Medical Nutrition Therapy / Nutrition Therapy

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How can Medical Nutrition Therapy help you?

Medical Nutrition Therapy from Registered Dieticians (RDs) or Clinical Dieticians can provide Nutrition care and education in acute care, residential, and rehabilitation services, including specialized inpatient and outpatient care in the following areas:

  • Adult Cystic Fibrosis.
  • Cardiac/Healthy Heart.
  • Critical Care.
  • Diabetes.
  • Eating Disorders.
  • Elder Care.
  • Urban Health and HIV.
  • Medicine.
  • Mental Health.
  • Nutrition Support, including Home Enteral/Parenteral Nutrition.
  • Orthopedics.
  • Outpatient Nutrition Counselling.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • Renal.
  • Surgery. (Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC)
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There are many health professionals who agree that Nutrition services are one of the first treatments that individuals should receive to improve conditions such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Hypertension.

Many Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) work in the treatment and prevention of disease by providing Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). The RDN often acts as part of a medical team, in various practice settings, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, private practices, and other healthcare facilities.

Together with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, you will set nutrition goals to improve your health. Medical Nutrition Therapy provided by an RDN includes a:

  • Review of your eating habits and lifestyle.
  • Thorough assessment of your nutritional status.
  • Personalized nutrition treatment plan.

The initial visit with an RDN takes approximately one hour. After the first session, the RDN will schedule follow-up appointments to check on your progress and see if changes are needed in your nutrition goals and treatment plan. (Eat Right – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics)

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) or Clinical Nutrition is evidence-based nutritional care and education. 

Clinical Dietitians are registered with the College of Dietitians in their locations as Registered Dietitians (RD). Clinical Dietitians collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare teams to provide evidence-based, patient-, and family-centered nutrition management and education for patients and residents. They may also participate in outpatient and outreach clinics, provide in-services to other staff as needed, and participate in research activities.

Many Dietitians are experts in their area of specialty and act as resources for Dietitians and other health professionals. 

The objectives of Clinical Nutrition Services are to:

  • Provide nutrition assessment, intervention, and education to patients and residents.
  • Ensure nutrition needs of patients and residents are met by the meals and snacks provided.
  • Provide evidence-based medical nutrition therapy.
  • Participate with the health care team to provide patient and resident care.
  • Liaise with the community to ensure continuity of patient and resident care.
  • Act as a resource for the health care team and other health care professionals.
  • Ensure standards are met through quality assurance activities.
  • Participate in research activities that will contribute to nutrition knowledge and patient and resident care.
  • Support the education of students and dietetic interns.
  • Maintain awareness and knowledge of current nutrition information and issues.
  • Promote healthy eating principles throughout PHC and the community it serves. (Providence Health Care, Vancouver, BC)

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is an evidence-based, individualized nutrition process meant to help treat certain medical conditions.

The term was introduced in 1994 by what is now the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the largest organization of Registered Dietician Nutritionists (RDNs) and other credentialed food and nutrition professionals in the United States 

MNT is developed and implemented by an RDN with the approval of your doctor. MNT may be conducted in a hospital, in an outpatient clinic, or as part of a telehealth program. It is based on decades of medical research on the relationship between diet, nutrition, and health outcomes.

MNT instructs you how to use your diet to best support your medical conditions. It not only addresses existing medical conditions but also attempts to lower the risk of new complications.

To start this therapy, an RDN first performs a comprehensive nutrition assessment for you. They then develop a nutritional diagnosis, goal, and care plan, as well as specific nutrition interventions to help you better manage or treat your condition. The RDN provides repeated follow-up visits to support your behavioral and lifestyle changes. This involves monitoring and evaluating progress, as well as any health or medication changes. 

MNT can range in complexity, from designing a reduced calorie diet for weight loss to prescribing a high protein diet to promote wound healing for patients with severe burns. In severe cases, such as for people with cancer, an RDN can recommend tube or intravenous (IV) feeding to prevent malnutrition.

The duration of MNT varies. Typically, the therapy stays in place until the initial goal is achieved or the nutrition-related diagnosis is resolved. However, the plan can be adjusted as needed by the RDN and your medical team. 

Explore the Research

We believe you should have access to high-quality research to help you make informed health decisions. Below are four trusted databases you can use as tools to expand your healthcare knowledge.