News / Calgary

Calgary app helps those with celiac disease

My Healthy Gut offers a variety of tools to ease living with the disease

Dr. Justine Dowd said processed foods will be added to My Healthy Gut in upcoming versions.

Contributed

Dr. Justine Dowd said processed foods will be added to My Healthy Gut in upcoming versions.

It was almost three years ago Jocelyn Holland found out she had full-blown celiac disease, so she scoured the dark crevices of the internet looking for any information about it.

Holland, is one of many celiacs who felt overwhelmed looking for information about the autoimmune disease - that is, until My Healthy Gut was available to download.

“You had to dig. You have to memorize this huge list of words I didn’t understand of chemicals in foods that could contain gluten, so I was so confused,” said Holland.

My Healthy Gut, developed by Mitacs researcher Dr. Justine Dowd of the University of Calgary’s Health and Wellness Lab, serves to solve this issue by busting gluten-free misconceptions and bring support to those with celiac disease or with gluten intolerance. The app features evidence-based meal plans and recommended supplements, information about celiac and gluten intolerance, a whole food database and a food-log journal.

For Dowd, who was diagnosed with celiac six years ago, journaling her diet and symptoms were important to figure out the cause of her digestive issues.

“When you’re writing it down on paper, you don’t always have it with you. Your phone is always with you, so I’d start these journal logs and then forget about them. (Keeping track) just didn’t happen, so it just really motivated me to make this,” said Dowd.

The app is available free to download, but additional features, like journalling are available only through purchase.