Today, hospitals and medical centers allocate an important space for therapeutic nutrition and diet clinics, as they developed specialized centers after research showed a strong relationship between public health and the consumed foods to improve health.
Nutrition has become an essential element in preventing disease, limiting their exacerbation and its active role in promoting the healing process in case of illness, in addition to the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and getting rid of obesity.
Hospitals and medical centers have set a goal for therapeutic nutrition clinics, which is to enhance community awareness about the importance of food and its relationship to the development of medical conditions by developing nutritional plans based on the individual’s general condition, taking into account his disease, lifestyle and nutritional needs.
Under the supervision of a clinical nutritionist, the necessary analyzes and examinations are carried out to evaluate the patient’s condition and identify foods that show an improper interaction affecting weight or his medical condition.
Accordingly, a well-thought-out diet is developed according to the patient’s disease, in order to provide proper eating habits.
A healthy and balanced diet is part of preventive and curative health services. Dietitians are part of a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients, both inside and outside the hospital, so that the patient who suffers from diabetes, hypertension or heart disease can eat the appropriate foods for his condition.
The relationship between the doctor and the dietitian
Both the doctor and the dietitian have a role in the patient’s treatment journey. It definitely starts with the specialized consultant to diagnose the condition and guide the patient towards the optimal treatment after undergoing a clinical examination in the first place and listening to the patient’s complaint and knowing his medical history, then undergoing a series of laboratory tests to know what is happening inside the patient’s body.
After that, the nutritionist completes the treatment journey, and cooperation emerges between the two parties as well as the integration of visions and strategies, so that the nutritionist tailors the diet to suit the patient’s condition in coordination with the treating physician.
A healthy diet for each condition is the cornerstone of treating chronic non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, metabolic disorders such as lactose intolerance and diseases that require a feeding tube.
The more the patient adheres to his own diet, the more advanced the therapeutic results of the drug will be, as it has been proven that the effectiveness of the drug increases with a healthy lifestyle.
Clinics and nutrition centers’ fields of work
Some believe that the work of a nutritionist is only limited to treating obesity and losing excess weight, but it actually goes beyond that, as this section includes many areas of work, including:
- Treating obesity and overweight
- Nutrition after weight loss surgeries
- Nutrition disorder
- Nutrition for diabetes and blood pressure
- Appropriate nutrition for diseases of the digestive system
- Nutrition during autoimmune diseases
- Gluten and lactose intolerance
- Food intolerance
- Nutrition for children, adolescents and adults
- Sports nutrition
- Nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Nutrition for eating disorders
After conducting a comprehensive evaluation, the clinical dietitian provides the appropriate nutritional evaluation, and accordingly, specialized diets are prescribed according to the patient’s medical condition. Proper food resists disease, strengthens the immune system and reduces the risks of modern diseases such as heart and kidney diseases, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Medication and Food Therapy
Recent studies confirm the benefits of an effective diet in reducing the exacerbation of a medical condition and possibly avoiding its occurrence, as the effectiveness of nutritional treatment for some diseases has been proven by avoiding eating unhealthy junk foods.
Also, a healthy diet and a loss of 5-10% of weight help in regulating diabetes and high blood pressure, reducing the chance of developing heart disease and lowering cholesterol. It also helps relieve joint pain and protects against breathing problems during sleep and many other medical conditions.
The dietician introduces dietary modifications in specific amounts to the patient’s food menu. Some cases require adding nutrients if the tests show a deficiency in the body so that it benefits and improves his health condition, noting that following a specific diet varies from one patient to another.