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The Value of Support from a Dietitian specialising in Brain Injury
A Dietitian is an expert in medical nutrition therapy and translates scientific nutrition information into dietary advice. A Dietitian can provide a wide range of services including individual dietary counselling, nutrition therapy, group dietary therapy and food service management.
A Dietitian promotes health and treatment of illness by promoting optimal nutritional intake for the individual. They can assist a person to create a tailored meal plan that supports their brain function and physical health by assessing food intake, lifestyle and eating behaviours.
Following brain injury, it may be important for a person to review their food habits to best assist in their recovery and management of their brain injury. This can involve learning new food related skills and acquiring better understanding of the relationship between food and wellbeing. Individualised advice and support assist the person manage this within their capacity and according to their resources.
Dietitian Services at Brain Injury SA (BISA)
At BISA, our dietitian specialises in brain injury and nutrition, working collaboratively with the interdisciplinary team to best assist participants acquire the skills and knowledge to improve their nutritional intake and health. This may be a once-off assessment or could involve ongoing input and support from a dietitian. Dietary intervention is also delivered in a group format to increase awareness of healthy eating, boost confidence in food knowledge and preparation skills and provide opportunity for social interaction.
Our dietitian works closely with speech pathologists in the management of dysphagia for the safety and wellbeing of the participant. Collaboration with psychologists is often appropriate, enhancing mental health due to the potentially significant impact of brain injury on the gut-brain relationship.
The range of services BISA dietitian can provide include but not limited to:
- Nutrition post-brain injury, focusing on key essential nutrients for optimal brain recovery
- Prevention or correction of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies
- Weight management (weight gain, loss or maintenance)
- Improving gut health
- Prevention and management of constipation/diarrhoea
- Improving fatigue
- Increasing food variety in fussy/selective eater
- Mindful eating
- Intuitive eating
- Enteral nutrition (NGT, PEG or PEJ)
- Cooking class
- Supermarket tour (learning how to read food labels and bringing healthy food back home)
- Prevention and dietary management of chronic disease