Have you ever wondered if your nutritionist can prescribe medications, weight loss pills or lab tests? In this article, we answer that question!
First of all, in order for the nutritionist to prescribe, she must have taken the training for prescribing, otherwise she will not be able to do so because she would not have a prescriber number for the RAMQ. In addition, the patient's physician or specialized nurse practitioner must have requested a consultation with the nutritionist (individual prescription), so that she can practice these authorized exercises.
What my nutritionist can prescribe
1. Nutritional formulas, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat and water) and pancreatic enzyme solutions
Example: The nutritionist could prescribe an iron supplement to the patient if the physician had recommended meeting with a nutritionist beforehand.
If the patient does not have a family physician, for example, since the iron supplement is available at a pharmacy without a prescription, the patient could purchase it, but would have to pay taxes for the product and it would not be covered by their insurance.
2. Laboratory tests
Example: The nutritionist could order a lab test to determine if there are any deficiencies. The tests ordered by the nutritionist must be related to the determination of the patient's treatment plan.
3. Adjustment of insulin and anti-diabetic medications
However, it has to be as part of her intervention with the patient, as long as these substances are already prescribed to the client.
Example: Insulin adjustment could occur as a result of lifestyle improvements and healthy eating that have a positive impact on the patient's blood sugar.
What the nutritionist cannot prescribe
The nutritionist cannot prescribe medications or substances. This is the role of the physician or specialized nurse practitioner. As for weight loss drugs, since these are drugs/substances, the nutritionist cannot prescribe them either.
A word about weight loss medications
There are 3 medications approved by Health Canada and used for weight management in Canada. These drugs are under prescription because there are risks of many short and long term side effects and therefore there must be a follow-up by a doctor. It should be noted that the results of these medications are not guaranteed, in the sense that they do not act directly on the underlying causes of weight. Lifestyle changes are the recommended method for weight loss and long-term maintenance.
The nutritionist-dietitian is the health professional best suited to help you change your eating habits. Contact us for more information on our services!