Dietitians are experts in food and nutrition. They provide guidance about how to appropriately manage diets and nutrition for people who may be affected by health conditions such as diabetes, overweight and obesity, cancer, heart disease, renal disease, gastro-intestinal diseases and food allergies. A dietitian can help people maintain their health and reduce their risk of developing chronic disease.
When should I need to make an appointment?
There are a wide range of triggers that may lead to a person benefiting from the support of a dietitian. Some typical reasons why someone might be referred, or might independently choose, to see a dietitian include:
- A newly diagnosed chronic disease
- Signs that a chronic illness is not being managed such as increased Hba1c levels
- Significant weight change
- Recent poor food intake, poor appetite, or difficulty preparing or eating food
- Changes in medication
- Periodic reviews of medical nutrition therapy.
They Can Help You
Dietitians working in the community offer a broad range of services to support people in managing their nutritional requirements. Key areas of work for dietitians are:
- Medical nutrition therapy – working with patients to assess their health and nutritional needs and to assist them to manage their medical condition(s) and symptoms via the use of a specifically tailored diet. Medical nutrition therapy may also involve enteral nutrition provision, monitoring and evaluation for a wide range of conditions.
- Food service management – working with residential aged care facilities, child care centres and group homes for people with disabilities to provide clinical care, staff training, menu assessment and planning, and compliance monitoring of therapeutic diets.
- Community and Public Health Nutrition – working with non-government and government organisations to develop preventive health programs, diabetes education and cardiovascular education, food security programs, to deliver nutrition education for groups, and to deliver activities such as supermarket tours and cooking classes.