Professionals in Nutrition Specialist Doctors - Many of us are mistakenly interpreting the term nutritionist as a nutritionist. In fact, although both nutritionists, authority, and competence are clearly different.
A nutritionist and/or nutrition specialist is a nutrition expert who is competent in providing information about nutrition, as well as recommendations on food and healthy eating patterns to the general public. The educational background of a nutritionist is Diploma III, while the category of nutritionists with a bachelor education background is known as a nutritionist and nutritionist.
While nutrition specialists are specialists who focus on dealing with patient health problems related to nutrition, as well as providing nutritional medical therapy according to the patient's condition and oriented to the disease history and general condition of the patient. His educational background is a general practitioner who has completed a master's degree in nutrition and has undergone education in clinical nutrition specialization for 6 semesters.
Clinical nutrition itself is a discipline that studies the relationship between food and nutritional intake in it with health and diseases related to nutrition and certain medical conditions. Starting with acute and chronic diseases, and the aging process (degenerative). Clinical nutrition is used in aspects of prevention, healing, and prevention of the continuing complications of an illness.
Nutritionists have the authority to formulate the nutritional intake you need to support your health, while nutrition specialists have more authority. Nutrition specialists not only formulate nutritional intake, but also carry out other medical therapies related to the patient's condition, for example prescribing medicines, supplements, or medical actions related to nutrition and the patient's condition.
Not infrequently, nutrition specialists will work with other specialists in dealing with patient conditions, such as surgeons and internal medicine doctors. Nutrition specialists also play an important role in advancing public health through efforts to educate and promote health, especially in the field of nutrition.
Read too: Medical Check-up - Health Checkup List
Clinical Authority of Nutritionist
Competencies possessed by a doctor are the ability to carry out clinical procedures related to health problems, such as determining a diagnosis through physical examination and medical interviews; supporting investigation; case management procedures to prevent, cure, and anticipate or reduce the risk of disease complications; to clinical emergency medical measures.
In this case, a clinical nutrition specialist must have competencies that are in accordance with his field of work, namely providing nutritional management such as:
- Perform a physical examination and history (medical interview).
- Providing health promotion related to nutrition and health in the community and patients as an effort to prevent disease.
- Review nutritional status, metabolism, and gastrointestinal tract.
- Providing fulfillment of nutritional and fluid needs for patients.
- Provide nutritional therapy and certain eating patterns, for example prescribing the number of calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals needed.
- Determine how to administer nutrition, either orally (eating as usual), feeding through a gastric tube (nasogastric tube / NGT), or through infusion.
- Evaluate nutritional status, as well as overall patient health after nutrition care.
Disease Treated by a Nutritionist
Nutrition specialists have clinical authority to provide nutrition management for the following health problems:
Problems with nutritional status
These include malnutrition, such as obesity, deficiencies or deficiencies in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), marasmus and kwashiorkor; nutritional disorders in vulnerable groups such as infants, children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly.
Disorders of organ function and metabolism
This includes preparing nutrition for patients with gastrointestinal disorders, impaired liver and pancreatic function; metabolic and endocrine disorders such as diabetes; pulmonary and respiratory problems; neurological diseases; disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract: and heart and blood vessel disease.
Other diseases related to the immune system and malignant diseases
For example in the case of food allergies, nutrition for patients with HIV / AIDS, nutrition care for cancer patients. Nutritional management is also given to patients who receive intensive care.
Nutritional care in severe cases of injury
Nutrition specialists are also authorized to determine the evaluation of nutritional status and nutritional needs in severely injured patients, such as extensive burns or injured patients who require surgery.
Improving nutrition in eating disorders
Includes eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. People with eating disorders often experience severe malnutrition and dehydration which is harmful to their health. In addition to being treated by a psychiatrist, improving nutritional status in patients with eating disorders is also commonly handled by a nutrition specialist.
Read too: 5 Fruits for Special Diet to Lose Weight
The Right Time To Meet A Nutritionist Doctor
You can see a nutritionist when you need consultation regarding nutrition and diet, either because of certain medical conditions or for improving nutrition and the health program that you are running.
Someone can consult a nutrition specialist for referrals from a doctor who handles patient diseases or because of the patient's own initiative. For example, in cancer patients who lose weight and appetite due to the side effects of chemotherapy, it is recommended to consult a nutrition specialist for the referral of the doctor who handles it. Another example, in the case of obesity, patients need consultation on nutrition and diet to lose weight, as well as other medical measures to overcome obesity.
Preparation for Consultation with a Nutritionist
Before seeing a nutrition specialist, you should prepare the following:
- Prepare a note of the questions you want to ask and a history of complaints or symptoms you experience, as well as a history of diet and daily activities.
- If available, prepare documents related to supporting examinations, for example, the results of blood tests, X-rays, or CT scans.
- Inform the doctor about the drugs and supplements that are being consumed.
- If after a nutrition specialist's examination prescribes medication or recommended diet, make sure you understand it. Also ask about the treatment options available, the level of success, and the risks of each treatment.
- Make sure you choose a qualified nutrition specialist. You can ask for recommendations from general practitioners, internal medicine doctors, or relatives' recommendations. Make sure the doctor you choose is able to communicate well in explaining the nutrition or handling steps needed.
- Be sure to choose facilities and services that are good, complete and friendly.
- If you want to take advantage of the BPJS or insurance that you have, make sure the hospital or clinic is affiliated with your BPJS or insurance provider.
After undergoing consultations and examinations, a nutrition specialist will determine the diagnosis of the disease and your nutritional status, and determine the nutrition therapy plan to deal with the condition.