6 Reasons You Should Journal Your Way Through IBD

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The simple secret to living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is keeping a journal. With a pen and notebook or a laptop, you can track your diet, express your thoughts and have a therapeutic outlet.

Can point out triggers

If you are tracking your meals and symptoms regularly, you will be more likely to notice when a specific food is triggering a flare. It can also help you recognize if you are missing medications that may be contributing to your flare ups as well.

More accurate picture

Jot down everything that you eat and drink. Be truthful about your intake and include precise amounts whenever possible. Don't forget to include your beverages, even non-caloric ones. A good nutritionist or physician  can use a well-written journal to point out areas that you may be lacking nutrients before they cause a problem.

Expose the pattern

By recording your IBD symptoms, you may begin to see patterns related to your illness that no one else has discovered. The time of day, what you eat and your level of stress may all be connected to how you feel, and breaking this code may help you and your health care provider better manage your condition.

Express emotions

Sometimes having an outlet for the frustrations that can accompany IBD can be helpful. Believe me, I am a realist on the best days and a skeptic on all the others. In no way am I suggesting this simple act will make it all better. Writing may just be a part of your overall plan.

Bring clarity

Your brain is made up of many different parts. Any time you are awake, the brain is continuously trying to take in a huge amount of information and make a clear picture of the world for you. Writing is one more way for our brains to help us view and make sense of situations. Think of it as cross-training for the brain.

Share your experience

Online journals and blogs can provide you with the sense that someone out there "gets it." There is nothing worse than being ill and feeling alone. When you share your story, you can also get feedback from others that may help you to control your symptoms in the future.