Dr. Weiss introduced me to a nutritionist who helped me understand the importance of nutrition in a patient with HCV. Common sense tells us that being in shape is better...after all, "survival of the fittest" is a Darwinian principle. However, by meeting with this nutritionist, I learned that patients with HCV face challenges when doing so. Many have unstable housing and just eat is available, others only eat 1-2 meals per day, some don't know how to cook.
I also informed her that this will be a small portion of the app and I just wanted to get her input. She was unable to share the manual that she uses through Mount Sinai with me, but she did offer some advice and other documents.
She shared a brochure with me that states what meals/snacks to have before taking medication. She described the challenges as a nutritionist, adapting to patient conditions, understanding that what goes into someone's mouth is not as important when that slice of pizza is what separates you between life and starvation. These are issues, thank God, many of us didn't have to fear.
She also listed diseases that accompany HCV that require additional dietary needs: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, GERD, Diarrhea, nausea, etc.
She also mentioned Mount Sinai's "viva" program:http://www.mountsinai.org/about-us/community/for-your-health/past-spotlights/viva
She also mentioned the "healthy plate:" 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 starch, 1/4 protein--a guideline for patients.
As for the app...
As I meet with more PCPs, I realize that many of the groups targeted by HCV don't have access to smartphones...this is a growing concern. I understand that there is a demand for guidance with Hep C, but is there a demand for an app? Hopefully, since this is a web app, there will be many ways to access it's capabilities, not only through an iPhone.
I also realize that being a HCV nutritionist is a hard job because you need to tailor a regimen to each case and lifestyle. An app won't be able to replace that. This confirms my decision from a previous post, that this should only be a "doctors