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[4 min read] Everything you need to know about Medical Nutrition Management
Medical nutrition management is an evidence-based method for helping your patients manage and treat various medical conditions through effective nutrition. Here is how it works and what conditions it can help treat in your day-to-day work.
Medical nutrition management is used in hospitals, specialist clinics and the primary care setting, and is based on the relationship between diet, nutrition and health outcomes. The process teaches patients how to use their diet to prevent, treat or better manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
When managing patients in primary care, general practitioners can perform a comprehensive nutrition assessment and set goals and a long-term care plan for their patients. This plan includes follow-up visits to support the patient’s lifestyle changes, monitor progress and check for health changes.
Examples include designing a low-calorie diet for weight loss, a high protein diet for wound healing, or a hypertension-specific diet to lower high blood pressure.
The therapy progresses until the goal is achieved or the health condition is resolved. It may continue indefinitely in the case of life-long chronic conditions.
A medical nutrition plan is only put in place where appropriate, after it has been determined that a patient has a condition that could be improved by adhering to this method.
There are a variety of conditions that effective medical nutrition management can help to prevent, treat or manage. Many are extremely common presentations in primary care. These include:
- Diabetes, insulin resistance and comorbidities such as kidney disease, poor circulation and nerve damage
- Heart disease, including high blood pressure
- Digestive conditions, including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and Celiac disease
- Food intolerances and allergies
- Malnutrition in older patients and children
- COPD and asthma
Want to learn more about managing your patients’ nutrition concerns in general practice?