What makes your symptoms better or worse?

What can patterns in symptoms tell you.

It’s helpful to get to know the patterns in your symptoms.

This can give you clues about what might be driving them.

For example, do your symptoms bother you most at a particular time of day?

Morning symptoms

If you get symptoms in the morning, perhaps symptoms are being driven by the morning peak in SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System) activity. This pattern suggests sensitisation to bodily stress.

What to do: Work on building tolerance to stress through gradually increasing exposure to controlled stressors, like exercise.

Evening Symptoms

Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone. In the evening cortisol levels are usually at their lowest. If your symptoms appear at this time, your body might be experiencing a baseline of low-grade inflammation, masked in the morning when levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are higher. You can think of this as a condition where the body has become reliant on stress and stimulation to feel okay.

What to do: This situation ultimately leads to exhaustion from prolonged bodily stress. If you recognize this pattern, work on prioritizing physiological rest in your schedule, even if it feels difficult to relax at first.

Unpredictable symptoms

If your body’s natural rhythm is mixed up because you sleep and eat at different times, your symptoms might be all over the place too.

What to do: Work on building a regular daily routine.

Other patterns

Perhaps your symptoms don’t follow a daily pattern, but are correlated with your menstrual cycle, or only come at work. Perhaps they are triggered in certain situations, a bit like a memory.

Figuring out the unique pattern of your symptoms can help you understand why they happen. This then gives you clues about what you can do to try to help. A symptom diary can help.