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“Nutritionist vs Dietician” by Michelle Kaminer from The Good Health Shop

At fifty-mumble and a half, I have worked around ill health for 33 years. My first job was in a pharmacy and it was here I started learning that there’s a pill for every ill and a potion for every emotion; until my child got sick we hit a dead-end with western medicine. He was misdiagnosed and traumatised by treatments and I had no option but to begin looking at what was available in the wider world. The more I explored, the harder it became to work in a chemist. Script after script with the exact same medicines for all the patients the doc saw that morning; drugs that clearly worked against each other and unnecessary meds were only the tip of the iceberg. Within the framework of the pharmacy I started exploring supplements and nutrition and discussing with the customers/patients, most of whom were receptive and, hearing it for the 1st time, keen to experiment. The more popular these ‘chats’ became with the customers, the less popular I became with the pharmacist and other staff, until it was finally time to leave and do it for and by myself. And the rest, as they say, is history. 9 years later and The Good Health Shop is still going strong. Born from the need in a community seriously lacking in HealthCare (but with an abundance of Sickness Care) I have trained as a Sclerologist in order to have some tools to assess why people’s health fails. Ongoing training for myself, as well as Lu and Rosalie, has us all equipped to deal with health concerns across the spectrum. We believe in Education and the power that knowledge brings us in the quest for Good Health.

Many people mistakenly use the terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” interchangeably. Although these two professions are undoubtedly related, my personal view is that nutritionists are under the healthcare umbrella, while dietitians are a part of the sickness industry. How do I get to make that statement?

 

A dietitian is a professional who is regulated by law and holds a degree in dietetics. Dietitians work closely with GPs and GPs often refer their patients if there is an indication of diabetes, obesity, anorexia or high cholesterol. They give dietary advice and develop special-needs diets. Dietitians may work in a hospital environment where special feeding such as tube feeding is required.

 

Dietitians place high importance on calorie counting and often set their patients meal plans according to calories consumed per day. Dietitians would, for example, recommend sugar-free food and drinks to a diabetic patient. Dietitians generally use food supplements in the case of obvious deficiency.

 

Nutritional Therapists see food in the context of healing, and each patient as an individual. Certain choices like artificial sweeteners are recognised as toxic and never recommended, even to diabetic patients. Nutritionists use diet, nutraceuticals, functional foods, nutritional supplements and detoxification to help people regain or maintain maximum health.

 

Optimally drug-free in nature, nutritionists follow the science that every cell in the body has the ability to heal itself and it is a non suppressive approach. Nutritional therapists see their all their patients as unique, all with individual dietary and nutritional needs. They believe that health is not just the absence of disease but the presence of physical, mental and emotional well being. They are interested in helping their patients retain or take back optimal health and not just prevent deficiency diseases.

 

People who seek nutritionists have taken responsibility for their health and this makes patient compliance a lot easier.
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