How can I find a qualified nutrition/dietetic professional?
Log on to www.indi.ie and select find a dietitian on the left of the homepage.
How will I know if the dietitian/clinical nutritionist I attend is professionally qualified to deal with my medical condition?
The Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute (INDI) is the professional organisation for registered dietitians/ clinical nutritionists in Ireland. Founded in 1968, the Institute represents clinical nutritionists/dietitians throughout Ireland as well as having members world-wide.
All professional medically qualified dietitians and clinical nutritionists in Ireland are members of the INDI and carry the initials MINDI after their name.
Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated, and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Dietitians with the initials MINDI are the only nutrition professionals approved by private health insurance companies.
What Is The Difference Between a Qualified Dietitian/Clinical Nutritionist & a “Nutritional therapist”?
To try to describe the difference between these titles and qualifications is futile, as essentially there is NO COMPARISON at all between a real dietitian (with a 4-5 year honours degree, post graduate qualification or PhD from a recognised University) and the training of a nutritional therapist.
In the words of the infamous stand-up comedian Dara O’Briain (who attended University College, Dublin (U.C.D.), where he studied mathematics and theoretical physics, before embarking on his TV presenting & stand-up career)
“a dietitian is to a nutritionist, what a dentist is to a toothiologist!”
Or check out Dara O’Briain’s video here (entitled “Science doesn’t Know Everything”) on the topic of credentials of health professionals! (**Warning!! This clip is not for the faint hearted!)
Check out this blog post by Canadian registered dietitian Kate Park RD, CDE, MAN, BASc
Here’s what the British Dietetic Association has to say: “British Dietetic Association Urges Awareness of the difference Between Dietitians and Nutritional Therapists (January 2012)”
Click here to see the Daily Mail article, published Feb 2012 regarding the danger of attended a nutritional therapist.
Is the title of ‘Dietitian’ protected by law?
In 2014, the titles of Dietitian & Registered Dietitian will finally be legally protected in Ireland. CORU is the body responsible for statutory regulation of all healthcare professionals in Ireland. Log on to www.CORU.ie to check that your healthcare practitioners are qualified and registered.
In the UK the title Dietitian is also protected by the Health Professions Council so that only qualified practitioners who have met the education requirements can use the title dietitian. The title nutritionist or nutrition therapist is less defined, and is not protected. This means that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, and as it so happens, they frequently do!
Why choose an MINDI dietitian?
MINDI dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Uniquely, dietitians use the most up to date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease, which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. Importantly these dietitians are covered by professional indemnity insurance, and work under a strict code of practice, ethics and confidentiality.
How long does a private consultation last?
The initial appointment lasts approx 1 – 1 ¼ hours
Follow up / review consultations last for approx. ½ hour
How much does it cost to see a dietitian?
The fee charged by qualified dietitians will vary depending on the nature of the consultation, the length of the consultation, the diagnosis, the number of visits which will be required, and the number of years of experience of your dietitian.
Click here for our consultation fees.
Can I claim back a portion of the consultation fees through my private health insurance?
YES. Niamh is a member of the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic institute, and is approved by all the major health insurers in the Irish Market. Up to 50% of the fee (per visit) can be claimed back.
Do I need a letter of referral from my GP or consultant?
No you do not need a letter of referral from your doctor or consultant, however some doctors will give you a letter with medical background, diagnosis, and desired treatment plan which they recommend for you. Your GP may also send blood results to the dietitian in advance of your initial consultation, which is very useful – such as Full blood count, HbA1C & Glucose tolerance test results (for diabetics), Thyroid or liver function tests, Fasting lipid profile, Immunglobulin levels (for allergy patients), or IAG urinalysis result for people on the Autism Spectrum.
You or your GP/consultant may download a referral form (see GP & Healthcare professional section of this site) which can be completed and brought with you to your first appointment.
If I have not been referred, will my doctor be informed that I have been to see a dietitian?
Only if it is your expressed wish and that you give your consent for such a summary report/letter to be sent to GP or consultant. It is very beneficial to your overall health & wellness that your dietitian works closely with other health professionals that you attend, but this will be discussed with you at the initial consultation, and ultimately it is your choice.
Do qualified dietitians offer food allergy and intolerance testing?
In a word, NO we do not. There are a huge number of inaccurate “food allergy & intolerance tests” being offered to members of the public on a daily basis. Have you ever asked yourself why they are so expensive, heavily marketed, and why no-one seems to be discharged without a long list of so-called allergies or intolerances?!! If you fork out a substantial amount of money for such a test in the strong belief that you have a food allergy or intolerance the last thing you are likely to accept is a clean bill of health! In the vast majority of cases there is little or no scientific basis to such tests. Any improvement you may feel as a result of any such diagnosis or subsequent restrictive diet is at best chance, or may even be the ‘placebo effect’. If you feel unwell and have genuine symptoms of what you think may be an adverse reaction to one or more foods, you should always seek the advice of your family doctor first. This is particularly true if you have gastrointestinal symptoms (such as altered bowel habit, diarrhoea, constipation, pain, cramps, bloating, nausea or rectal bleeding) as these symptoms may be passed off by an alternative practitioner as an ‘intolerance’, but may in fact be something far more serious which needs to investigated thoroughly by a qualified medical doctor. If a true food allergy is suspected, especially in infants and young children, appropriate validated medical tests can be carried out, with referral to appropriate consultants if necessary (such as a paediatrician, dermatologist or immunologist). In the meantime here’s an excellent leaflet produced by the British Dietetic Association which may save you quote a few ‘bob’ if you are considering going down the unorthodox and dubious food allergy/intolerance route! You have been warned! Good luck!