Nutrition Service

Transplant Team Dietitians

Nutrition is an important part of your care both before and after transplant. Your nutritional health will be assessed and goals determined in consultation with your Transplant Dietitian.

Your Transplant Dietitian is University prepared and is provincially regulated by the Nova Scotia Dietetic Association to ensure the public is receiving accurate, safe and ethical advice. Each dietitian participates annually in a continuing competency program to ensure they remain current in their field of practice.

How Dietitians can help

Dietitians can help you and your family adjust your eating habits as you prepare for a transplant. They will assess your nutritional health and muscle mass, take note of fluid retention, if any, and gather information about your eating habits, appetite and weight. You may need to either gain weight or lose weight before your transplant and there may be foods that you should either avoid or include in your diet. You may also be advised to take a nutrition drink and / or vitamin-mineral supplements.

Your dietitian will provide diet guidelines to help you stay healthy. These may vary depending on the type of organ transplant you need but will typically include a sodium restriction. The dietitian will show you how to reduce the sodium in your diet since it involves more than simply throwing away the salt shaker!

If you are questioning diet information you have found on the internet, your dietitian can help sort out whether those guidelines are reliable or right for you as an individual.

After Your Transplant

The dietitian will ensure you receive proper nutrition after surgery so you can keep your transplanted organ as healthy as possible and heal quickly. If you have questions about your menu in the hospital after transplant, ask to speak to the Diet Technician who can explain how to get the best selections from the menu to meet your appetite and needs. The Diet Technician works closely with the dietitian. If you have questions or are concerned about your nutrition status in the hospital, ask to speak with the dietitian.

A dietitian may see you in hospital, or shortly after discharge in clinic, depending on your type of transplant, to provide education and counseling on healthy eating after a transplant. This information includes heart healthy diet tips and advises eating less fat, sugar and salt and including more fibre in your diet. The dietitian can also help you achieve and stay at a healthy weight and help to decrease your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Also, information provided about diet for bone health can help you avoid osteoporosis.

Dietitians can play a large role in your long term health and are an important part of your healthcare team! Please feel free to contact them. Their contact information can be found on the contact us page.