What to Expect From a Nutritional Assessment
When you see a nutritionist that practices according to the Functional Medicine model the initial assessment will follow an ABCD process. This stands for:
A – Anthropometrics
B – Biomarkers
C – Clinical indicators
D – Diet assessment
The first thing the nutritionist will do is take some anthropometrical measurements. This is to establish where you are starting from and to establish what conditions you may be at risk of getting. The anthropometrical measurements your nutritionist will take include height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist to hip ratio, BMI and body fat percentage.
This will include some blood work but may also include other markers that your nutrition may want to look at. The nutritionist is looking for macronutrient status – signs of protein, fat and carbohydrate intake and whether you are deficient, sufficient or over consuming. Simple markers such as albumin, cholesterol and triglycerides can give an indication of macronutrient status. The nutritionist is also looking for signs of vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient status.
Clinical indicators are established from a head to toe physical examination. It is beyond the scope of this article to outline all the clinical indicators but one example is xerosis of the skin. This could indicate essential fat, zinc, vitamin A, C and B vitamin deficiency. This is clinical exam is not diagnostic but adds support for what you find in the other parts of the assessment.
As part of the diet assessment you need you client to produce a 3 day diet recall. The nutritionist will then establish the following:
- Is the patient getting enough protein, fat or carbohydrate in their diet?
- Are they getting the right type of each of these macronutrients?
- Are they absorbing their food?
- Do they have an increased or decreased need for any of these macronutrients based on genetic variation?
- Is the patient consuming enough vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in their diet?
- Are they absorbing these nutrients properly?
- Do they have an increased needs based on a genetic variation or increased loss?
Once the nutritionist has assessed the diet recall to establish the answers to these questions they can start to make dietary recommendations for you to reach your goals.
For more information about getting a clinical nutritional assessment contact Steve Hines at Nutrition Wandsworth. Appointments can be made at their London based clinic.