making the necessary changes to get better. You will lessen your cognitive burden and may notice therapeutic benefit as well. Remember, what get’s measured, get’s improved.
- Personal Health Record – Record your activity and see how you are doing compared to others just like you on TrackMyStack. Keep your data with you at all times, and be in control of your health by maintaining your own records.
Use the Diary to Journal Everything!
This includes a sleep diary (to determine your, you guessed it, sleep patterns), mood diary which we write about here, a voiding diary (to measure fluid input/output), general symptoms (any symptoms such as IBS, fatigue, gas, cardiac symptoms, neurological), exercise diary, headache diary (helps with adjusting your abortive or prophylactic treatment), and a food diary (for lifestyle modification). Along with symptoms, you can also use TrackMyStack to track your chronic conditions as well.
2 Challenges You May Encounter or Have Encountered:
#1 Non-adherence: You may feel too lazy or tired to write daily, TrackMyStack allows you to write as frequently as you want with as much information as you’d like. Obviously, however, the more frequent you write and with more detail, the better your results will be. We organize and display your diary in a structured order, so you don’t have to worry about being “neat” or following certain protocols or even remembering if you have written down all the things needed to make the entry useful.
Take a look at the screenshot below to get an idea of the steps involved in recording your daily symptoms:
#2 Irrelevant Apps: If you are a patient, you need an app that can record your vitals, ODL’s, and symptoms; however, many food or calorie trackers or fitness apps are not right for you as they are not meant to be used as you may need to. Wellness apps are a different category than fitness apps, using the right tool for the job is key.
And Finally, What is TrackMyStack and What it Isn’t…
The risk-reward ratio for using a symptom diary is heavily skewed, TrackMyStack is a simple, effective clinical tool that augments the diagnosis as part of outpatient care without any risk to you. You are free to share as much or as little as you right, TrackMyStack also does not diagnose or recommend any treatments. It is a tool used to track your activity that can then be shared with your primary care provider to assist them and yourself determine ways to improve your health.
The cost of starting your stack and journaling are minimal, you need 20 seconds to sign up, and about a minute each time you experience a symptom or “flare up”. TrackMyStack can be upgraded to Pro if you need to use advanced features or to generally support the development of our platform. We have over 5,000 members that are actively monitoring their health, privately and openly.
Your data can help other people solve the same problems as you and vice versa, where you can use other people’s experiences to augment your own diagnosis.
When logging your symptoms in an organized manner you are committing to being a healthier you and are demonstrating that you are proactive in taking control of your health, your family will thank you for it, so will your physician, and not to mention your body. Get tracking today for free, click here.