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  • Deborah Smart

Why a nutritionist is NOT a dietician

Updated: Jan 28


Nutritional Medicine is a science-based holistic approach to health and disease management that is sorely needed in our modern world. Toxins in our environment and modern food producing methods seem to be contributing to a plague of chronic conditions such as autoimmune diseases, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and a spike in cancer cases.

Dieticians are important members of the allied health team. They help people with diet related diseases navigate their way through food choices affecting weight loss, diabetes, heart disease, allergies etc. They tend to rely on government guidelines regarding the food pyramid, nutrient intake, and often focus on calouric intake and a generally balanced diet.

So what makes a NUTRITIONIST different?

A clinical nutritionist has a holistic approach to health management with an emphasis on addressing the root causes of chronic disease in the areas of diet, lifestyle choices and genetics.


A nutritionist may use functional testing including blood tests, hormone testing, genetic testing etc. to identify areas of weakness in your biochemistry that may have affected your health. They will analyse your eating patterns and lifestyle choices to identify improvements that can be made in pursuit of greater wellness, and may also prescribe supplements where nutritional deficiencies are having an impact on chronic illness. They do not diagnose or treat specific diseases but will work with your doctor and health team and may refer to other medical professionals where needed.

Modern medical research standards make it almost impossible for the impact of diet to be explored in disease states: it's impossible to do a double blind placebo controlled trial for a set length of time around particular food choices. However, evidence for the impact of diet on disease management does exist and prudent doctors and health care providers are starting to acknowledge its importance.

Conditions where diet and nutrition have been shown to have a significant impact include: Rheumatoid arthritis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Mental Health, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimotos thyroiditis, Migraines, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome... to name a few.

Make an appointment today and start exploring the myriad of ways your health can improve with optimised nutritional support and lifestyle choices.


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