Count on a Dietitian for Facts not Fads!
What does a dietitian do? Why would you, or your child, need to see a dietitian? What happens during a consultation with a dietitian? Who can you truly rely upon for accurate, responsible and personalised dietary advice in modern times, when nutrition information and experts abound on every corner?
Relax! Keep calm, and trust a dietitian!
What is a dietitian?
Dietitians are university trained health care professionals who are experts in specialised diets used to treat a range of nutrition related conditions. Dietitians are trained to translate complex scientific information about human physiology, biochemistry and nutrition into practical, realistic and relevant dietary advice for their clients. Dietitians are registered with a governing body (the Dietitian’s Association of Australia) and are required to meet strict criteria for registration and professional development. They are the only nutrition related healthcare profession recognised as providers for Medicare and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
What types of conditions do dietitians provide advice for?
In infancy, childhood and adolescence, dietitians commonly provide support and advice for conditions such as faltering growth, fussy and selective eating patterns, micronutrient deficiencies, constipation, food allergies, Type 1 Diabetes and weight management. During adulthood, dietitians commonly provide support and advice for conditions such as food intolerances, weight management, Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular health (including salt reduced and cholesterol lowering diets) and inflammatory bowel diseases (for example Crohn’s disease).
Why choose to see a dietitian for nutrition advice?
These days, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to seeking out food and nutrition advice. One click on the internet will yield numerous results on everything from the latest fad diet for weight loss to the latest evidence on fat and carbohydrate intakes for optimal glycaemic control. It can be overwhelming, and knowing who to trust, and what advice to follow can be difficult. This is where a dietitian can help. Dietitians are uniquely placed within the healthcare and food and nutrition industries to sift through the information for you and sort out the facts from the fads. When taking nutrition advice, look for the ‘Accredited Practising Dietitian’ logo – this will ensure you are taking advice from a professional who has tertiary qualifications in food and nutrition, and whose practice is governed, accredited and reviewed by a professional body.
What does an appointment with a dietitian involve?
An initial consultation with a dietitian typically lasts for 45-60 minutes. The appointment generally begins with the dietitian taking a history regarding your reason for presentation. This may involve medical, diet and exercise history, as well as social patterns such as eating, shopping, work and leisure habits. A dietitian will then discuss your personal goals, and negotiate a plan to help you achieve your specific outcomes. This can be varied and wide ranging, but common examples may include tailoring your dietary intake to reduce salt and fat intake, or reduce energy intake to promote weight loss. The emphasis is always on developing a plan that is realistic and achievable for you. Dietary modifications are identified based on what has been scientifically proven to work – no fad diets here! This type of approach is more likely to be sustainable in the longer term, and to achieve results. Other things to expect during a consultation including having measurements taken, such as weight, height, waist circumference and body fat percentage. Upon conclusion of your appointment, the dietitian will usually provide you with written instructions to follow, and make a plan for a follow up appointment, commonly within 2-6 weeks.
How can I make an appointment?
Most dietitians accept referrals from clients directly. Simply contact the clinic to make an appointment. General practitioners, medical specialists and other health professionals (nurses, physios, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists) may also refer or recommend a client to a dietitian. Again, it is generally the responsibility of the client to contact the clinic to make the appointment.
Do Medicare and private health fund rebates apply?
Yes. Please discuss private health fund rebates specifically with your provider as rebates vary depending on your level of cover.
To receive a rebate through Medicare, you MUST have a Chronic Disease Management Plan from your GP. This applies when you, or your child, has an ongoing nutrition related condition – common examples include faltering growth, diabetes, weight management, Coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease. A Chronic Disease Management Plan can be developed in conjunction with your GP and may allow you up to five visits to a Dietitian over a 12 month period. Medicare will refund the standard amount for a dietitian consultation (around $55), while you fund the gap. Check your dietitian’s schedule of fees beforehand so that you are aware of out of pocket expenses.
To make an appointment with Robyn – Accredited Practising Dietitian at The Possums Clinic – phone 3036 4081
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