Start Journaling: Are Hidden Food Sensitivities Making You Sick?
Have you been experiencing digestive issues, headaches, nausea, rashes, or other unexplained illnesses? If so, you may have a hidden food sensitivity. Food sensitivities can creep up on you at any stage or time in your life, and before you know it certain triggers are making you severely ill.
If you have been having unexplained health issues and want to see if hidden food sensitivities are the culprit, a journal is the perfect place to start. Daily journaling is a great way to see what may be triggering these issues, and can better allow you to put a finger on what the issue is. It also gives you a great deal of information you can present your doctor or allergist when you go in to discuss these issues. Not sure where to begin? No problem. Take a look below at how to create your own food allergies journal and document the changes you are seeing each day as well as your daily diet and more.
How to start a food journal:
For your journal, all you need is a simple notebook and pen. You will also want a small pocket calendar you can slip inside of it. Keep a pair of scissors on hand as well as tape as you will need these items to cut out and save the labels of suspected culprits.
1. Note the date on each page. When you eat, whether it be a full meal or tiny snack, write down the item you ate as well as an estimate of the amount. Next to each list, it may be helpful to write the time of day these items were consumed. Remember, when writing down the food items you ate, writing the brand next to it is helpful.
2. Document any changes. If you experience and rashes, swelling, nausea, digestive issues, etc., make note of them in the journal. Note the date and time these symptoms occur. If you take any over the counter medications for these symptoms, make a note of the medication name and dosage. Then, make note if it helped ease symptoms or not.
3. Look for patterns. Are your symptoms happening more in the morning or the evening? If morning, take a look at the food items you eat each morning. Do you see any patterns? Is there something you eat each morning day after day?
4. Note what helps the symptoms. Do you feel relief with medication or only after the possible trigger food has worn off? Make sure you write all of this information down as your doctor will want to know what seems to give you relief.
5. Cut and tape any labels of foods that you see a pattern with. For example, if you are noticing issues after eating your favorite cereal each morning, cut out the ingredient list and nutritional information to share with your doctor. Tape the label to the inside of your journal so you have it on hand for reference.
Once you have kept your journal for 1-2 weeks, it is time to share your findings with your doctor. She will be very impressed with the information you have to work with, as it will help her best decide where to proceed to next. Give a food allergy journal a try and see what sort of information you can dig up. You will find it to be so helpful in your quest for health.