Dietary ChangesDietary changes are often recommended as a way to treat or alleviate the symptoms of a variety of conditions.
Diet and nutrition have a direct impact on an individual’s health, which is why dietary changes are often recommended as part of a treatment plan for many conditions. Combined with other lifestyle shifts, such as the cessation of smoking and increased physical activity, incorporating special diets for medical conditions can greatly improve a person’s overall health and also aid in the prevention of disease.
When Are Dietary Changes Recommended?
Your doctor may recommend dietary changes for a variety of reasons, including preventing a condition from worsening, improving the symptoms of an ailment, reducing recovery time or eliminating certain conditions altogether.
The following are a few common conditions or situations for which dietary changes may be recommended:
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Heart disease
- Diabetes (especially type 2 diabetes)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Nutrition can also be used as a recommended tool in the prevention of diseases such as obesity and even cancer, and dietary changes are often the first course of action taken to treat food allergies.
What Do Dietary Changes Consist Of?
If dietary changes are being recommended for specific food allergies, then the changes will likely only consist of removing the inflammatory food or foods from the patient’s diet. To treat or prevent other conditions for which these changes are recommended, a healthcare professional may prescribe:
- Decreasing fat intake
- Reducing the intake of animal-based foods, especially red meat
- General calorie restriction guidelines
- Increasing dietary intake of whole foods like fruits and vegetables
- Restricted dietary intake of sugar
- Lowering the daily amount of sodium consumed
How Effective Are Dietary Changes?
Because dietary changes can be used as treatment or part of the treatment for a wide variety of conditions, their overall effectiveness may vary. If properly executed—especially if combined with additional healthy lifestyle changes—diet shifts can reduce the impact of some conditions, if not eliminate them entirely. Your doctor will be able to determine whether dietary changes could be useful for you, depending on individual factors and the condition at hand.
At Tampa General Hospital, medical professionals who are trained in clinical nutrition and can develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient, including the application of dietary changes if necessary.