How Important Is Nutritional Assessment In Your Clinical Practice?

Nutrition is the basis of a healthy life. Without adequate nutrition, we do not have the “fuel” necessary to carry out our daily activities.

Furthermore, when a person is well nourished, they have a stronger immune system, become more resistant to diseases and exude vitality.

On the other hand, when the diet is deficient, we observe chronic tiredness, decreased vitality, lack of memory and indisposition to carry out daily tasks.

If we take a quick look at the latest data, we discover that despite record annual food production around the world, we are increasingly lacking in real nutrients.

Data from the WHO – World Health Organization reveals that, in 2022, 2.5 billion adults were overweight.

At the same time, around 149 million children around the world are stunted due to lack of adequate nutrition and another 45 million are malnourished.

In other words, we live in a true paradox, in which part of the population becomes ill due to excess nutrition and another part due to lack of nutrition.

Given this scenario, nutritional assessment plays an extremely important role not only for nutritionists and nutritionists, but for all health professionals.

Continue reading and understand how nutritional assessment can contribute to your clinical practice!

What is nutritional assessment?

Nutritional assessment is the analysis of dietary, laboratory, anthropometric and clinical studies and examinations to determine a person’s nutritional status.

This nutritional status is the representation of how much the patient’s body is supplied with the nutrients necessary to maintain their health.

It can be verified not only by the results of the exams but also by observing the person’s physical characteristics, such as excess adipose tissue or muscle weakness, for example.

Why do a nutritional assessment?

For nutrition professionals, it may seem redundant to talk about the importance of nutritional assessment. But for other health professionals, this relevance may go unnoticed. Imagine that a person arrives at your office showing tiredness, lack of libido and constant irritability.

A superficial assessment can lead to psychological diagnoses, when the reason for these imbalances may lie in the patient’s diet.

Lack of adequate nutrition affects not only physical health but also mental health. When we feel weakened, without energy to carry out our activities, we suffer mood swings.

These changes can also impact social life, leading to isolation, sadness and even depression. A drop in performance can affect work relationships, significantly impacting other areas of life, such as financial health, security and stability.

Excess or lack of nutrition also impacts other biological processes, such as sleep quality, for example. And when we don’t sleep adequately, we suffer other imbalances, such as hormonal variations.

In short, nutritional assessment can be the starting point for understanding a series of secondary problems, which worsen over time and the lack of adequate diagnosis. But, more than that, it is the most important factor in disease prevention.

What are the benefits of a well-done nutritional assessment?

As you have seen, nutritional assessment is essential for both the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases.

In this sense, by undergoing an adequate nutritional assessment, the patient has a greater chance of avoiding or mitigating health imbalances that may be forming or even manifesting in their body.

But what about the health professional, what are the benefits of carrying out this investigation?

Greater knowledge about the patient

In recent years we have heard more and more about precision medicine. This term corresponds to a reality in which all the unique characteristics of each patient are taken into consideration when proposing treatment plans.

As you might imagine, this approach is not new. Ancestral medical systems, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, already spoke of the importance of considering each person individually in order to apply more effective treatments.

But with the technology we have today, this approach can be even deeper, even investigating the genetics of each patient.

With access to this type of resource, you can propose exclusive treatments for each person, considering all the factors that impact their health.

Greater effectiveness in treatments

Another benefit that nutritional assessment can bring to your clinical practice is the increase in the effectiveness of your treatment proposals. Want an example?

Imagine a patient with diabetes mellitus. You can simply prescribe medication to control the disease. But it can also indicate dietary and lifestyle changes that enhance the results of this treatment.

In many cases, dietary and lifestyle changes become so effective that medications are dispensed with. Do you notice the difference?

Reduction of adverse effects

We know that medications can cause adverse effects and that the continuous use of some of them can harm people’s health, right?

By carrying out an adequate nutritional assessment and finding simpler and more effective treatment methods for your patients, you can reduce dependence on medications. Therefore, it helps your patients achieve better health and quality of life in a more natural way that is integrated into their reality.

Greater adherence to treatment protocols

Last but not least, by carrying out a nutritional assessment of your patients and recommending simpler and more effective treatment methods, you ensure greater adherence to your guidelines.

In other words, patients become more involved in maintaining their own health and start to adhere to a healthier diet and lifestyle. This way, your work becomes much easier and recognition for results arrives without you even realizing it.

Now that you know the importance of a nutritional assessment in your clinical practice, how about delving deeper into the subject?

Access the Nutritional Assessment specialization page and find out all the details of this postgraduate course!

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