A dietitian is a qualified health professional who specialises in treating problems to do with diet and nutrition. A dietitian is not a doctor, but will have completed a degree in dietetics and is qualified to work with patients who need a special diet due to a medical condition. They are skilled at translating scientific research into accessible, practical advice for their patients. At your first appointment, a dietitian will take a medical and physical history and discussing your needs. They can provide advice and plans to make sure you are getting the adequate nutrition for your needs.
You may be referred to see a dietician if you have a medical condition which requires a specific diet. This may be a gastroenterological problem such as coeliac disease, or a condition such as diabetes. Patients with eating disorders such as anorexia or patients who need to put on weight after an illness may benefit from seeing a dietician. Dieticians can also help patients who are overweight lose weight in a safe and effective manner. You may be referred to see a dietician by your GP, or you can self-refer yourself to one either privately or on the NHS.