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DIETETICS AND THERAPEUTIC DIETS
We are what we eat.
And that includes how we heal.
Enhancing recovery of health through food is already an age old practice many of us know that has been a philosophy for thousands of years instilled in every ethnic culture.
It has now become a science and our therapy team uses it strategically to yield the best outcome in our personalised therapy plans alongside the other rehab disciplines.
Dieticians in a MDT
Therapeutic diets have become a key strategy in functional, neurological, and chronic conditions rehabilitation, with rehab dieticians playing a vital role alongside occupational therapists, physiotherapists, hands and speech therapists to form an interdisciplinary team (MDT) that works together to enhance the healing, recovery and maintenance of quality of life of patients.
Here are some relevant studies that support this concept:
Functional rehabilitation & Diet
Functional rehabilitation aims to improve a patient’s ability to perform daily activities by addressing physical, cognitive, and psychological factors. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Ageing found that a high-protein diet improved physical function and quality of life in elderly women with sarcopenia, a condition characterised by loss of muscle mass and function (Tieland et al., 2012). The study suggests that dietary interventions, in conjunction with rehabilitation, could be a useful strategy to improve functional outcomes.
Neurological rehabilitation & Diets
Neurological rehabilitation aims to improve the function of the nervous system and brain. A study published in Nutrients found that a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, may improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation in patients with neurological conditions such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury (Gasior et al., 2006). The study suggests that dietary interventions could be an effective adjunct to traditional rehabilitation approaches for neurological conditions.
Chronic condition rehabilitation & Specialised Diet
Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, require long-term management to prevent complications and improve quality of life. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that medical nutrition therapy (MNT) improved glycemic control and reduced medication use in patients with type 2 diabetes (Franz et al., 2017). The study highlights the role of dieticians in the management of chronic conditions and the importance of MNT as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation approach.
Therapeutic diets have fast becoming an important strategy in rehabilitation we can’t ignore if we are looking at a gold standard rehab plan. Dieticians play a key role in ensuring that patients receive appropriate nutrition as part of their rehabilitation program. The above studies provide evidence to support the use of dietary interventions as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation approach.
Tieland, M., van de Rest, O., Dirks, M. L., van der Zwaluw, N., Mensink, M., van Loon, L. J., & de Groot, L. C. (2012). Protein supplementation improves physical performance in frail elderly people: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 16(8), 690-696.
Franz, M. J., MacLeod, J., Evert, A., Brown, C., Gradwell, E., Handu, D., … & Robinson, M. (2017). Academy of nutrition and dietetics nutrition practice guideline for type 2 diabetes: medical nutrition therapy. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 117(9), 1637-1651.
Lifeweavers is a multi-disciplinary therapy team of highly experienced rehabilitation clinicians consisting:
We also work with rehab doctors, counsellors and links up with support groups, social prescriptions and external vendors with other specialised services or equipment to assist our clients every step of the way on their recovery journey.