Nutrition counseling

What to Do in Nutrition Sessions

In Eating Disorders, Nutrition by Compleo Physical TherapyLeave a Comment

Nutrition counseling is an integral part of the healthcare system, and registered dietitians are an important part of a healthcare team. A common mistake people make when navigating health challenges is relying on doctors and nurses to answer all of their nutrition questions. This makes sense because patients typically have the most frequent interactions with doctors and nurses. These professionals are experts in their field. But their field is not nutrition.

When is a referral to a registered dietitian needed? Any patient with a health condition that can be remedied or improved with dietary changes would benefit from seeing a dietitian. This could include diabetes, athletic performance, infertility, pregnancy, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis, PCOS, eating disorders, concerns with weight, gastrointestinal diseases, and many other conditions.

When referred to a registered dietitian, the patient gets an in-depth analysis of their current dietary habits, and recommendations for improvements based on current, best-practice research specific to the patient as a unique individual. The dietitian considers the many factors that influence food intake and nutrient needs- food accessibility, preferences, co-occurring health conditions, the demands of your schedule, nutrient interactions, lifestyle, and more.

Nutrition Counseling Evaluation

At a nutrition counseling evaluation, the patient can expect to spend a full hour with the dietitian assessing recent blood work, taking anthropometric measurements (like height and weight), conducting a diet recall, figuring out a nutrient analysis, determining nutrient needs and nutrients of concern, getting nutrition education, and setting goals.

At follow-up appointments, the dietitian will typically spend 30 minutes to an hour with the patient. The dietitian will continue collecting data on updated diet recalls to track changes in nutrient intake, continue answering nutrition questions and providing education, track changes in relevant clinical data (like blood work, weight, behaviors, etc.), and provide accountability to the patient’s personalized goals.

Some dietitian-patient relationships last a few weeks, and others last more than a year. It all depends on the unique needs and goals of the patient!

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