What is Nutrition and Dietetics?
Nutrition involves assisting people with general information about food but not specific to medical conditions and does not involve treatment with nutrition therapy. Generally, more people are familiar with the term nutrition, which involves generally nourishing the body with food. Dietetics however, not only includes nourishment, it involves dietitians assisting people to manage health conditions and diseases using food as Medical Nutrition Therapy. That is, medical conditions and their associated symptoms are treated and managed through tailored or prescribed nutrition, specific to your needs and nourishment requirements, as determined by you and your dietitian or in combination with your doctor.
Dietitians prescribe dietary treatments for many conditions such as diabetes, food allergies, cancers, malnutrition, gastro-intestinal diseases, overweight and obesity and many other conditions, for all ages specific to individual needs.
How can a dietitian assist with the management or treatment of your symptoms?
Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) have received clinical training and are qualified to provide counselling and support relating to food and disease, and are also nutritionists, who are accredited by the Dietitians’ Association of Australia. They hold qualifications that allow them to work in hospital, community and private practice settings. Not all nutritionists can be considered a dietitian unless they are an APD.
Dietitians can help with anything relating to food and nutrition in relation to a healthy lifestyle and assist with disease management and/or prevention.
What to expect from a nutrition and dietetics session:
The consultation involves discussing any concerns, questions and requirements you may have. An assessment is conducted, taking into consideration your medical and nutrition needs, and a plan is developed and agreed upon.
The number of sessions required is dependant on your individual needs, agreed goals and outcomes. Carers and family are welcome to attend to assist with your therapy and goals.
Is this covered by health fund/Medicare?
Dietitians are recognised by Medicare. This means you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate for a chronic health care plan provided by your GP. Most dietitians are also registered with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and private health funds, for which rebates can be provided on services. Check with your private health fund to see what rebates are offered under your insurance plan.