my-ms logo my-ms title
Symptom Log
It's important to keep a record of any multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. Many patients will probably not see their neurologist frequently, typically just once or twice a year or when having a relapse. It's good to be able to give an accurate report of how you have been doing since your last visit, so that he or she can assess whether any symptoms indicate a possible relapse or are "pseudoexacerbations" from previous relapses.

Careful records can also help evaluate how one doing on certain disease-modifying treatments and medications prescribed specifically to manage symptoms, as some symptoms may be from side effects. Long-term records can also provide a good look at the overall progression that usually isn't noticed in the short-term, such as an annual basis.

Understand the Symptoms

Before one can track their MS symptoms, they 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. Become knowledgeable about all of the possible MS symptoms and know what to look for. It's also important to keep track of any other symptoms that may arise such as allergies and how they may affect MS symptoms.

Start a Log

The best or easiest method of tracking symptoms is by keeping a log or chart of some kind. There are two goals when keeping a symptom log:
To look for relationships or patterns
Record MS symptoms for personal use and to report to the doctor

By recording symptoms, it can track any changes on a day-to-day, week-to-week, or even on an annual basis. Also note other factors such as stress, sleep, seasonal, eating patterns, activity level and more. This may help one to understand how certain triggers in life may relate to MS symptoms.

Create a Log

Sample MS Symptoms Log
  Symptom Tremors    
  Time/Date 8 am  Feb 2nd    
  Duration 6 hours    
  Severity 6    
  Stress level      
  Energy level      
  Physical activity      

Use the Log

For the symptom columns, simply write which MS symptom that is being experienced. In the time/date column, simply record both the time of day and the date. The duration column will record how long the symptom lasted. For the stress, energy and physical activity columns rate each of those at the time the symptom is noted on a scale of 1 (a little) to 10 (a whole lot). In food, indicate anything unusual about what has been eaten. Use the other column for observations you might have.

Daily Assessment

For this type of log to work, it should be used every day. It's even important to track days when there are no MS symptoms. It's also to take note when things happen since it's easy to forget details if this is delayed. Having a certain time of day that an assessment is done can also work for many. Any time can work as long as a couple of minutes each day are allocated for working on the log.