True Role of a Dietitian
We live in an era of previously unseen abundance. Today, many countries in the world have achieved food security. For those of us following a fast-paced lifestyle, the question is not where is our next meal is coming from. It’s what to eat, what to avoid, how much to eat and when. It’s gaining the awareness that we eat not just to satisfy hunger, but to get all the nutrients which our body needs for survival and optimum health. Still, we only understand the basics of nutrition. All of know that sugar is bad and fruits are good. But each body is created different and every person is facing distinct health situations. In such a case, professional help is preferred. This is where the dietitian comes in. It is one of the most in-demand healthcare professions today.
So what does a dietitian do?
- A dietitian studies scientific and medical research in the fields of health, nutrition, and food and translates this for the benefit of the general public. They provide practical solutions.
- They create awareness about food nutrition and safety.
- They assess, diagnose and treat problems regarding nutrition and diet.
- They work with clients in creating individual diet plans.
- They counsel clients in getting the best possible nutrition at the most cost-effective rates.
- They treat lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension by modifying diets.
A dietitian may be employed in public hospitals, private clinics, public relations, sport, media, education, pharmaceuticals, and the food industry. They may also work as freelancers.
Who can become a dietitian?
Dietitians have regulated healthcare professionals. They usually require a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and period of practical training at specified healthcare bodies. They may also need to clear a qualifying exam to receive the certificate of practice from the regulatory body. However, the requirements vary from country to country.
Do you need a dietitian?
People are used to going to doctors when they are ill but rarely do they visit a professional to know what they should be eating. Visiting a dietitian will only improve your standard of living. Even if you think that you know how to take care of yourself, you might be missing out on vital information. Apart from a general interest in improving your health, there are certain situations when you should definitely visit a dietitian:
- You are planning a baby – The requirements to create a healthy baby drastically change your body’s nutrition requirements. A visit to the dietitian is in order to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
- You have weight issues – A dietitian can guide you to gain or lose weight in a healthy manner without the accompanying side effects.
- You are an athlete or bodybuilder – Consulting a dietitian can help you build endurance and healthy muscle weight for optimum performance.
- You have allergies – A dietitian can ensure that by avoiding certain food groups, the nutrients you lose are compensated from other sources.
- Medical reasons – If you have diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, or are recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, your food requirements will be very different from otherwise healthy people. A dietitian can aid you in faster recovery.
- Girl problems – If you have PCOS or irregular periods, diet changes can help you a lot. A dietitian can show you the way.
- Irregular bowel movements – Our digestion process and guts reveal a lot about our overall health. If you are irregular, there might be serious underlying causes such as inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) that have escaped detection. A dietitian can work with you to see which foods promote healthy guts for you, and which need to be avoided.
- Hunger patterns – As grandma always said, if you are able to get hungry, you are probably healthy. If you suddenly notice that you have lost your appetite or that you are unable to enjoy the foods you previously liked, there might be some serious reason. On the flip side, you might suddenly experience severe hunger pangs no matter how much you eat. A dietitian can help you diagnose the reasons for such rapid changes in appetite.
A dietitian plays an indispensable role in the healthcare world today. But there fewer dietitians per thousand people than even general physicians. Thankfully, all that is changing fast. Today, the modern lifestyle is forcing more and more people to seek help from a dietitian to manage their overall health. This has led to more healthcare professionals training as dietitians. So, if you think you need help, seek out a dietitian near you.
Good luck and healthy, happy living to you!