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The Role of a Registered Dietitian in Your Health Care

What can a registered dietitian do for me?

People seek guidance from a registered dietitian for many reasons. Some individuals are concerned with wellness, disease prevention, athletic performance enhancement, or feeding concerns with children, while others are trying to manage their medical conditions with food and meal planning. Because it can be difficult to figure out which foods make up a healthy diet, registered dietitians are available to help you create a plan that meets your individual health needs and goals.

What the dietitian will do

  • Work individually with you to assess your nutrition needs (review your medical and diet history, blood tests, weight and weight trends, along with other physical measurements)
  • Design a personalized meal plan for you
  • Help you establish realistic goals, short term and long term
  • Equip you with techniques to stay on track with your nutrition plan
  • Provide ongoing encouragement and support in 15-30 minute sessions until your goals are met (three or more visits are recommended for best results)

Reasons to see a dietitian

Most common:

Overweight/obesity

How many times have you been on a diet? Are you tired of the yo-yo weight cycle? It's estimated that more than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese. Break that cycle! With a dietitian, learn how to lose weight and keep it off.

Pre-diabetes

This is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. At least 54 million people in the United States have pre-diabetes. Left untreated, most people with this condition will develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. A registered dietitian can assist with lifestyle changes like meal planning, weight management, and exercise routines, which research suggests can delay or even prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes

More than 18 million people in the United States have diabetes, which is the sixth-leading cause of death. Creation of a realistic eating plan can improve your weight or blood sugar control, prevent or delay the onset of other diabetes-associated conditions, and decrease the amount or type of medications you need to take.

High cholesterol

One of every three people in the United States has cholesterol values at or higher than 200, indicating a greater risk of heart disease. Dietitians can evaluate cholesterol values and individualize a plan to get your numbers back on track with food and exercise.

Other important reasons
  • Blood pressure control
  • Cancer
  • Womens' health (osteoporosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Pregnancy (proper nutrition, management of gestational diabetes)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Malnutrition
  • Eating disorders
  • Kidney failure
Ask to make an appointment with a dietitian by calling one of these numbers:

Department of Nutrition Therapy (Main Campus)
216.444.3046

Pediatric Outpatient Appointments
216.444.9000

Cleveland Clinic Beachwood
216.839.3000

Cleveland Clinic Independence
216.986.4000

Cleveland Clinic Lorain
440.204.7400

Cleveland Clinic Solon
440.519.6800

Cleveland Clinic Strongsville
440.878.2500

Cleveland Clinic Westlake
440.899.5555

Cleveland Clinic Willoughby Hills
440.943.2500

Cleveland Clinic Wooster
330.287.4500

The Family Health Centers also offer additional Wellness classes. Just give them a call for further information.

Professional staff

All of the dietitians in the Department of Nutrition Therapy are registered and licensed in the state of Ohio. Several also have advanced degrees and/or specialty certifications, and each dietitian practices the science of medical nutrition therapy. To learn more about our dietitians and their specialties, please visit our website at www.clevelandclinic.org/nutrition.

Outpatient appointments available

Appointments are available to meet with a registered dietitian through the Department of Nutrition Therapy at the main campus of Cleveland Clinic and at all the Family Health Centers. Discuss your special needs with your health care provider. Often, insurance companies will pay for the cost of your visits, if a referral is made by your physician.

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Can't find the health information you’re looking for?

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 8/29/07...#4655