How important is it to keep track of menopausal symptoms?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Starting a symptom diary or journal can help a woman identify--and avoid--the triggers that spark or worsen menopause symptoms. For instance, if you break out in a hot flash right after lunch at a Mexican restaurant, jot that down in your journal. If you get all flushed and sweaty the next time you eat Mexican, you'll have a written record to confirm a possible trend: spicy foods could be triggering your hot flashes, so maybe it's best to avoid the tamales and tacos for a while.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Keeping track of menopausal symptoms is up to you. It can help you determine whether lifestyle factors affect your symptoms or whether they’ve gotten severe enough that you need to talk to your doctor. It also can help you monitor changes in other health conditions you have or treatments you are trying out. If you’re not the type to keep track, then don’t worry about it. If you are, though, you can use the old fashioned approach of a notepad and pencil, or the twenty-first century approach of a smart phone app.

Only you can monitor your monthly cycle and keep track of changes. By writing down this information, you will be prepared for doctor appointments. Especially as you begin menopause, it is important to notice changes in your monthly cycle. Hormonal changes can begin to occur, and that may cause skipped periods, or especially light or heavy periods. It is important to be able to tell your doctor about when you last had a monthly period. Your doctor can check for menopause or possible unexpected pregnancies.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.