Gastrointestinal issues plague millions of Americans. They range in severity from occasional, minor issues like constipation or nausea clear up to gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), Crohn’s Disease, and Celiac Disease.
Sometimes they’re embarrassing. They’re almost universally irritating.
People who deal with these conditions are always on the lookout for simple ways to control their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
In the past, patients may have resigned themselves to a few apps in their search for tech-based support for their digestive health issues. But today’s marketplace is flush with new tools capable of helping people with gastrointestinal disorders enjoy greater physical comfort and less anxiety.
If you’re among them, check out these four tools.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease which prevents the absorption of gluten proteins commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley. Exposure to gluten can cause painful physical symptoms. It can cause neurological issues like brain fog and headaches. Over time, exposure to gluten can even cause permanent intestinal damage which increases the risk of colon cancer.
The stakes are high. Sticking to a gluten-free diet is very important, but it can also be a challenge.
Enter the MyHealthyGut app, which monitors gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones associated with Celiac Disease. The app allows you to track symptoms side-by-side with a food diary. This helps sufferers determine if they’ve exposed themselves to a hidden source of gluten contamination, or if they’re suffering from another food intolerance they’ve yet to identify. The app also converts this tracking data into a set of recommendations capable of helping patients get a diagnosis while managing their symptoms.
AllergyEats is another app aimed at sufferers of Celiac Disease.
Eating out is one of the biggest challenges for Celiac sufferers. Ingredients like flour, bread, and pasta are so pervasive in the average restaurant that it’s easy for people to experience symptoms from cross-contamination.
AllergyEats changes the game by helping users find gluten-free dining options. It also helps users identify common allergens. It’s not the same as being able to eat anywhere you want, but it does take some of the stress out of choosing where you want to go for dinner tonight.
#3: Cara App
Doctors theorize many common gastrointestinal issues are related to changes in microbiomes, which are beneficial bacteria living in the gut. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) are thought to be linked to imbalances in microbiomes. These imbalances can cause excess sensitivity to certain foods.
The Cara app is colloquially known as “poop-tech,” and if the name is a little embarrassing the app itself is useful. It’s an extension of precision medicine meant to measure microbiomes. It also measures changes to the microbiome population once doctors introduce patients to a probiotic formula. This means doctors don’t have to rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to gut health. Instead, they get individualize data which helps them personalize treatment.
The AIRE digestive tracker serves as both a diagnostic tool and a tracking device. It’s meant to identify potential gastrointestinal problems and helps users manage them. The goal is to measure the rate of digestion for different foods, allowing doctors to identify issues.
The app can help doctors identify foods which may be fermenting in the gut because the body isn’t processing them. By determining which foods aren’t digesting quickly enough the tool allows users to modify their diets so they may avoid the foods which cause distress.
Personal nutrition technology may never be able to cure gastrointestinal issues, but such tools can make life with such conditions more pleasant. Before you take your next bite, look around. If you’re not tracking what you eat and how it makes you feel, it may be time to start.