Your Dietitian works with the multidisciplinary team to optimise your care.
You can obtain advice on your nutritional requirements from your dietitian. Our specialist dietitians can:
- Give you advice about any changes in your diet that you may need to make.
- Check your body weight and make sure that your proportion of fat to muscle is appropriate.
- Advise you on any dietary changes you may need to make if you are ill.
- Give you advice on food safety.
- Make sure your diet is fulfilling all your individual nutritional requirements.
- Give you advice about your diet if you are experiencing metabolic changes due to your HIV treatment.
- Regularly check your body weight and ensure that the proportion of fat to muscle is appropriate.
- Advise you on any dietary changes you may need to make if you become ill.
- Help you avoid food poisoning.
- Offer advice on symptom control, such as how to manage changes in taste caused by medication.
- Give advice for managing conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidaemia (high levels of fat in the blood) and poor absorption of food.
- Give advice on your nutritional requirements during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
- Help you identify and manage any food allergies and intolerances.
- Advise you on your nutrition needs based on your exercise levels or sporting activity.
- Provide information and advice on the use of vitamins and minerals and complementary therapies.
Our dietitians can assess muscle and fat distribution. If these tests are done regularly your dietitian may be able to spot changes in weight and body composition before you do. However, you may be the first to notice changes in your weight or body shape – for instance, if your clothes become too loose or tight. These may be important times to talk to your dietitian about making changes to your diet or exercise.
Please refer to the NAMwebsite for further information on the role of your Dietitian and healthy eating in HIV: http://www.aidsmap.com/Dietitians/page/2029283/
Your Dietitian will also be supporting students and staff in their training and development in addition to developing the HIV Dietetic service.
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Your Dietitian will provide tailored care and support at all Consultant and specialist clinics.
The Dietitian will perform an active role in assessing, monitoring and optimising your health through your attendance at regular clinic, including:
- Annual Health Clinic
- Family Clinic
- General clinic
- Virtual clinic
The Dietitian will be present in the following clinics to provide support alongside your specialist Consultant:
- Metabolic Clinic
- Renal Clinic
- Liver clinic
The HIV clinics are further supported by other specialist clinics that you can be referred into where appropriate.
This is a specialist clinic to assist you with making practical changes and optimising metabolic medications
The clinic appointment will consist of a joint session between the specialist HIV Consultant, the Endocrinologist and the specialist Dietitian
Patients typically attend this clinic who are either Diabetic, have uncontrolled high cholesterol, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, are at high risk of developing Diabetes or heart disease
Documenting Your Diet
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You’ll be asked to keep records of how, when and what you eat, and in particular think about the following:
- Food diary to complete online
- Set specific goals for optimal nutrition through ensuring the inclusion and modification of foods
- Follow-on from clinic assessment only and to be monitored in clinic
- Activity levels and exercise
- Supplement use
Responding to Your Feedback
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100 people completed our most recent survey, ‘Heartlands HIV Dietitians service review – what kind of service do you want?’
They were mostly men (71%) with the most common age being 36-45 years
So if you feel that you were not represented, it’s not too late! You can have your say by completing the survey by clicking here.
So what did we find?
85% had seen the dietitian at Heartlands HIV clinic
93% were happy with the existing set up of seeing the dietitian in clinic
But there were still loads of suggestions on how we can improve, and we will share them with you here. Watch this space!
- Booked clinics for fixed appointments, e.g. regular FU for a specific goal
You look for meal ideas mainly on recipe websites, health websites and recipe books amongst other resources.
Here are links to some useful healthy recipe websites:
Diabetes UK – Diabetes UK provides hundreds of recipes which are suitable for individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Using this site you can find recipes by searching a main ingredient, selecting the type of meal you’re looking for or selecting a special diet such a low sugar or vegetarian. The recipes on this site can also be used for weight loss by choosing the lower calorie options.
Heart UK – Heart UK provides healthy recipes which can be followed to reduce cholesterol levels and for weight loss. The site contains a variety of recipes including main meals, breakfast ideas and healthier options of puddings & desserts. Also available, are resources and menu plans which provide you with practical food swaps you can make to reduce your cholesterol intake and methods of including more cholesterol lowering foods in your diet.
British Heart Foundation Healthy Eating toolkit – Ever wondered what one portion of fruit looks like? Why not check you’re getting your 5 portions per day by using the BHF’s portion finder. In addition to this, the BHF recipe search feature allows you to filter a search by dietary requirements, cuisine, meal type, cooking time and medical conditions to find recipes which are most suited to you.
BBC Pregnancy – This site provides advice on nutrition for pregnancy and explains which foods should be avoided to keep you and your baby well. The site contains over 5000 recipes, suitable for a variety of occasions and taste preferences.
BBC Snacks for under 100 calories – New guidelines recommend children should be limited to having two 100calorie snacks per day. This site contains some quick and easy 100 calorie snack ideas suitable for children and adults trying to loose weight.
Please visit the HIV Dietitians’ website for further and specific dietary information and access to resources.