Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Health Blogging as a Diagnostic Tool

I know hardly anyone reads my blog.  I've got one family member that comments occasionally, occasionally I strike a nerve with someone that has a similar issue or a religious stance on my diet.  But overall most of the hits on my blog are indexing robots.

I'm ok with that.

I will continue blogging even if I have nobody listening.  If it annoys people perhaps I'll turn off all the social plugins that announce the fact that I'm blogging.  But the most valuable part of blogging is the search tool.  Before I started this blog I had a user group that I discussed many of my health issues with, which is also searchable.

Yesterday, my Dr. proscribed a high level of Vitamin D for me.  I recalled vaguely that I'd tried that before and had a negative reaction, but wasn't able to say what time of year it was or what dose I'd been taking.  So when I got home I went to my blog and my old usergroup and did a search.  I was able to update the doc with a lot more detail:
I looked up my records, I previously tried 4000 IU vitamin D in late May 2011.  I was getting a lot of fatigue, sleeping in, needing caffeine to function.  (I don't make a regular habit of caffeine.)  I stuck with the regimen for over a week, and then backed down to 1000 IU.  I was not yet on the Paleo diet at that time.  I was also taking K2 and Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc at the time.
Another time I was able to look back through my records and discover when I started moving from a low carb diet to a ketogenic diet, and line it up with symptom patterns.  My commentary on two meals with similar macronutrient profiles was staggeringly different over time.  Lots of habits drift over time, and only by blogging minutia am I able to pick up on what exactly happened.

Doctors have encouraged health logs for a long time when tracking down obscure problems.  I encourage you to do the same, either in a paper journal, a private blog, or a public blog like my own.  The public blog has the downside of muting some TMI info that I might write in a private log but not a public one, but the occasional feedback is also an incentive to keep it up regularly.  To each their own on that one...