The Apps I Use to Help Manage My IBS
As someone who was diagnosed with IBS long before the invention of the smartphone and apps, it intrigues me that there’s now so many apps available to help manage IBS. There’s food trackers, symptoms trackers, food and symptom trackers, habit trackers, time trackers, food lists, recipe ideas, and so much more.
But just because apps are available, doesn’t mean you need to use them. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with trialling an app to see if it helps you, you do need to be careful or you’ll end up with loads of apps and spend all of your time using them so that you endlessly focus on your IBS. In fact, while I’ve tested many apps, I’ve found that I only need a few to manage my IBS. Here’s the apps that I’d suggest trying.
Apps for FODMAP Food Lists
I use two apps to help me keep track of low FODMAP foods that are safe for my sensitive tummy:
- Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app
- FODMAP Friendly app
These apps allow me to check safe foods while I’m grocery shopping, out at a restaurant, or while cooking, without having to have printed food lists around me all the time. The Monash app is my favorite when I’m cooking because it’s got more whole foods in it, but the FODMAP Friendly app is my favorite when I’m shopping for convenience foods because it’s got more packaged foods listed.
Apps for food and symptom tracking
There’s now a stunning array of apps available for food and symptom tracking, so choosing one is hard. The one that I prefer is mySymptom Tracker. It lets you track all of your food intake, your symptoms, exercise, medication, and a few other things. The idea is that if you enter every food you eat and thing that you do, it can correlate those things with your symptoms.
Nice in theory, but I found the correlation ability to be less than effective because it doesn’t take into account the amounts of foods that you eat, which is important for understanding tolerances. If however you use it only for tracking and not for correlating, it is still handy because you can email your data to someone else, such as a health professional, who can then check it properly for real correlations.
But I will admit that I don’t use food and symptom tracking apps regularly because I already know what my main triggers are. So now I only use them if I’m having a big symptom flare up and can’t work out what’s causing it.
Apps for habit tracking
Now that my IBS is mostly under control, I personally find habit trackers to be more useful than food and symptom trackers. Habit trackers are useful for making sure you do specific things that you know help your IBS. For me, there’s two main things that I like to track:
I use the TimeTracker app, which I turn on whenever I begin one of these activities, allowing me to track the time I spend doing them. It also lets me set weekly goals for each activity and I can check the log for how much I’ve done that week. Because meditation and exercise are critical for keeping my IBS in check, and I already know my safe and unsafe foods, monitoring these two simple habits is far more effective for managing my IBS than monitoring food or symptoms.
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?