Disclaimer: “This is a sponsored post for Self Care Catalysts. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”
Happy Sunday everybody! As you know, I am hugely passionate about self-advocacy when it comes to living with IBD or any gut issues- I struggle a lot with feeling I am not control of my condition and a lot of my book is my attempt to take that back a little (just a reminder you can read Chapter 1 of it for free by heading over to my last blog post): with things like food diaries and places to jot down your questions. I am usually a big fan of paper and pen for things like this but then I have bits of paper all over the place- then I heard about the new Gut Health Storylines app and decided to give it a go instead. Mainly as a way to keep a closer eye on my diet and support my efforts on dealing with my anxiety (more on this in my blog post on counselling)
So, let’s take a look at the app itself…
I downloaded the app from my IPhone’s app store but it’s also available on android (download links are here) I had expected a charge but was pleased to see it was completely free- to be honest, it’s something I would expect to pay for (given the sheer amount of features included) so this was a nice surprise! When you sign up for an account and go into your home screen you see the following features:
- Medication Tracker (I only take one type of medication so I didn’t use this feature-it would be useful to use for supplements but you have to select from a drop down list so I couldn’t add my own)
- Daily Moods (Place to track your moods and see where they connection might be- e.g. could it be hormonal or diet related?)
- Symptom Tracker (This is a great feature and includes a wide range of symptoms)
- Daily Vitals (You can track things like your weight and blood pressure)
- Appointment Calendar
- My Journal (In this section you can jot down your feelings on your condition, what you’re grateful for and what makes you feel good! Yay positivity!)
- Healthy Doses (My favourite feature- it’s a bunch of inspirational quotes to select if you’re feeling blue)
- Stool Diary (Self explanatory really but features the infamous Bristol Stool Scale)
- Food Diary (You can take photos of your food, describe it and note any reactions)
- Treatment Reflection (A useful one for doctors appointments)
As you can see from the image above, this really is an in-depth way to monitor your disease and a fantastic tool to take to check ups. The app also has a feature called ‘circle of support’ where you can manually add close family members and/or friends and choose how much you share with them- although I can probably count on one hand the number of people I’d like to share my bowel movements with (!); I think it’s a fantastic idea to encourage communication between others- when I first saw this feature, I thought what a fantastic idea for parents with kids with this condition- it encourages the kids to take a bit more ownership of monitoring and parents can check in and keep a close eye. As somebody who works closely with those with IBD (see my nutrition page for the services I offer), I think it would be fab to have access to their symptom track and food diary and I know there are potentially plans to get doctors on board too. Wouldn’t it be amazing if IBD nurses could use these services in the future too?
I was really impressed with this app and while I will keep my trusty notebook to hand also, this will definitely be part of managing my life with IBD. I’d love to hear your thoughts?
For more info on the app and to download visit the Gut Health Storylines website.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with Gut Health Storylines