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Keep Track of Your Health with these Great Free Apps

Posted Oct 09 2013 9:35am

 Symple, a free app to track your symptoms:
You enter each symptom you are monitoring. Every day, you tap on what level of that symptom you experienced, from none to severe. You can create a report and email it to your doctor (assuming your doctor gave you an e mail address to use). If you turn your device sideways, you get bar graphs, showing the ups and downs of each symptom. You can also overlay "factors" (stress, eating a taboo food, having some fun, etc.) on top of the symptom graph and see any correlations. My only critique is I think it would be nice to have a "print" feature, so you can just hand it to your doctor. However, I can always email it to myself, print it out and bring it to my appointment. It makes the actual recording of the symptoms very easy. Tap tap tap done. Very nice. I highly recommend this app for people with chronic illness.
iPeriod (ladies!), free app to track your cycle:
Great to know when it's supposed to arrive, so you don't ruin yet another pair of undies (!), and you know why you're so crabby (PMS!). :) Also good to know if you're late, or missing, or having an unusually long period. If you've kept track using this app (or a paper chart most gynecologists can provide you), you can tell your doctor exactly when things became abnormal.
Blood Pressure Companion (free app for tracking your blood pressure)
Of course, you also need to own a separate blood pressure cuff. The app does not actually take your blood pressure. You enter your BP numbers from the cuff into the app. Tip on buying a blood pressure cuff: You should be able to find a battery-operated wrist cuff in the drugstore (or online) for around $40-50. I was being cheap, so I tried using a manual cuff on myself. That was so pathetic, it was comical. I never got the cuff tight enough to get a reading, but if I had, I'm sure my blood pressure would have been quite high from the effort. Just get a motorized one if you have blood pressure issues. It's worth the extra $10. And don't use the sit-down machines at Wal-Mart. They never calibrate them.
Depression/ Anxiety measurement App
Measure and/ or monitor levels of anxiety, depression, PTSD, or bipolar symptoms with a 3-minute quiz. The app keeps track of your previous scores.
Lose It! (free app for tracking your weight)!-weight-loss-program/id297368629?mt=8 
I only weigh myself once every 1-2 weeks. I don't like to obsess over my weight. But I do want to keep an eye on it. And any unusual gain or loss could mean something weird is going on with my kidneys. Of course, I also want to keep it from creeping up to an unacceptable number, for both health and vanity reasons.
Garmin Fit
Tells you how long you’ve been going, how far you’ve gone, what your speed is, and how many calories you’ve burned. The app saves all your sessions, so you can see your progress as you increase distance or speed over time. Also, when you activate the option, friends and family members can track you while you walk/ run/ bike. This function is great for safety if you’re out alone. I'm planning to get this, because I love to go for walks and bike rides by myself and let my mind wander. I would like my hubby to know where I am when I'm out exploring alone.
Lumosity uses games and quizzes to sharpen your brain and cognitive skills through daily exercises. I haven't used this yet, but I keep hearing how great it is.
Helps you keep track of your medications. Enter each pill, what it looks like (color/ shape). In the notes you can add things like doseage, etc. You can set alarms to remind yourself to take each pill. I use it just to have a current list of meds (and supplements) for my doctor appointments. I keep all my pills in one of those big pill boxes with 4 compartments for each day. For example:

 Then I take pills with breakfast, dinner and right before bed. But some people would find an app with alarms more useful.
Did I miss any?
Are you using some health app that you love that's not on this list?
How about you non- app users? How do you keep track of things?
For people with serious conditions, and even healthier people trying to improve their well-being, it's all about keeping track of things, and apps- or any kind of simple system- is all about making that part easy.
To your health-
Carla Ulbrich
The Singing Patient: Author, Health Speaker, Humorous Songwriter and Entertainer - Carla's book "How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?"
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