What is a Dietitian?
A dietitian is a healthcare professional who creates nutrition plans for individual patients, schools, nursing homes, and other organizations. Dietitians determine the dietary needs of patients, create and modify meal plans, offer nutritional counseling to their patients, and track patient weight loss and weight gain for progress.
How do you become a Dietitian?
A person must complete a degree or sometimes a certification program to become a dietitian. There are different types of dietitians, and each has different educational requirements. Different employers might also have different education requirements. Once education is complete, the dietitian must become licensed, as well.
What are some common health problems that Dietitians treat?
Dietitians treat a variety of illnesses. They use food to help relieve the symptoms of certain diseases and to help improve the body’s immune system, so it can fight certain illnesses and diseases better. Some of the common health problems that dietitians help to treat include:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Acid Reflux Syndrome
What diagnostic tests or procedures are ordered by Dietitians?
Dietitians can order numerous tests to help them come up with a nutritional plan that is best for the patient. Some of these tests include:
- Food Allergy Tests: These tests determine if a person is allergic to any specific foods.
- Lab Tests: Dietitians can order lab tests on saliva, urine, and blood to determine if there are any underlying causes of a person’s symptoms, weight loss, or weight gain.
- Stool Tests: Dietitians might order stool samples to see how the patient is breaking down food.
What are the different types of Dietitians?
There are several different types of dietitians. While they all perform similar duties, they can vary by the area where they work and their specific job title. Some different types of dietitians include:
- Clinical Dietitian: Clinical dietitians create meal plans and nutrition plans for nursing home residents and hospital patients. They might work with both inpatients and outpatients and will consult with doctors and nurses to determine the best diet for each patient.
- Community Dietitian: Community dietitians work with the public. They offer information and educational materials to community centers, businesses, gyms, and other organizations. They work to teach the public about the importance of healthy eating and how proper nutrition can help fight disease.
- Management Dietitian: Management dietitians oversee meal plans in larger settings, such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other similar residential settings. They might help other types of dietitians or healthcare workers plan meals and diets for patients.
- Consultant Dietitian: Consultant dietitians often have private practices but are hired by outside hospitals, nursing homes, or schools for periods of time. They might help these institutions learn how to plan meals and might be called on by the same place regularly.
- Research Dietitian: Research dietitians study the nutritional needs of different people. They study how food reacts to certain chemicals and how it is digested and converted into energy. They also determine what foods are best for helping to treat certain illnesses.
How do Dietitians treat nutritional disorders?
Dietitians treat a variety of different illnesses. They take the time to evaluate each individual patient and determine what he or she specifically needs to be healthier. They help create diet plans that include balanced meals and work around allergies and food preferences. They also talk to patients about the important of healthy eating and how it affects the body.
When should you see a Dietitian?
It can be hard to decide if and when you should see a dietitian. Many people are referred to dietitians by their family doctors. It’s a good idea to see a dietitian before you start to become ill, but when a person doesn’t feel sick, they aren’t likely to seek help. Some reasons to see a dietitian include:
- Being Overweight
- Fertility Issues
- Being Underweight
- Food Allergies
- Digestive Troubles
- Low Energy
- Hoping to Improve Sports Performance
- Stomach or Digestive Tract Disease Diagnosis
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: