In this blog, we chat with Deepti Loomba, who is a primary care dietitian supporting a PCN in Haverings, in London.
Deepti has a wide range of experience as a dietitian, and her current interest and specialties lie in Bariatric surgery, weight management, gut health and women's health.
Question: How long have you been working as a dietitian in weight management? What were some of your very first roles and experiences in the field?
I have been working in weight management for over 5.5 years and have thoroughly enjoyed supporting a wide range of complex obesity conditions. My first role was when I was a student and I worked in Birmingham Heartlands Obesity and Bariatric Centre, I loved my experience and knew this was the area I wanted to specialise in. It was a valuable experience as this helped me to gain an overview of the key variables that has a part to play towards supporting an individual living with obesity, for example psychology of eating, mobility, weight loss medications, social environment, accessibility to outdoor areas, this translates towards the importance of using the current research and evidence for example the foresight report and the need of a multi-disciplinary team in supporting patients through their weight loss journey. I also worked in other areas such as a GP setting, where I led and managed my own clinic and reviewed patients to support them with weight loss and or with diabetes remission, aligned with improving their nutritional status.
I did this role in combination with a private setting, where individuals received a health 'MOT employee check' from their dietitian and used the state-of-the-art advances in anthropometrics, blood test analysis and to work on improving their health outcomes, secondary to weight with me through their consultations.
I also enjoyed working within a digital health care environment, where I led weight management contracts and worked closely within our specialised team. I led one to one supervision, organised MDT meetings and supported with my team with complex obesity cases of patients. I supported with training, shared my knowledge and worked on quality improvement projects. Our team consisted of dietitians, health coaches, nutritionist, exercise therapist, psychologist and obesity physician.
What does a typical day look like for you in your role?
I allocate time in the morning to review the patients I have booked into my calendar for example, the reason of referral, patient's clinical history and recent medical notes, medications as well as biochemistry results. If I am reviewing a patient, that I have supported before, I will do a quick recap and read through our most recent summarised notes in the morning.
I then start consulting with my patients through virtual consultations and I keep this patient focused. I make sure their main queries and concerns are spoken about and a dietary assessment is completed aligned with patient needs. I see a mixed range of patients with varied clinical conditions, some of these are nutritional support, gut health, weight loss, nutritional deficiency management, dyslipidaemia ( cardiac health), coeliac disease.
I enjoy working with patients and sharing information around the clinical condition, the role of nutrition in improving health outcomes and formulating a plan together. I tend to have clinics packed with a mixed range of clinical conditions of patients that I get to support, which makes this very rewarding and varied!
Out of my clinical time, I am in meetings with Primary Care as part of our CPD, I attend meetings with my GP organisation for updates and I also stay up to date with recent guidelines, research and reflect upon my clinical cases. Our team has been growing and so recently I am supporting my colleague into her new role, as she will be working with me in our GP Organisation. These meetings have been around sharing tips, resources and providing useful contacts, as well as providing structure into her clinical calendars.
What are some common issues or struggles you see patients dealing with when it comes to losing weight or keeping it off?
Some common issues, I see is when patients would like to see their weight loss to be quicker at the beginning or when they are concerned that their weight trajectory is slowing down. It is so important for individuals to have various health markers and are intrinsically motivated to understand their reasons of wanting to improve their health. It is also, important to accept body physiology and stress, weight loss may not always translate to 'quick wins' or 'rapid weight loss' we discuss short terms vs long term benefits in these conversations.
How do you measure success with patients - is it solely weight loss or are there other important factors too?
Although weight measurements is an outcome that is reviewed, an individuals weight is not the sole indicator of someone's health as this does not take into account the other important health markers that can improve some one's quality of life. Some examples of this can be waist measurements, biochemistry markers (LDL, HDL, TG levels), changes in the uptake of their current medications, improvement in hba1c or bms and feeling as if they have more energy making day to day tasks simpler. These other variables highlight the importance of providing individualised care that represents a higher depth of conversation and also more desirable outcomes.
Interested to learn more about what Deepti does, or how to be a dietitian specialising in weight management? Contact us here!