You may want to ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian or a nutritionist for specific advice and guidance. A registered dietitian (R.D.) has academic and accredited internship experience, has successfully passed the national credentialing exam and maintains ongoing continuing education and professional development in accordance with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Dietitians may refer to themselves as nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians. The terms "nutritionist" and "dietitian" are often incorrectly used interchangeably.
You can also find a registered dietitian through the Dietitians of Canada. And remember to check your health plan to determine whether it provides coverage for a dietitian's services.
A dietitian or nutritionist can:
- Develop an eating plan that meets your needs
- Help you manage changes in appetite and weight
- Help you deal with treatment side effects
- Advise you about foods, vitamins, herbs and supplements
- Develop a personalized cancer survivorship wellness plan
Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian if you're not eating or drinking enough for extended periods. The dietitian can help with tube feedings of prescribed supplements high in calories and protein until you can resume normal eating. Patients who have had a stem cell transplant generally receive nutrition intravenously.
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free fact sheet, Food and Nutrition Facts.