Treatments & Therapies

Dieticianship – Treatment, Effects & Risks


The term dietician is a protected job title for a medical or health profession. Dieticians have special qualifications in the fields of dietetics and nutrition and are employed in therapy, rehabilitation , care and health promotion. They treat both healthy and sick patients in terms of nutritional therapy.

What is the dietician?

The state-recognized profession of “dietician” includes various sub-areas. A distinction is made between clinical dietetics and nutrition, catering management (instruction in the kitchen, management of the diet kitchen, instruction of the staff according to nutritional therapy aspects), prevention and health promotion (public health) as well as teaching and research (support in the training of health professions, implementation of and participation in studies).

Dieticians work together with the healthy and the sick in a training and advisory capacity as prescribed by a doctor, since nutritional aspects can influence many diseases. In addition, in the clinical area, they also provide care for seriously ill people who can no longer eat independently by correctly inserting probes. Accordingly, the area of ​​activity of the dietitian includes different topics: primarily the implementation of individual diets and qualified nutritional advice, but also the documentation and evaluation of findings, the creation of diet plans, nutritional value calculations and participation in visits in the clinical inpatient area.

They are experts in all matters relating to the nutrients in food and how they affect the body. Dieticians often specialize in areas such as diabetology.

Treatments & Therapies

Diet can have far-reaching health consequences. Many diseases are due to malnutrition or overeating. However, a healthy, balanced diet can also prevent or positively influence diseases. For this reason, dieticians are mainly active in nutritional advice, which they carry out on the basis of medical diagnoses.

Such diagnoses can be: diabetes , increased blood fat or uric acid levels, osteoporosis , food allergies and food intolerances or health consequences caused by eating disorders such as anorexia . They work with the patients to develop forms of nutrition that correspond to their specific disposition by providing information about food and its properties, imparting cooking recipes or giving advice when shopping. Dieticianship is often about reducing body weight in a healthy way.

Since diet -related overweight and obesity with all its consequences are among the most important lifestyle diseases, dieticians often start here by calculating the patient’s nutritional needs and providing them with advice on this basis. This can affect both groups and individuals. However, it is a mistake to think that dieticianship is all about healthy weight loss, when that is a major concern for many counselors. It is also conceivable that patients develop serious underweight due to alcohol or drug abuse or that anorexia is the reason for a critically low body mass index.

Dieticians intervene in such cases to restore a healthy weight and nourish the body in a medically acceptable manner. In the clinical area there are often patients who are no longer able or willing to eat independently. These can be those affected by anorexia, patients who are in a coma or who can no longer eat on their own for other health reasons.

Dietitians are in demand here because they are qualified to properly insert tubes. Due to the facts described, this professional group is often active in clinics, rehabilitation facilities, etc., although there are more and more self-employed dietitians with their own practice who specialize in certain nutrition-related complaints.

Diagnosis & examination methods

If dieticians are called in on medical advice, the medical diagnosis (e.g. diabetes mellitus ) is the basis for further action. Various methods are available to the dietician to determine the nutritional status of the patient. Currently, the body mass index (BMI) is usually used first, although this is not without controversy because it does not provide any information about the exact distribution of fat and muscle mass.

In order to determine the proportion of water, fat and muscle in the body, there are special measuring devices that provide information and provide the dietician with important information about the patient’s condition. In addition, as part of the nutritional counseling, an actual state is first worked out with regard to food intake: what does the patient eat and how much? What would be his need? Which nutrients does he need in particular, which food components should he avoid? On the basis of the medical diagnosis and on the basis of this current situation, a diet plan is drawn up that is ideally suited to the person seeking advice and his or her psycheis tailored. Together with the patient, we calculate what their optimal nutritional status would be and a concept is developed as to how this goal can be achieved.

After determining the BMI and the distribution of fat in the body, dieticians often use diagrams to help the patient understand what a healthy, balanced diet looks like (e.g. the “nutrition pyramid” of the German Society for Nutrition). In the clinical field, this professional group sometimes works with probes when self-feeding is not possible or is refused and the patient is in a life-threatening condition.

Possible options include enteral nutrition (insertion of a tube in the nose or mouth , through the throat and esophagus into the gastrointestinal tract ) or parenteral nutrition, in which nutrients are administered directly into the blood via infusions . Medicines can be added to these nutrient mixtures, but only doctors are responsible for prescribing them. Dieticians limit themselves to nutritional aspects. However, they often work closely with doctors, psychologists , etc.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.