If you suffer from recurrent irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and you feel that they depend on what you eat, you should try to improve your condition by excluding the wrong food from your diet. But first, the foods causing the symptoms have to be identified. However, the IBS symptoms do not necessarily follow an easily discernible pattern. A detailed record of all the ingested foods and experienced symptoms has to be maintained and regularly analysed. A food diary, also called a food journal or food log, is the tool for keeping the records.
Keeping a food and symptom diary might seem like an effort, but it is more fun than experiencing symptoms. Often, keeping a food diary is the most effective means to prevent the symptoms. The food diary provides several obvious benefits:
The accumulated records would help your doctor to propose the best treatment.
The food diary reveals the evil foods triggering or worsening your symptoms. It is easier to prevent the symptoms than to stop them. By avoiding the inappropriate foods, one can improve the symptoms, reduce their frequency, or even totally prevent them.
During a strict elimination diet, the food diary indicates the foods that can be safely consumed. This will allow the user to avoid missing out on any foods unnecessarily.
Conversely, the food diary might rule out the causative link between the food and your symptoms. Such a result will allow the user to focus on non-dietary treatments such as medicines or psychotherapy.