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The myIBD phone app helps patients track their food, stool and bathroom breaks. ((SickKids))

Teens and parents dealing with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis now have a mobile app that will help them manage their disease and seek help sooner if something is wrong courtesy of staff at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

The free app helps patients track their pain, food, stool and frequency of bathroom visits on their mobile devices.  It also provides access to educational tools and the latest information on managing their symptoms.

More than 200,000 Canadians suffer from Crohn's or colitis, known as IBDs or inflammatory bowel diseases, which can be debilitating.

"Some days I'd go to the washroom up to 20 times," says 18-year-old Calandra Carkner, who has Crohn's.  "I was exhausted, in constant pain and afraid."

Staff at SickKids say they noticed that patients and families of young children with IBD were missing "red flags" when it came to symptoms and flare-ups.

That led Karen Frost and her colleagues, Dr. Johan Van Limbergen and Meaghan Wright of the Department of Gastroenterology at the hospital to create the app.

"myIBD offers a visual tracking system so patients can monitor their disease activity and seek help when necessary - sooner, rather than later," said Frost in a statement released Monday.

Calandra says the app helps her understand the triggers such as stress or a particular food and gives her some control and lets her focus on her life.

SickKids has arranged for myIBD to be available in the APP Store for iPhones, iPad and the iPod touch and will be available to Android devices later this year.