Data is Your Friend When It Comes to Chronic Illness
When it comes to managing your chronic illness, one of the best ways to develop effective strategies is to collect data. Start keeping a journal, populating a spreadsheet, or using an app to keep track of the following things:
- what you’re eating
- how much you’re moving or exercising
- what medications you’re taking
- how you’re feeling emotionally or mentally
- external stimuli (e.g., the weather, an out-of-the-ordinary event, etc.)
- what symptoms you’re experiencing
- what actions you’ve taken to alleviate any symptoms (and whether or not they worked)
Analyzing the Data to Manage Your Chronic Illness
When you start keeping track of the information above, you’ll start to notice patterns. Maybe certain foods trigger symptoms, or maybe walking or yoga makes your joints feel better.
Once you’ve got a few weeks of tracking under your belt, you can start to see what to avoid and what to add. And any time you add a new factor (new medication, new diet, new exercise program, etc.), you’ll be able to see the efficacy (or effectiveness) in your data. All of this information is also an incredibly valuable tool to share with your medical team.