Nutrition Therapy and Counseling
What is nutrition therapy and counseling?
Nutrition therapy and counseling involves meeting with a credentialed registered dietitian to discuss your eating habits in the context of any medical problems or symptoms you are experiencing. In addition to information gleaned from this conversation, additional data from nutrition-related labs or other tests may be reviewed.
The goal of nutrition therapy is to provide you with a set of specific, individualized and realistic diet recommendations that you can implement toward managing the symptoms or severity of a specific disease or set of symptoms; to address any deficiencies and ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs; and/or to help you adopt healthy eating habits that are known to help lower the risk of developing chronic disease.
Why do I need nutrition therapy and counseling?
Diet change can help manage the symptoms or severity of a variety of digestive, metabolic and/or autoimmune diseases. In some cases, diet change may be the ONLY treatment for a condition–such as the gluten-free diet for celiac disease. In some cases, diet change can prevent the need for using medication– such as diet change for pre-diabetes, mildly-elevated cholesterol levels or mild/occasional acid reflux. Even in cases where your medical condition requires medication, diet change can still be helpful; it can help you reduce the dose or frequency of medication you require, or help control any symptoms that your medication doesn’t adequately manage. In short, many people can benefit from nutrition therapy and counseling.
If you have been diagnosed with a nutritional deficiency of any kind– whether iron deficiency anemia or a vitamin/mineral deficiency– nutrition therapy is important to ensure you are able to replete the deficiency through diet change and/or an appropriate supplementation regimen.
What can I expect during nutrition therapy and counseling?
Your nutrition counseling session is conducted in a comfortable, non-judgmental setting where you are free to discuss your health goals, symptom-control goals and quality of life goals as well as the parameters of any dietary solutions you wish to abide by (e.g., kosher, plant-based, gluten-free, etc.) Your eating habits will be assessed with regard to how well they support your health goals, how compatible they are with your medical situation and whether they adequately meet your nutritional needs; they will not be judged as “good” or “bad.”
Because managing any chronic health condition or digestive disorder can be overwhelming, our GI-specialized dietitians offer individualized dietary counseling tailored to your specific situation and that is in sync with your general food preferences and lifestyle constraints. Your nutritionist will focus her recommendations on what you CAN eat, and not just on providing lists of foods to avoid. She may offer recommendations on: what foods to consume more of; specific foods to avoid; how to structure meals and snacks over the course of a day; whether certain dietary supplements may be of benefit (or should be avoided); where to find appropriate recipes; what to order at certain restaurants you frequent; additional medical tests that might be prudent for you to discuss with your doctor.
At New York Gastroenterology Associates, we do not sell any dietary supplements or other such products. You can expect to be given unbiased nutrition recommendations without any financial conflicts of interest.
By: New York Gastroenteroloy
Reviewed by: Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN
Last Reviewed: May 14th, 2021
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