Nutrition Therapy: Consultation & Plan
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Your nutrition consultation & plan
When you arrive at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center, you will meet with a dietitian during your initial evaluation period. During this first visit, you will receive a full assessment to identify your daily goals for calories and protein and any current or anticipated barriers to meeting your nutritional needs.
You will also discuss your medical history to provide insight into your appetite, food preferences, the status of your digestive system, and any existing or potential complications. A full review of your dietary intake, history, and lab work will also allow us to identify micronutrients needs or inadequacies.
After the assessment, your dietitian will work with you to develop an individualized nutrition plan to complement and support your other cancer-fighting therapies. This plan will be based on your specific cancer type and stage, current or anticipated treatment, history of weight loss, micronutrient deficiencies, and nutrition impact symptoms (i.e., symptoms which affect your ability to meet your oral needs).
Throughout your care, you can choose to schedule visits with your dietitian as frequently as you need. The nutrition team is also available by phone and email. Your dietitian will closely monitor your nutrition status throughout your treatment, making modifications to your plan as needed. The goal is to keep you strong, prevent malnutrition, and help you tolerate your cancer treatments.
Ongoing nutrition assessments
Each time you visit with a dietitian, you will complete a nutrition assessment form. The Nutrition and Metabolic Support Department uses a Subjective Global Assessment (SGA).
The SGA tool allows your dietitian to monitor and evaluate your nutrition status based on the following:
- Weight changes
- Food intake
- Nutrition impact symptoms
- Functional capacity/activity
Your dietitian will then score the assessment based on an ABC scoring of well nourished, at risk, or malnourished. Your score on the assessment may correlate to your risk for malnutrition and, in conjunction with a clinical assessment, is useful in helping your dietitian determine the most appropriate therapeutic interventions.
“What we know from the literature is that patients who are well nourished tolerate treatment better and patients who are malnourished have more treatment interruptions. This gives us a tool to measure that,” says dietitian Sharon Day, Eastern’s former Director of Nutrition. Day now serves as Director of Nutrition at CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center.
Other nutrition assessment tools you may receive during your care include:
- Computerized diet profile: A three-day diet profile used to analyze your nutrient intake
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA): A test used to measure muscle mass to help determine if you are gaining the right kind of weight