One Simple Act That Can Potentially Help Your Crohn’s Symptoms
Some days are better than others when living with Crohn’s. Perhaps we ate something that didn’t agree with our digestive system or our nerves got the best of us and landed us in and out of the bathroom all day.
However, there are other days when we have it more together and feel normal. The constant emotional and physical rollercoaster that we are on daily can be overwhelming, but there is one simple act that can help you better manage your symptoms and stay on top of how you are feeling both physically and emotionally.
Using a log to identify triggers
I have found that keeping a food log and journaling how I am feeling greatly helps keep my symptoms at bay by allowing me to identify which foods trigger my symptoms.
We often assume that the last thing we ate is responsible for our digestive issues, however, what we ate two days ago could still be wreaking havoc on our GI tract. And, since it is common to forget what we eat throughout the day, it helps to jot it down so that connections can be made between our symptoms and our meals.
What I include in my daily food log
My daily food log consists of what I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, and how I physically feel after every meal. I note if I had bloating, gas, diarrhea, no BM, and/or if I felt full.
While one day is not enough to draw a conclusion about which foods worked best for my body, after reviewing my journal from the week, it is easier to identify why my GI tract was feeling off and what was causing it.
A separate journal to track emotional health
In addition to writing down how I am feeling physically, I also write down how I am feeling emotionally. This is not part of the “food log”, it is a separate sheet in my journal dedicated to my thoughts and mental state.
I find it therapeutic to write down current ailments or anything that worries me, for it is inevitable that in a few days or weeks, whatever I was concerned about will have been resolved. And sometimes writing worries down and reading them aloud makes the issue seem smaller.
Writing down thoughts of gratitude
Journaling thoughts of gratitude is also helpful, especially when going through a difficult time. Despite feeling ill and having a bad day, there are always silver linings and good moments that are worth noting, and by focusing on the positive instead of the negative, your mental and physical health will improve.
While journaling takes practice, it will eventually become a habit once you do it for a few weeks. I will admit that writing down what I ate for every meal and my symptoms was daunting, but once I got used to it and saw how much it benefited me physically, it has become a part of my day that I rarely have to give a second thought.
And journaling at night before bed has become part of my bedtime routine that helps manage my stress and keep my mental health in check before going to sleep. I suggest practicing these tips and see how they can improve your health, too.
Do you keep a food diary to help manage symptoms?