When you go to a new doctor, he or she will ask you about previous illnesses, surgery, family medical history, allergies and medications you take. It’s handy to have these jotted down in a health journal. It provides all the information and you don’t have to tax your memory. You should also include your height and weight, as well as your age. It’s also good in the event of a serious condition where you’re incapacitated and can’t tell the doctors about your past. You can expand it to include the food you eat, supplements you take and how you feel after eating specific foods. It’s a great way to isolate problem foods and identify an intolerance or allergy.
Doctors appreciate a health journal, especially if trying to identify illusive symptoms.
You don’t have to be fancy, just put a header on each page once you get the basics that don’t change, like age, identified. Maybe you’ve noticed you feel out of sorts after a meal. Record what you ate and be specific about how you felt. Were you bloated? Did you have sharp pains? If so, where and were they constant or intermittent? If you just feel out of sorts, try to figure out why or whether it only occurs when you’re sitting in a certain position. Anything you think that may be relevant can help.
Don’t forget to record what you did to feel better.
Not everything people do to feel better helps, but knowing what didn’t work is also helpful. Did taking an ibuprofen help or not touch the pain? Did you find that walking actually helped you feel better? There’s nothing too minimal or insignificant if it played a role on your health. Sometimes, the things you don’t feel are important really are.
Tracking your food intake can help you in many ways.
As noted earlier, sometime foods just don’t like you. If you are tracking what you eat each day and how you felt after you ate the meal, by deduction, you can find foods that are difficult for you to digest. By tracking your food, you can actually see how many calories you eat in a day and the types of food you eat more than others. It can be quite enlightening, particularly when you realize how many nibbles and bites you eat throughout the day between meals that you may do mindlessly and forget about later.
- Track your medical appointments, including the reason you went to the doctor and the date. If there was a drug prescribed, list it too and how effective it was.
- A health diary can be particularly important if you’re traveling, particularly if you’re alone. It can provide information when someone else who knows you isn’t there.
- Even when you have family with you, they may not be versed in your health conditions, particularly if it’s a grown child that no longer lives at home.
- A health journal can be important for your workout program. If you have any health conditions or limitations, it’s important for your trainer to know. Of course, you always need to consult with your primary health care advisor before embarking on any fitness program.