Disclosure: As a Verizon Lifestyle #VZWBUZZ Blogger I receive Devices for review & occasional travel opportunities. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Managing an IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) can be exhausting simply because there are so many things to remember at a time when you are feeling less than your best. You may find yourself suddenly juggling appointments with specialists, managing a slew of medications, monitoring and tracking your symptoms with so much going on it’s easy to forget vital information. Over this past summer I became quite ill with an IBD, I’d like to share my story as well as the apps I’ve found useful in managing my health.
I’ve always struggled with gastrointestinal issues but things reached a point where I literally could not leave my home and I was forced to undergo a complete workup. Colonoscopy ( Do make an appointment for yours) revealed three potentially nasty polyps that were removed. Biopsies and a slew of blood tests showed that I have Colitis, Celiac disease, a sluggish thyroid and a big Vitamin D deficiency. I was relieved to finally have diagnosis but honestly was and am still overwhelmed by the deluge of doctor’s appointments, tests and medications I need to have.
Here are some apps I have found useful in beginning to manage my illness. All but one app listed are free versions and do not require the purchase of any accessories.
* No information here is meant to diagnose any medical condition. Please do consult with your Doctor if you are ill as many physicians are using remote monitoring/ medical management systems and they can let you know which apps/ equipment you will need.
GI Buddy – This app is tied in with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation which encourages you to join their community (it’s free) but you can use the app without doing so. This app is useful because it let’s you keep an ongoing diary of your medications and symptoms. A feature I find useful is the meal tracker, you can search the USDA database to add your favorite food and track each meal, noting meals you skipped. The IBD impact section is a great place to immediately note foods that caused a flare up of your condition as well as to jot down notes to share with your Doctor. GI Buddy is available for both ios & android.
My Medications – This is an American Medical Association app for ios (required OS 4.0 or greater) List your emergency contacts, your health care providers, your medications, your allergies
My PillBox – for android, not only does this app remind you to take your meds it also allows you to add any medications other family members need which can be useful if you’ve got kids or are a caregiver for an elderly person. My PillBox also lets you add a lot of detailed info about your medications.
SitORSquat – Developed by the nice folks at Charmin this app can help you find a clean restroom when you are out and about. Available for both ios and Android.
Find Me Gluten Free – For Android & ios. Having Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity can make going out to eat a challenge, this free app is wonderful! You can quickly search out restaurants, fast food places and grocery stores, view menus, even call restaurants for more info! Knowing I can get something safe to eat has made going out & being social a lot easier.
ShopWell – Android & ios compatible shopping app that helps you make smart food choices for a variety of conditions & special diets. You can avoid gluten or other ingredients you are sensitive to. Bar code scan products to get nutritional info. This is a very comprehensive app!
Orgran- Gluten Free Recipe App – I’m kind of overwhelmed with gluten free diet advice so finding this app was a relief. 300 recipes at present, lots of choices without being confusing to navigate. Recipes are colorful, easy to follow. I’m a big bread lover so I was thrilled to find that I could make breads, cakes, muffins & more. Available for both ios & android.
Medical ID on your Lock screen – requires ios 8, Well written instruction here for adding a medical emergency health card to your phone from the lock screen without need of a password. Like many other IBD patients, I’m taking RX steroids, info that is vital for a Doctor to have in an emergency situation.
Ice: In Case of Emergency – for Android, this app costs $3.99 but it allows you to store lists of emergency contacts including your medical providers & allows you to call them from within the app, stores your insurance info, allergies, medical problems and medications. ICE users on android 4.2 & above to add the widget to your lock screen, folks on lower versions of android get a custom lockscreen option.
Great apps demand a great smartphone & my friends over at Verizon Wireless have devices and plans to suit just about every need!