When I see you for your first appointment I first find out what you’d like to achieve by coming to see me. I then carry out a full assessment and then move on to giving advice and formulating a treatment plan with you.
The sort of things I might ask about in my assessment include:
- Medical history – what, if any, medical and mental health problems you have, when they started and how they are managed, including what medicines you take. Bowel-related problems are particularly important to report.
- Social history – who you live with, what you do for a living, and how this affects your diet and health.
- Medical nutrition history – do you have any diagnosed medical nutrition problems such as Coeliac disease, allergies or tube feeding. If so how are these managed.
- Diet history – what the problems are and what you think the reasons for these are. To get an idea of your current diet, I will often ask for a diet diary – a record of all you eat and drink for three to seven days, with added details about when and with whom you ate, plus any feelings or reactions to food if its relevant. I may use dietary analysis software to analyse your diet.
- Eating and feeding behaviour history – for children with feeding problems, I will want to know all about when the problem started, and what mealtimes are like now – I might ask for a video clip of a mealtime. For adults with emotional eating problems we will spend a lot of time talking about the emotional side of eating.
- Weight / growth – I will also, if relevant, measure your weight and height, and for children compare this to their previous growth on growth charts.
Once I’ve collected all the information I need I’ll be able to let you know whether your diet and (if it’s appropriate to the reason you came to see me) weight are on track, and my take on your dietary issues – ‘my nutritional diagnosis’.
I can then advise you on any changes needed, or help you come to your own conclusions as to any changes needed. Together we can then set some goals to work towards before the next session.
After the session, I summarise all we have covered in a report which I email to you and copy to any other professionals involved, such as your GP.