Food and Symptom Diary - a straightforward free web tool
Food and Symptom Diary - a straightforward free web tool
You need to work out your personal optimal diet but you're tired of writing a diary and trying to make sense of the records? Read this!
You need to work out your personal optimal diet but you're tired of writing a diary and trying to make sense of the records? Read this! Read more
If you keep a food diary
Some compelling reasons motivate you to watch what you eat. You must have tried to use a simple notebook, printouts of downloadable templates, Excel sheets, mobile apps or few paid websites to figure out what you can safely eat. The described here yet another free option might appear to be even more straightforward.
Alternative use cases
If you have never heard of the food diary, you do not need it. Perhaps you do not even know what the term bloating means. However, you might find it enlightening to read a summary of the scientific studies on the common food-triggered symptoms. Moreover, some might find the diary interface useful for the cases unrelated to food that involve recurrent (adverse) reaction to recurrent triggers. For example, the interface can serve to log, analyze and resolve recurrent conflicts in a romantic relationship by eliminating or minimizing the most common (even if rare) triggers, which otherwise one forgets about immediately after making up.
The website contains a text supporting the use of the food diary and the diary application.
In contrast to other web sources, the statements include the references to the original scientific publications so that the readers can consult the source for more detailed information.
Currently, the website includes the latest information on the remarkable widespread phenomenon called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). If someone suffers from recurrent diarrhea, constipation, bloating, stomachache but no tests can detect any underlying abnormalities whatsoever, the condition is called IBS and the sufferer is advised to figure out what food to avoid. IBS is the typical use case for a food and symptom diary.
The diary interface is supposed to be intuitive and to the point. Visit the website, sign in with your email, and click and drag everywhere to explore the diary. Note, if drag on the wider left side of a day column, a meal entry is created. The narrower right side serves to create the symptom entries.
Some distinguishing features of the diary
- It is not an app, but a free and open source web application designed for the desktop browsers.
- The two types of entries, namely meals and symptoms, are created by selecting time in a familiar calendar-like interface.
- The diary input is number-free, but optionally numbers and any additional information can be recorded. The reasonable assumption is that one usually eats approximately similar amount of any particular food.
- A personal food hazard rating is automatically produced from the records. The algorithm is free of any magic - the more often some particular food precedes the symptoms, the more potentially harmful it is. Conversely, the less often some particular food is recorded prior to the symptoms, the safer it is.
- No confusing output is displayed.
A sample strategy
It is up to you how you keep your diary and what you do with your records. One possible approach is outlined below.
Every time you eat, you should create an entry in the calendar with the list of all the foods you ate. Specify the ingredients of each food, if you know them. You can create the entries in the diary whenever you like provided that you remember everything you have eaten. A photo of a meal (taken on your mobile phone) would help you to recall the meal composition and time.
Whenever your experience the bowel problems, create a symptom entry. Update it when you recover.
Regularly check the statistics section and eliminate from your diet the foods most often preceding your symptoms.
Print out your records and share them with your doctor.
The desktop version of diary is already usable. Of course there is room for improvement. The current version of the diary application works in the common desktop browsers such as Chrome or Mozilla, but not in Microsoft Internet Explorer.
New users stumble on the diary in the results of the Google search with queries like food symptom diary.
- To enhance the diary interface for desktop browsers and then to add the support for tablets.
- Increase the diary rating in Google search results by updating the text contents.
Where the money will go
The goal is to collect little money to pay the costs of 1-year hosting on Amazon Web Services.
I like both reading and programming. Luckily I am paid a salary for doing that. The modern food does concern me and I doubt that eating the unnatural food such as artificial breeds of monster crops (which are additionally generously spayed with toxic chemicals) or unhappy immobilized vaccinated inbred farm animals is very healthy.
I know people struggling to figure out what to eat without having trouble. I consulted the internet to see the available tools apart from numerous templates to print out. I found many highly-rated but cumbersome apps for storing numbers and producing irrelevant output such as graphs. I also consulted the latest scientific literature. Finally, I have tried to create a more meaningful and straightforward diary.
This project is not about money, though it is motivating to have any support. I consider that my efforts for making the diary have indirectly (e.g. personal satisfaction, knowledge) paid off. But receiving a symbolic support would encourage me to continue developing the diary.
Risks and challenges
The project aims at collecting the little money to cover the costs of 1-year hosting on Amazon. If this project succeeds, the diary will function at least until July 2019. The backers will be rewarded by links to their websites that will remain as long as the diary is online. There is no imaginable risk until July 2019.
The diary will be improved according to the backers' requests and the users' feedback. However, if a backer entitled to requesting an urgent improvement requests something unfeasible, their contribution will be refunded.
I will do my best to promote the diary and find the little funding for hosting. However, currently there is no guarantee that the diary will remain online after July 2019. At worst, the source code will remain at Github so that anyone interested can reinstall the diary.
- (40 days)