IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a gastrointestinal condition that affects around 17% of people in the UK. There is a large variation across countries and regions, however it is thought that more women suffer with IBS than men.
Gut bacteria plays a big role in digestion and gastrointestinal health. In addition, it is also important for our physical and mental wellbeing, impacting areas such as immunity, cognition, mood and even sleep. For these reasons, it may be a good idea to learn about your digestive system and track any irregularities or changes to your gut health.
In this article, we’ve recommended various mobile apps for IBS, which are designed to teach you about nutrition, symptoms and more.
Track your digestive health!
If you ever find yourself wondering which foods trigger your bloating or IBS symptoms, take a look at our recommendations below to discover the best apps for IBS and start taking control of your digestive system and health.
1. Cara Care - IBS and FODMAP tracker
- App Store Rating: 4.7/5*
- Android Rating: 4.6/5*
- Cost - Free with subscription option identifying what causes IBS flare ups
The Cara app promises to be an easy way to monitor your digestive health and takes the mystery out of your digestion and gut issues. Developed by doctors, Cara helps you to understand the connection between your mind, gut, nutrition and wellbeing.
In just a few taps, Cara Care allows you to track food, stress levels, your bowel habits, tummy pains, bloating and other symptoms. Over time this creates a diary with history to look back on so that you can review patterns of your best and worst IBS days.
Why we like the Cara app...
- It is an all-in-one IBS tracker and includes an IBS food tracker, a poop tracker, a symptom tracker and a medical log, so everything is tracked in one place
- With the extensive tracking and the ability to review the history of your data, it can help to identify what causes IBS flare ups.
- There is an option to join a 12-week IBS program with a personalized guide to following the low FODMAP diet. This gives you an unlimited text chat with a personal dietitian to help you in navigating your personal symptoms of IBS and work together through an action plan for the low FODMAP IBS diet.
- App Store Rating: 4.8/5*
- Android Rating: currently unavailable on Android
- Cost - Free
The Bowelle app was specifically designed for people who suffer from IBS or other GI (Gastrointestinal) symptoms as an easy way to keep a food and symptom diary.
It allows you to easily keep a record of how you feel, what you eat, water intake, stress levels, bowel movements, notes and custom fields that you can add to track personal IBS symptoms.
This information produces charts to visually show trends , in order to learn more about your patterns and possible IBS triggers. You can also see the history of the data you enter which is easy to filter or eport in order to share with your doctor, nutritionist or dietician.
Why we like the Bowelle app...
- The app is well designed and is simple to use.
- Beautiful visual representations make it easy to identify patterns over longer periods of time.
3. MyHealthyGut - IBS Tracker
- App Store Rating: 3/5*
- Android Rating: currently unavailable on Android
- Cost - Free
This is an evidence-based app for digestive health, coeliac or gluten intolerance, validated by a randomised control trial and patient outcomes. It was developed by a Health Psychology Researcher and a Registered Dietician in digestive health to help individuals and healthcare practitioners determine the root causes of and manage digestive distress.
The app includes a range of tools to help you improve your digestive health. For example, there is a food database where you can search for foods or ingredients to determine if they are suitable to eat depending on your condition or triggers.
You can also track your daily food intake including supplements, IBS symptoms, stress, fatigue, abdominal pain, bowel movements and more to identify sources of digestive distress. You also have the ability to access meal plans, recipes and create a shopping list to help with decision making around the foods you choose to eat.
Why we like the MyHealthyGut app...
- The overall anti-inflammatory approach will benefit anyone wanting to improve their gut health, support their immune system, and generally feel their best. Therefore, although it was originally designed for people wanting to reduce their gluten intake or who are living with undiagnosed gut issues, content on the app is evolving and includes a broad range of information for everyone wanting to learn about or optimise their gut health.
- There are meal plans by award-winning cookbook authors, nutritionists and dietitians, which are updated regularly.
4. Low FODMAP diet A to Z
Simply put, the Low FODMAP diet A to Z app is a food list for IBS sufferers. It was created by a software developer with irritable bowel syndrome, who found the low FODMAP diet to be really effective in avoiding trigger foods.
If you suffer from IBS and are considering or already follow the low FODMAP diet to improve your digestive health, then this app is a great option for you. It is a great way to avoid trigger foods with a list of over 650 everyday foods and ingredients that are easy to search and view FODMAP ratings.
Each FODMAP rating is broken down into oligos, fructose, polyols and lactose content. Foods can also be searched easily by food name and filtered by category or rating to help you find exactly what you are looking for.
Why we like the Low FODMAP diet app…
- Upon selecting an item, two different serving sizes are shown. Based on the serving sizes shown, it highlights whether it’s safe to have or not.
- You have the ability to tailor food ratings once you have worked out your tolerance levels and triggers.
5. Nerva - IBS hypnotherapy
If tracking symptoms or changing your diet isn’t something you would like to try at this stage in your IBS journey, Nerva may be a good option for you.
Nerva was developed by doctors and uses a psychological approach to IBS relief: gut-directed hypnotherapy, which aims to allow people to learn to manage IBS symptoms at home. Essentially, it helps people rewire their gut-brain connection through a 6-week psychology-based program.
Gut-directed hypnotherapy has been shown to teach people how to use their brain to ignore pain signals from the gut. Powerful techniques are taught to help people manage flare-ups and take back control from IBS. Nerva suggested that less signals from the brain, will mean less flare ups.
Why we like the Nerva app…
- It is a hypnotherapy program designed by a world-leading doctor, helping people improve IBS symptoms long-term, without tracking symptoms or diet changes.
- It includes interactive content with lots of articles, guides & animations that help reduce stress and anxiety.
- There is in-app support with a chat feature where you can get help from real people.
Do you use an app for your digestive health? Please tell us, we would love to hear!
*App ratings were reviewed at the time this post was published.
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), better known and abbreviated as IBS, is a common gastro-intestinal condition that affects about 10-15% of people in the developed world. There is a large variation across countries and regions and it is more common in women than in men.
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