The Best Apps for Thyroid Patientsby Mary Shomon Patient Advocate
Like many thyroid patients, you may want keep track of your activity, weight, food intake, and sleep, and get reminders on when to take your medications. It’s also helpful to keep track of your lab test results, prescription drug information, doctor’s appointments, and other medication and health information. With a smartphone in hand, and various apps, you have access to a variety of resources and tracking functions in the palm of your hand! Let’s take a look.
If you want something that covers it all, consider a state-of-the-art FitBit. The FitBit is a smartphone app, as well as a website, all connected to a variety of wearable devices, including watches and wristbands. By wearing a FitBit device and entering data regarding food intake, FitBit can track your activity level, estimated calories burned, exercise level, food intake, weight, and sleep patterns. It keeps track of data, and can also send you alerts.
MyMedLab Thyroid App
MyMedLab is a direct-to-consumer laboratory that allows patients to order blood tests without a doctor’s visit. The MyMedLab Thyroid App includes screening quizzes for the risk factors, signs and symptoms of thyroid disease, along with risk assessments, personalized suggestions on wellness steps, and links to order your own thyroid and other lab tests.
The BoostThyroid app functions like a diary, helping you track how your diet, exercise and physical activity levels, as well as your prescription medication and supplements, are affecting nine of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This app can be helpful when you are changing medications or doses and want to monitor your response. Note: This app is only for IOS.
The Thyroid Tracker app lets you document your thyroid symptoms, your mood, your doctor’s appointments, weight, doctor details, vital statistics, prescription medications, supplements, test results, and side effects. It’s essentially like having a big binder of your medical information easily stored in your smartphone. Note: This app is only for IOS.
Insight Timer App
Stress can make a health challenge like chronic thyroid disease even more difficult. One effective stress-management approach is meditation. There are dozens of meditation apps on the market, but the most popular is the free Insight Timer app. Insight Timer links to thousands of different free guided meditations from famed meditation teachers, as well as timers for self-guided meditation sessions. (Note from Mary: this is one of my favorite apps!)
My Fitness Pal App
Keeping track of what you eat, the calorie intake, and how many calories you burn with exercise is an essential basis for weight loss or maintenance. My Fitness Pal is a popular free app that includes a food diary and a searchable database of more than 1 million foods. You can create your own customized list of foods you eat regularly, and it’s easy to log and track food and exercise when you’re on the go using your smartphone, or access the program on your regular computer as well.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your thyroid medications, the MangoHealth app is a lifesaver. The app gives you reminders when you need to take your medications and supplements. You can also track the dosages of the specific medications. MangoHealth also lets you track blood pressure, blood glucose level, water/hydration, and weight.
The GoodRx app provides up-to-date access to the lowest prices on prescription drugs at more than 75,000 pharmacies across the United States. The app also includes various coupons for prescription drugs and savings tips. GoodRx says that in some cases, the app may help you save as much as 50 percent off retail price.
The app also includes information on side effects, pharmacy locations and hours, images of prescription bills, among other features.
Your Health Insurer or HMO's App
Many health insurance companies and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) have their own apps for members. Kaiser Permanente, for example, has an app that lets you access:
- Medical test results
- Email messages to and from your doctors
- Make, reschedule, and cancel appointments
- Appointment reminders
- Prescription drug list, refills, and orders
- Check with your insurer or HMO to find out about apps they have available for their policyholders or members.
Your Drugstore's App
Many drugstore chains have their own smartphone apps that make it easy to order prescription refills and track prescription information. Walgreens, for example, lets you set pill reminders, reminders for immunizations, and keep track of prescriptions. You can also order refills, and get notifications when prescriptions are ready for pickup. CVS, RiteAid, Costco, and Walmart all have apps that allow you prescription medication access.