Nutrients are substances found in food that our bodies process to enable it to function at its best. Your nutrient requirements are influenced by factors such as your age, stage of growth and level of physical activity. Missing out on vital nutrients can have significant impacts on your physical and mental health.
How our dietitians help with nutritional deficiencies
Our dietitians have the training and skills to identify factors that may put you at increased risk of nutritional deficiencies. Common causes of nutritional deficiencies include:
Inadequate intake caused by:
- Cutting out entire food groups e.g. veganism, picky eating, fad diets
- Calorie-restricted diets for weight loss e.g. low carb, keto, bariatric surgery
- Volume-restricted diets such as intermittent fasting, bariatric surgery
- Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
- Restrictive medical nutrition diets followed for an extended length of time e.g. phase 1 of a low FODMAP diet
- Food insecurity limiting access to adequate food
- Difficulty food shopping and cooking e.g. ADHD, disability, advanced age
Increased nutritional requirements caused by:
- Disease states e.g. cancer, cystic fibrosis
- Surgery and wound healing
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Increased losses e.g. heavy periods, diarrhoea
- High levels of physical activity
- Advanced age
Inadequate absorption caused by:
- Surgery affecting the digestive system e.g. bowel resections, bariatric surgery
- Disease states e.g. coeliac disease
- Medication-nutrient interactions e.g. sulfasalazine and folate
- Digestive diseases e.g. coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic insufficiency
Our dietitians can identify gaps in your diet where you may be missing nutrients and provide advice on the best ways to address this, including recommendations for blood tests and other investigations. We can support you to understand which foods are the best nutrient sources while considering your individual dietary preferences and needs.
Any recommendations for supplementation will be based on a comprehensive nutrition assessment and may include supplementation of specific vitamin and/or minerals, protein, fibre, probiotics, prebiotics, omega 3, medical nutrition supplements and over-the-counter medications for gastrointestinal symptoms.
Common nutritional deficiencies that your dietitian can assist you with include iron, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin A, iodine, calcium, dietary fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.
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