How to Eliminate Symptoms: Diet Symptom Tracker Google Sheets Add-on

The Diet Symptom Tracker Google Sheets add-on is an app that helps users track their diet, symptoms, and weight for conditions like GERD, Crohn's disease, and other GI-related health conditions. The data can then be visualized and manipulated to inform the user what foods to avoid, if lifestyle changes improved their symptoms, and to keep them accountable in order to improve their condition.

This add-on is also perfect for keeping a log when doing an elimination diet to figure out what foods trigger the user's symptoms. Here are the core features of the Diet Symptom Tracker add-on that users can enjoy:

  • See a distribution of what foods trigger what symptoms
  • Correlate lifestyle changes with symptoms, stress, and body weight
  • Track weight in the morning and at night
  • Track symptom intensity and stress levels
  • Add their own symptoms and trigger foods to analyze
  • Generate a PDF file with their data
  • Visualize everything in beautiful, sleek charts

Try it out and download it here. Let's take a look at some of these features in more detail.

See What Foods Trigger Certain Symptoms

As a person that has suffered from GERD for a long time, one thing that helped me manage my symptoms was to eliminate certain things that triggered flare ups. It wasn't always clear which foods did what because my symptoms were mostly subtle or I felt them all the time (like globus).

What helped me was keeping a log of what I ate and how that made me feel. After a period of time, I would go back and manually look at what most likely caused certain symptoms and found that sweets had a large effect on my symptoms. Specifically, I found out that the mashed sweet potato dish at work always caused a flare up.

The Diet Symptoms Tracker add-on does the same thing but in an improved way allowing users to visualize the data with charts and analyze their diet and symptoms more efficiently. Users don't have to manually comb through their diet log. Diet Symptom Tracker does it automatically. Here are some screenshots of sample data from the add-on:

See How Certain Lifestyle Changes Help

Another thing that I would do was to run experiments on myself and see how those things affected my symptoms. I'd buy a wedge pillow to elevate my head while sleeping as that was a proposed solution for GERD sufferers. I found that that didn't help much. I would stop drinking cow milk (since I'm slightly lactose intolerant). I would take Pepcid AC before bed. I would do these things one at a time to examine how they affected my symptoms. If they made them better, I would keep it. If there was no effect, I'd move on and try something else.

The Diet Symptom Tracker add-on allows users to track these lifestyle changes to help them run their own experiments. This can help them eliminate foods from their diet or make behavioral changes that may improve their symptoms. The add-on does this by tracking symptom intensities and also plotting a label on the vertical axes certain lifestyle or behavioral changes. Then the user can see if that change had any effect on their symptom intensities.

Log Your Weight

A lot of the time, body weight is a factor in contributing to symptoms resulting from GERD or other GI-related conditions. Maintaining a healthy weight is good for health in general so the Diet Symptom Tracker has that function too. Users can log their weight in the morning and in the evening to see their trends and to keep them accountable.

Interested in managing your symptoms and using data to help you? Download the Diet Symptom Tracker add-on here.