What is a Dietitian?

A dietitian is someone that has studied nutrition science at university through a 4 year Bachelor degree or nutrition and dietetics masters. In Australia, the Dietitians Association of Australia, Accredits Dietitians for practice, through the Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) program. At The Food Clinic, our dietitian is both an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Accredited Nutritionist and member of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA). The DAA require members who are APDs to undergo a minimum of 30 hours of conitnuing professional development annually so you can be sure an APD is up to date with what's new in nutrition.

What does a dietitian do?

A dietitian helps you or your organisation to achieve or provide better nutrition through realistic food solutions. During an individual consultation you will be asked about your food habits and medical history as well as your health goals, and what you want to get out of the session. Information is tailored to your needs so that you can learn the skills and meal ideas that will be relevant to you and your health conditions. Most clients get best results if they are able to attend review consultations so that  the dietitian can assist you to overcome any barriers or road blocks you may having in making dietary and lifestyle changes.

Why should I see a dietitian at The Food Clinic?

At The Food Clinic, our dietitian is friendly, approachable, knoweldgeable about nutrition and loves food so you can be sure recommendations are kept realistic. Your lifestyle and budget will be taken into account when our dietitian assists you to plan, shop and prepare nourishing meals for you and your family. 

Do I need a referral?

No, referrals are not essential and The Food Clinic accepts patients who self refer as well as those referred by other health professionals. If you have a chonic medical condition, you may be eligible to Medicare funding for dietitian consultations through the Chronic Disease Managment program (formerly known as Enhanced Primary Care - EPC). For those who are eligible for this funding a referral or Team Care Arragement from your GP is essential. Referrals are also essential for clients receiving funding through the Department of Veteran's Affairs and Garrison Health Programs.

How many consultations will I need?

The number of consultations that you require will depend on how complex your medical history is, your nutrition knoweldge and how confident and ready you are to make the nutrition and lifestyle changes that are recommended at your consultation. As a general guide for those with newly diagnosed conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, The Food Clinic recommend a minimum of three (3) consultations. For clients with long term weight management issues often fortnightly sessions are required initially and then every 1-2 months for 6-12months. However you can choose how many sessions you want and how often you want to come along. At The Food Clinic we do not lock clients into fixed programs but can be flexible to what you want or in some cases the number of sessions you are allocated as part of a Team Care Arranegement plan or through your health insurer.

How do I make an appointment?

The quickest way to make an appointment is to phone reception in business hours. For appointments in Essendon phone 9346 7262. For appointments at The Toorak Clinic phone 9827 3600 and for Heidelberg phone 9459 4415. Alternatively if you would like more infomration please sumbit an email enquiry via the contact us page.

I have diabetes, how can a dietitian help me?

A dietitian will help you to understand what type of diaebtes you have (type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes) and how your food intake affects your blood sugar levels. Learn how to plan nourishing meals that are nutritionally balanced, read food labels, help you to achieve your most healthy/comfortable weight and overall stabilise your blood sugar levels. For people with flexible insulin doses and insulin pumps a dietitian will also teach you the skills of carbohydrate counting so that you can adjust your insulin doses to match your food intake.

I think I might be intolerant to gluten, what should I do?

Perceived gluen intolerance is now very common in the community, just take a step inside any supermarket or health food store and you'll find lots of gluten free options, however it may come as a suprise that research is showing us that many people who think they are gluten intolerant may not in-fact need to avoid all gluten. There are many conditions that can present as a perceived gluten intolerance, two of the most common are coeliac disease, which requires strict avoidance of all gluten and regular medical follow up, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which for most people responds better to a Low FODMAP diet than a low gluten diet. Both of these conditions require specific dietary guideance and a general reduction in gluten intake alone is not the answer. If you suspect a gluten intolerance, before changing your diet, come along to see a dietitian or a GP for further guidance.

I don't have coeliac disease but my doctor thinks I may have some food intolerance what will a dietitian do?

Once medical causes of suspected food intolerances have been investigated a dietary investigation is the next step. This is a two phase approach of an elimination and rechallenge diet looking at specific food triggers that are likely contributing to your symptoms. This process is done under the guidenace of an experinced detitian to make sure that you can identify the corrent food triggers of your symptoms, avoid any unnecessary dietary restriction and achieve a nutritionally adequate diet.