4 Mobile Apps That Can Help You Manage Gout
About 8 million adults in the United States (6.1 million men and 2.2 million women) suffer from gout, a type of arthritis that can cause sudden, sometimes severely painful flare-ups of gout symptoms. Often, gout pain and inflammation are localized to the large joint of your big toe, though it can hit other joints as well. Flare-ups tend to be caused by excess uric acid crystals in your blood, which are formed when you eat foods that contain chemical compounds called purines.
One way to prevent gout symptoms is to follow diets that help minimize purines. Exercise and other lifestyle changes, such as minimizing stress, also can help keep chronic gout in check. But in today's hectic, fast food-filled world, it can be hard to keep straight what to eat and do to manage gout.
Enter the mobile app. Today, you can turn to a variety of mobile gout apps on your phone or tablet that can help you track your eating and see if you need to make changes. Here are some of the most popular and useful mobile apps for gout on the market today; most are free.
1. Gout Central
Platform: Available for Android, iPad and iPhone
This comprehensive app from the National Kidney Foundation covers various aspects of chronic gout management. There's information about gout symptoms and risk factors, as well as nutrition, lifestyle changes, and medications that can prevent or treat gout flare-ups. The app also includes tracking tools for your weight, blood pressure, test results (such as uric acid), and medications. Also, if your blood pressure is too high, the app will alert you so you can notify your doctor. You can set medication reminder alerts too.
But wait: there's more. The app also allows you to easily create detailed reports about your gout flare-ups, listing date, pain level, joints and body areas affected, symptoms, triggers, and treatments. These can be emailed to your healthcare provider, caregiver or yourself, if needed. Another app feature is a calendar for your medical appointments, with space to write down questions you want to ask at upcoming visits. You can also set an alert to remind yourself of appointments.
2. OxiPur App for Low Purine and Low Oxalate Diet
Cost: Free for limited use; $4.99 unlocks a gout-friendly diet
Platform: Available for iPad and iPhone
This iOS app (for iPads and iPhones) is aimed at helping people with gout and/or kidney stones choose foods based on detailed nutritional information. With the free version, you can opt to select foods that fit within a low-purine diet, which then will be color-coded in a searchable database. By paying $4.99 for the "gout-friendly diet" option, you will be able to see more specific information about purines, salts and sugars within each food and how they may affect your gout.
3. Purity-Gout Diet Management
Platform: Available for iPad and iPhone
This free app was created by a high school student to help family members with gout. It provides information about the purine and uric acid content of a variety of foods, including popular fast food options. It also includes recommended foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. You can track which foods you consume each day, and see how much purine and uric acid you are ingesting—including how much you are taking in compared to recommended allowances.
4. Gout: Choose This, Not That
Platform: Available for Android
This Android-only app uses colors to show which foods to eat and which to avoid. You can search specific foods to see where they fall on a color-coded speedometer, with “detrimental” to a gout diet falling into the red "avoid" zone, while those that are better for you are green ("Most helpful"). The app contains food suggestions in various dietary categories, a detailed nutrition guide, and information about the top five foods to choose as well as the top five to avoid.
Even though gout management takes some trial and error, these four gout apps (and others like them) can provide gout-friendly food and diet advice to help make the process easier and more successful.