By Justine Dowd, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary
People with gut health issues are more likely to also have mental health struggles such as depression and anxiety (1). Unfortunately, this results in extra cards stacked against this population as mental health can impede accessing health services and acting on a health care plan (2). One of the (many) reasons that we created the MyHealthyGut app is to help reduce the burden that people feel when managing gut health issues.
MyHealthyGut is the result of a collaboration between Desiree Nielsen, RD (expert in digestive health), Darlene Higbee Clarkin, RHN (tech expert), and myself (I hold a doctorate in Health Psychology). I am extremely proud and excited to announce that both of the studies that documented the development and testing (randomized controlled trial; RCT) of the first version of the app have now been accepted for publication (see the Development study here and the RCT here.
Results from the study designed to investigate the effects of using the MyHealthyGut app for a 1-month period revealed that people who used the app reported improved mental health (lower levels of depression or anxiety) and quality of life. Furthermore, many participants reported reduced gastrointestinal symptoms and improved adherence to the gluten-free diet as well.
The MyHealthyGut app has five key features: educational content about gastrointestinal distress, gut health, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome; evidence-based gut health-promoting foods and recipes; diet and symptom tracker; food lists; and the ability to share the information with health care professionals.
Newly diagnosed with celiac disease or struggling with gut health? Participants in the study recommend that this app is for you! Download the app here to start your all access 1 week free trial today!
- Clapp, M., Aurora, N., Herrera, L., Bhatia, M., Wilen, E., & Wakefield, S. (2017). Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis. Clinics and practice, 7(4). DOI: 10.4081/cp.2017.987
- Zingone, F., Swift, G. L., Card, T. R., Sanders, D. S., Ludvigsson, J. F., & Bai, J. C. (2015). Psychological morbidity of celiac disease: A review of the literature. United European Gastroenterology Journal, 3(2), 136-145. DOI: 10.1177/2050640614560786