Tracking Symptoms

If your’re a professional patient (like myself) learning to describe your symptoms like well… a professional can be very insightful.  Answering these 7 ” Little Quick Questions To Settle My Anxiety” is a quick, easy and thorough way of describing/tracking your symptoms to a level that will give your doctor a lot of information. (I will use pain as the example but adapt this framework to pretty much anything)

1. Location: Where is the pain? Does it radiate (travel) anywhere else? Remember the quadrants of the abdomen…they’re important because of whats in there!quadrants

2. Quality: Describe the pain. Is this a sharp pain? Is it dull pain? Does it start off dull and then become sharp? Is it throbbing?

3. Quantity/Severity: How badly would you rate the pain on a 0-10 scale?

4. Timing: Onset, duration, frequency of pain

5. Setting: Is this the pain worse you eat meals? When you lay down at night? When you exercise? When you eat certain foods?

6. Modifying factors: What makes the pain feel better or worse? (i.e. using a heat pad, sleeping on stomach, taking medication etc. etc)

7. Associated symptoms: Any other GI related issues that occur with the pain? Bleeding? Diarrhea? Nausea? Vomiting?

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