Understand the SymptomsBefore you can track MS symptoms, you have to have a good understanding of the full range of symptoms that can appear in MS. These symptoms vary widely from cognitive symptoms such as memory trouble to physical symptoms such as tingling. Read about MS symptoms and know what to look for. As you read each symptom, take a moment to picture in your mind what having that symptom would be like. That will help you remember.
Start a logThe main method of symptom tracking is keeping a log. There are two goals when keeping a symptom log:
- To record your MS symptoms for your own use and to be able to report to your doctor
- To look for relationships
By recording you symptoms, you can track how your MS changes on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis. You will also note other factors such as stress, sleep, eating patterns, activity level and more. This will help you start to understand how certain triggers in your life may relate to your MS symptoms.
Create a Log StructureFind a nice notebook. Divide the page into 9 columns in the following manner: The first column should be 2 inches, the second and third columns should be about an inch. The third through seventh columns should be a half an inch each, the last two should be about an inch or more. At the head of each column write:
- Stress level
- Energy level
- Physical activity
Use the LogFor the symptom columns, you will simply write which MS symptom you are experiencing. In the time/date column, record both the time of day and the date. For the stress, energy and physical activity columns rate each of those at the time you noted the symptom on a scale of 1 (a little) to 10 (a whole lot). In food, indicate anything unusual about what you have been eating. Use the other column for observations you might have.
Do a Daily AssessmentFor the log to work, you should use it every day – even on days when you have no MS symptoms. If you try to remember and add details later, you may forget. Have a certain time of day that you do an assessment. Right after dinner is good, or while getting ready for bed works also works well. Find a time when you have a couple of minutes each day that you can spend working on your log.