Helpful Apps for Gout
The more advanced phones and computers become, the more helpful resources are at your disposal. Not only can you connect with the people and references you need, but sophisticated phone apps have led to great advances in gout self-care. From monitoring and tracking, to recording and exporting, your phone or tablet can be your key to less worry about uric acid buildup, more effective weight management, and in turn, fewer gout attacks.
Types of Helpful Apps for Gout
There are hundreds of helpful apps designed to take the stress out of disease management, but not all of them are geared toward the challenges of gout. Luckily, you don’t have to find one perfect gout-specific app to get help you take back control – you just need the right one for your specific goals:
- Diet trackers. There are plenty of apps that can help you track calories, nutrients, ingredients and food groups, and these can be immensely helpful when you’re following a gout diet. Dozens of these apps are at your fingertips, so compare several before settling on one that works for your routine and that you can easily navigate.
- Fitness trackers. Weight management is crucial for gout patients, and exercise is an important part of any weight management plan. A simple pedometer may be all you need to get started, or you can more technical with an all-round fitness app that monitors your steps, heart rate, calories, and sleep. In any case, an app that not only tracks how active you’ve been, but can show you the benefits you’re reaping, can be a powerful motivator.
- Pain trackers. Pain is a major concern for gout patients, and although it’s tempting to seek a distraction, it’s important to give your pain some thought and analysis. After all, the closer you monitor your painful symptoms, the better you can control or avoid triggers. The right app can help you jot down a quick note or a more detailed record for your own reference and to discuss with your doctor at your next visit.
- Gout management apps. As gout becomes more prevalent in America, more gout resources are popping up to help sufferers ease the pain. In order to stay in control of your kidney health, you need to monitor several aspects of your daily routine and physical condition; if you’re gout is severe enough to disrupt your daily life, you may want to consider a targeted, comprehensive app to track everything simultaneously.
Comparing Top Gout Apps
The key to a useful app is convenience and clarity: if you can’t be bothered to use it, there’s no point in incorporating it into your daily management. Everyone uses their device differently, so what works great for one sufferer may not do the same for someone else. However, there are a few reputable apps worth investigating for anyone who lives with gout:
To track food
Purine and Uric Acid Food List (iPhone, iPad). A fairly straightforward app with a simple aim – to track the purine content of your daily menu. Purine-rich food is a concern because it directly affects uric acid levels in your blood, but since purines aren’t listed on nutrition labels, it can be difficult to know how much of these compounds you’re taking in. With this app, you can find out the purine content of over 200 foods, or it will simply tell you whether your dish is low, medium or high in purines.
To track your activity
Argus (iPhone, iPad). Out of all the fitness apps out there, this one is particularly eye-catching. It offers a pedometer, workout timer, water tracker, heart rate monitor – and all sorts of other helpful tools and stats – displayed right on one screen. It also breaks down your activity into minutes, goals achieved, and how much you’ve accomplished all week. Most importantly, it’s accurate and provides helpful feedback!
To track your pain
CatchMyPain (Android). Pain is difficult enough to deal with, so don’t complicate things further with a convoluted pain tracking app. This one provides color-coded images to help you pinpoint the pain, rate the intensity, and remember exactly how it hit. You can also track your discomfort over the short-term and long-term, record any triggers, monitor your moods and reactions, and then export the pain diary to share with your care providers.
For all-round gout management
Managing Gout (iPhone, iPad). Published by the National Kidney Foundation, this gout app is designed to help you prevent and treat gout flares with ease. You can track your uric acid levels over the course of a day, week or longer, and then mail the graph to your health care team. Keep a record of the intensity and frequency of your flares, and get reminders about the right course of treatment based on your current symptoms.
Gout Medic (Android). This app lets you find the purine levels of thousands of foods, log daily pain levels, track uric acid and ph levels, and keep an eye on your weight. It also comes with a digital version of a helpful gout book (called Out With Gout Now!) plus, it organizes all of the tracking tools neatly and with handy images. There’s a good deal of information on here, which can be helpful, but you might find it a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to detailed apps.
Your phone can help you get a handle on your gout management, but remember that your actions are what will keep you healthy. The more complicated you make symptom tracking and treatment, the greater your chances of falling short, so start with a simple approach. First, talk to your doctor about your targets for diet, weight, uric acid levels and lifestyle changes, then find an app that addresses your biggest priorities to get on a track to better health.