I've found keeping track of things *really* helps. Otherwise, I have a very hard time knowing what (food, medicine, etc.) may actually be making a positive difference. What I keep track of (hope this isn't TMI in some cases
-> drugs taken (beyond my standard regimen), such as headache medicine, benadryl, etc.
-> how I feel (excessively gassy, stressed, depressed)
-> how many total times I go to the bathroom, no matter how big or small :)
-> how many times I had a 'large' movement, and what it was: P, D, mucous
-> if there was bleeding (little or a decent amount: little = 0.5, otherwise = 1)
These last three things I count up at the end of the day, and record as 7/5/2, e.g. - I went to the bathroom 7 times, of which 5 were a decent size, and had two reasonably large episodes of bleeding (or 2 trace amounts + 1 reasonable amount).
Then I have numbers I can plot on a chart. Looking at the chart every week or so, and plotting up when I had some sort of major change (starting probiotics, e.g.) really helps me separate the day-to-day fluctuations of this disease from real, long-term trends. When I gave my doctor this chart at my last appointment, he found it to be really useful.
Diagnosed UC (Proctitis) July 2010 / Canasa (didn't help) / Balsalazide (didn't help) / Asacol (kinda helped, but bad side effects) / Various herbals (didn't help) / Currently sfRowasa and probiotics (yogurt)(hopeful...)