What do dietitians do and what can they help you with?

A dietitian is more than just somebody you see to help you lose weight. They can provide expert advice and support on everything related to your diet and nutritional intake.

Whether that’s helping you put together an individualised dietary plan to help manage a particular chronic health condition or assisting you in overcoming an eating disorder, they are with you every step of the whole way.

What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

A dietitian is a university qualified health professional that has undergone supervised theoretical and practical based learning. Dietitians are qualified to assist you in managing chronic health conditions through the use of medical nutrition therapy and dietary counselling. 

You do not need a university degree to work as a nutritionist, and the term nutritionist is not regulated. This means that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, even if they have minimal qualifications in nutrition.

Dietitians must meet strict criteria to maintain their status in Australia and are governed by their regulatory body, Dietitians Australia.

How seeing a dietitian can help

At Brecken Health, our resident dietitian can help you with the following health concerns:

1. Food allergies and intolerances

If you’re living with or suspect that you have certain food allergies or intolerances, a dietitian can help you to determine your potential triggers through a structured elimination diet, such as the Low FODMAP diet.

Some of the most common symptoms of food allergy or intolerance include:

  • Abdominal pain, gas, cramps, or bloating.
  • Feeling irritable or anxious.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Headaches.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Skin rashes.

2. Medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, or gastrointestinal diseases

Following a healthy and specially-designed diet is an important part of managing certain chronic diseases. It’s important to note that each person has unique needs depending on their body and lifestyle habits. This means that there is not a one size fits all approach when it comes to nutrition.

Your nutrition advice should be as unique as you. This is why it is always recommended to speak to a dietitian before commencing any dietary changes, to ensure you are doing what’s best for you and your body.

3. Eating disorders

Getting help for yourself or a loved one who is dealing with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder is hard. Our dietitian is specially trained to help you recognise the warning signs, provide support and guide you through your recovery journey. 

4. Losing weight healthily and sustainably

There is an abundance of online health and wellness influencers and new fancy diets that promise you fast results with minimal effort, however, evidence suggests that these drastic dietary measures actually have the opposite effect, and over time lead to a significant amount of weight regain. Diets are never sustainable which is why they don’t work!

If you are sick of yoyo dieting, always being hungry and never getting any real long term results then it may be time to switch things up. Speaking to a dietitian to help you lose weight in a healthy, safe and sustainable way will not only save you time and unnecessary stress (and money!), but it will ensure that you get the results you are after, whilst taking into account your own unique needs and current lifestyle.

5. Women’s health concerns – such as endometriosis, PCOS and pregnancy

Did you know that what you eat can help improve your chances of getting pregnant? A fertility and prenatal dietitian can advise you on what foods and drinks to eat, limit, or avoid while you are trying for a baby.

If you are currently pregnant, your body will require more energy and nutrients than usual and your immune system will also be slightly lowered, which increases your vulnerability to illness and infection. To avoid any pregnancy related complications, a dietitian can help you to create a nutritious and balanced diet and provide advice on supplement regimes that will meet your needs and the needs of your growing baby.

Conditions such as endometriosis and PCOS can have a significant impact not only on your quality of life, but may also impact your chances of conceiving. A dietitian can help provide you with education and advice on foods and supplements that may be beneficial for you and help you to better manage your symptoms.

6. Sports nutrition

Whether you’re an athlete in training or stepping up your personal fitness regime, a dietitian can help you create a diet plan to assist you in building muscle, increase your energy and stamina, or achieve any other specific fitness goals you may have.

If you need advice on helping to establish a better relationship with food or with your body,  or improving and managing your overall health, book in today at our Bunbury clinic.

Brecken’s experienced dietician Toni Lander is able to accept enhanced primary care & private referrals and specialises in providing support for chronic diseases, eating disorders, women’s health concerns and sports nutrition. Book your appointment with Toni here or call us on (08) 9791 8133.