Dietary / Nutrition

What is Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) provides nutrition assessment that allows treatment plans to help individuals change their eating habits to maximize health. Working with the patient and other health care professionals, the registered dietitian identifies treatment goals and develops the nutrition prescription, providing self-management training through individual counseling.

Conditions Treated with Medical Nutrition Therapy

Summit Healthcare offers individualized counseling to patients suffering from any of the following conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Cancer
  • Celiac Disease
  • Cholesterol-related issues
  • Diabetes
  • Diverticulitis
  • Eating disorders
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Low sodium
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pediatrics
  • Nutrition/diet-related topics
  • Weight loss

What are the Benefits of Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Medical Nutrition Therapy takes a therapeutic approach to address acute and chronic complications of a variety of health conditions. Each case is tailored to the individual, implemented with the help of a Registered Dietician, and overseen through a course of care as needed to achieve set goals. In addition to helping you manage symptoms that you already have, such as elevated blood sugar levels, Medical Nutrition Therapy can reduce the risks of additional symptoms and new health concerns, such as stroke and heart attack. In the treatment of a specific condition, your customized dietary plan can also provide a number of other benefits. These can include weight loss, better sleep, more energy, decreased bone loss, and more!

What is Involved in Medical Nutrition Therapy?

Your nutritional therapy will revolve around your current health needs as determined by your most recent medical evaluation, lab tests, imaging, and other diagnostics as are relevant to your case. The general aspects of Medical Nutrition Therapy include:

  • A comprehensive consultation and nutritional assessment, through which your registered dietician can make an accurate nutrition diagnosis. This means that they, and you, will come to an understanding of the foods and nutrients that you need and those that you need to avoid to improve your health. 
  • Planning and implementation of your customized nutritional intervention. This may include specific meal plans, shopping lists, and more that will help you make the lifestyle changes that are integral to your progress. 
  • Monitoring and evaluation of your progress through periodic visits with your registered dietician. During these visits, you can ask questions and may be asked questions to assess how the implementation of and follow-through with the recommended changes are going. 

Is Medical Nutrition Therapy Effective at Managing Diabetes?

In addition to several other common health conditions, Medical Nutrition Therapy is often prescribed for patients with unmanaged diabetes. It can even be implemented to help reverse prediabetes. Studies indicate that the implementation of specific dietary regulations can be equally as or more effective than current medications for type 2 diabetes for the reduction of A1c. The reduction in A1c can occur within three to six months of beginning Medical Nutrition Therapy. Keep in mind, however, that blood sugar can rise again if the changes you've made during your program are not maintained in the long term.

What Can Medical Nutrition Therapy Do for My Diet?

It's not enough to look at Medical Nutrition Therapy as a customized diet plan. There's much more to this process because the goals are different for each person. When you visit our department for dietary nutrition, your registered dietician will approach your situation with a comprehensive understanding of how your condition affects and is affected by what you eat. For example, patients with celiac disease can discover an expansive range of gluten-free options with which to enhance their diet while reducing gastric upset. Patients with eating disorders can also be greatly helped by Medical Nutrition Therapy and the education it offers about the value of a well-balanced diet. These are a few of many scenarios in which a registered dietician can help patients achieve significant clinical improvements.

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Summit's Outpatient Dietitian, Becky Moffat, RD, CDE can be reached at 928.537.6984  or by e-mail: Becky Moffat

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