Why Choose to Work with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is a healthcare professional who has at least a Bachelor’s degree and preferably a Master’s degree or Ph.D., specializing in dietary nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. Beyond two years or more of coursework, certification requires three extensive practical internships in a hospital or community setting. To practice, dietitians must pass a rigorous qualifying exam. And in North Carolina, dietitians are licensed, which ensures they comply with a professional code of ethics and practice standards. In addition, maintaining professional credentials requires ongoing study and rigorous continuing education. Registered dietitian nutritionists are the only qualified healthcare professionals who specialize in assessing, diagnosing, and treating dietary issues and medical problems that are related to or benefit from improved nutrition.

Unfortunately, too many less-qualified professionals, who may be expert in their own fields, feel comfortable handing out nutritional advice when, in fact, they do not have the scientific knowledge to back up their beliefs. The term nutritionist is not protected by law, so people with different levels of training and knowledge—such as a 6-month online course—can call themselves a “nutritionist.”  The advice they hand out may or may not be fact based. Relying on the internet and personal blogs can be risky, because the opinions offered may sound appealing but often are not backed up by rigorous scientific proof.

Choosing the right person for help and advice can be confusing. Registered dietitian nutritionists, especially those who practice functional medicine, have a broad view of dietetics, which encompasses much more than just food.  They keep up with the latest research in professional journals to form practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. Choosing a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for dietary counseling and medical nutrition therapy makes good sense because it ensures a baseline of education, ethics, professionalism, and knowledge.

Why Work with Plum Spring’s RDN, Susan Wyler?

Susan has a Master’s in Public Health and registered dietitian certification from the combined program at UNC Chapel Hill, which boasts one of the leading nutrition departments in the country.  She has a decade of experience with private nutritional counseling and maintains active participation in the dietetics practice group Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, which keeps her up-to-date with the very latest research.  She has co-authored several books that deal with the gut microbiome and chronic inflammatory and degenerative diseases, such as acid reflux (GERD) and type 2 diabetes.

Before becoming an RDN, Susan was a culinary professional for many years, so the recipes and eating plans she devises on an individual basis are delicious, not depriving. In addition to diet and lifestyle, Susan is experienced at interpreting IgG testing, which can identify food allergies and intolerances that can lead to a variety of seemingly unrelated issues. She is also a proponent of nutritional genetic testing, which can bolster wellness and aid in avoiding certain diseases states by identifying individual differences in nutrient and fat metabolism, and has been trained in genetic counseling.

Susan is a compassionate listener as well as committed collaborator — with patients and with other Plum Spring Clinic team members providing root-cause functional medicine.  Her breadth of knowledge and deep food-as-medicine skillset provide a crucial element of expertise in the holistic healing of chronic illness.