Chronic Disease Management
Chronic Disease Management (CDM) is a big part of the work we do at Nutrition Health Experts. We collaborate with your medical team on a GP Management Plan to help you to align your diet with an approach that helps you achieve better health outcomes. Amongst many others, here are some of the main chronic disease situations and health conditions that we are asked to collaborate on:
- Diabetes, Insulin Resistance and Impaired Glucose Tolerance
- Heart Disease, Hypertension and Hypercholesterolaemia
- Fatty Liver and Hyperlipidaemia
- Asthma and weight reduction
- Osteoarthritis and weight reduction
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and infertility
- Cancer and maintaining healthy weight
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and weight reduction
- Depression, Anxiety and weight reduction
- Disability and weight reduction
- See our other services page for more information on other conditions we can help with like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Food Intolerances and Eating Disorder Recovery
If you can access a GP Management Plan, we are more than happy to provide a comprehensive nutritional assessment and the ongoing support to help you make dietary changes that will improve your health.
Making a decision to change your eating habits can be challenging, but it is important to recognise that all people who do this go through a cycle of action and inaction when it comes to behaviour change. It can be helpful to refer to the 'Cycle of Change', a model of behaviour change first devised by Prochaska and DiClemente in 1984. Knowing where you currently sit in the cycle is important to managing your chronic disease in a positive way. Leading you to lasting change is the only long-term way to move your health forward.
[CYCLE OF CHANGE IMAGE]
In their model, they describe that we start off not thinking about any change at all ('Pre Contemplation'), but then at some point in our lives, our health circumstances may change. This may create a need to change our lifestyle behaviours of concern. At this point in the cycle, we may still be undecided about actually changing the behaviours of concern ('Contemplation'). It is helpful to talk about the pros and cons of changing in the context of our health versus our entire life circumstances. Doing this may get you closer to agreeing that there may be a need for change. Your GP, practice nurse, or any allied health professional will have the skills to get you to this part of the cycle of change. When this occurs, you will advance to the stage in the cycle called 'Preparation'
'Preparation' is the part of the cycle when lifestyle changes that are required can be learned, considered, negotiated and planned for. When we arrive at this stage of change, we can start to plan, set goals and strategise your dietary choices. This means getting educated on nutrition, improving our cooking skills and changing unfavourable habits and behaviours that are upsetting your health. This is where we come in with most value. Together we can partner up to be dietary change makers in the Preparation, Action and Maintenance stages of your health. We use our dietetic skills to assess your usual eating, pick out the areas of need for improvement, negotiate changes and provide ~3 key strategies for you to focus on. Your job is to prepare your life for those changes and put them into action. The strategies we set will be negotiated to be life-long. If you don't believe you can maintain a new dietary behaviour for 3 years, then we won't recommend the strategy at all. It's a two-way conversation so that when we decide on dietary changes together, you are happy to commit to them long-term. The end result will be sustainable, life-long, healthy eating skills that suit your home life, your social life, your taste buds and your health.
Maintaining the initial change to your diet is critical. We offer follow-up consultations to keep you moving forward into the 'maintenance' stage of the cycle. With good support, you will be moving towards 'lasting change' within 1-2 years.
Behaviours of concern can be set-up over many years of habit and can be stubborn to change. Relapses do occur, and understanding these are a normal part of the behaviour-change cycle is important. When relapses occur, this is when our health can go off track from our goals. It is critical that you have a plan to monitor your health measures with your GP and their practice nurse. This will mean you are engaged with your chronic disease management plan and this allows you to re-engage with the reasons you started making lifestyle changes in the first place. You are then able to prepare for another shot at putting your knowledge into action to change those behaviours of concern and aim for lasting change this time around.
To discuss your GP Management Plan, get more information from our team or to make an appointment with our dietitians, feel free to contact us