Interview with the developers of the new food intolerance app
A few months ago a food intolerance app caught the attention of the Histamine Intolerance Awareness Team. It seems to be quite helpful to quite a lot of people as far as we can see. So I wanted to know more about it, and asked the developers a couple of questions. The results of this little interview are below. It would be really interesting to find out what people think of this app. What they find good and what they think could be improved. You can let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can find the link to the app at the end of the interview.
How did you get the idea of making an app for food intolerances?
We are personally affected. There is a lot of confusion about food intolerances. Primarily we want to keep people informed. Most people who hear the word intolerance actually think of allergies. Intolerances to histamine, lactose and fructose are reactions without involvement of the immune system, so small amounts of the triggering foods can usually be consumed without any side effects. The crucial part is finding the right balance.
Second, you can only find partial food lists with 30 items or sources that seem to be very contradictory, based on speculative information, with a lot of exaggeration. We wanted to combine all the available data from reliable sources into one app that is always around when you need it.
Tell me more about your app.
Basically it is a list of everyday foods that have a four-leveled rating of tolerance. The app either helps you to avoid pitfalls or to select suitable foods. Food specific comments help you understand why a certain food should be avoided.
The app is a great relief for affected persons as well as for their friends and family. Especially the latter are utterly overextended by cooking or shopping for people with food intolerances.
Does someone need a diagnosis to be able to use it?
Definitely. This app can’t diagnose your intolerances or allergies but can help you to deal with it. You should never restrict your diet without a diagnosis for an extended period of time.
Will I still need a food diary? Do I still need to work with a dietician?
We strongly recommend both. The first step of your treatment should always be a detailed food diary. A dietician will help you identify probable causes of your ailment. Reactions can be very time delayed which will often lead to identifying and avoiding the wrong foods. You also have to make sure to have a balanced diet that includes everything your body needs to stay healthy.
How is the app supposed to help people with multiple food intolerances?
Unfortunately food intolerances rarely occur alone. Many people suffer from several intolerances at the same time which can severely restrict the amount of foods you can eat. The app has an integrated filter function where you can set the degree of your intolerances to generate a list of suitable foods.
What are your future plans?
We have tons of ideas. Everybody shows very individual reactions to food. We are working on new functions that allow you to customize the app even more to your needs. In the long run we would like to greatly expand the database and keep it up to date with the latest research.
Update February 2013 – Android version of Food Intolerance app now available
The popular iPhone and iPad app “Food Intolerances” is now available for Android. The app is intended to help people with food intolerances to better manage their lives. “Food Intolerances” rates more than 700 of the most important foods in view of histamine intolerance, carbohydrate malabsorptions (fructose, lactose, sorbitol and fibers), salicylate intolerance and gluten sensitivity. It is an invaluable guide for shopping and cooking.