Clinical nutrition

From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellnesspedia

Clinical Nutrition is a field of medicine that focuses on the role of diet in maintaining health, preventing and treating diseases. It involves the study of nutrients and how they are absorbed, digested, transported, metabolized, stored, and eliminated by the body.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Clinical nutrition is a science-based discipline that seeks to promote health and reduce risk of chronic diseases through the management of dietary intake. It is a vital part of patient care in hospitals and healthcare facilities, as well as in research and teaching.

History[edit | edit source]

The field of clinical nutrition has its roots in the 19th century with the discovery of vitamins and minerals. The importance of these nutrients in maintaining health and preventing diseases was recognized, leading to the development of the field.

Role in Healthcare[edit | edit source]

Clinical nutritionists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, private practices, and public health agencies. They assess the nutritional needs of patients, develop and implement nutrition programs, and evaluate and report the results. They also work with other healthcare professionals to coordinate patient care.

Nutritional Assessment[edit | edit source]

A key aspect of clinical nutrition is the nutritional assessment, which involves a detailed evaluation of a person's dietary intake, nutritional status, and energy expenditure. This information is used to develop a personalized nutrition plan.

Nutritional Therapy[edit | edit source]

Nutritional therapy in clinical nutrition involves the use of specific diets or nutritional supplements to support the body's healing process. This can include the use of enteral nutrition (tube feeding) or parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding) in patients who cannot eat or absorb nutrients normally.

Education and Training[edit | edit source]

To become a clinical nutritionist, one must typically earn a bachelor's degree in dietetics, nutrition, or a related field, followed by a period of supervised practice. Many clinical nutritionists also hold advanced degrees or certifications in specialized areas of nutrition.

Research[edit | edit source]

Research in clinical nutrition seeks to understand the relationship between diet, health, and disease. It involves the study of nutrients at the molecular, cellular, and whole-body levels, as well as the investigation of dietary patterns and food systems.

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