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When managing long-term health conditions, you may find it helpful to keep track of any symptoms you experience (such as pain, fatigue, insomnia, nausea). What makes them worse? What makes them better? How do medications, foods, activities, people, and stresses affect you?
Being aware of your overall health may also show you how the different things your doctor orders, or that you do for yourself, are working. You can record symptoms you are tracking (such as pain, fatigue, insomnia, nausea) on a symptom log. Note whether they are getting better or worse and what affects them.
In addition to tracking your symptoms, you can also keep track of numbers that affect your symptoms, like blood pressure or blood sugar readings. Bring your logs to appointments and share them with your healthcare provider and with your family. Consider asking your family for their thoughts about your log and what they have noticed about your symptoms. Keeping track of symptoms on a regular basis may help you become more aware of them and understand how other factors in your life may be affecting you. Symptom logs also encourage you to make healthy changes and observe how these may affect your health.
Use the Personal Health Diary to help you manage your own health care and be a leader on your healthcare team.
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