The end of May is always exciting for students. Graduation is finally here and many are starting to plan their next steps with either internships, graduate school or jobs. Toni Tirozzi from Central Mass Dietetic Association’s (CMDA) and a student at Framingham State University might already be ahead of this process, but we are excited to read below her review from a seminar in mid-April.
Seminar Review: Nutrition 101 for Thyroid Conditions: What Every RD Should Know hosted by CMDA
Article written by Toni Tirozzi
A 28-year-old female, one year post a total thyroidectomy, goes to a dietitian for insidious weight gain. Despite rigorous physical activity and a decreasing caloric intake, anxiety and difficulty sleeping, being prescribed diverse medications by physicians, and transferred to an endocrinologist, there seems to be no budge with her body. She decided to take matters into her own hands and scoured popular literature, reviewing several research methods and treatment plans, to try to find a glimmer of hope. Three years later, she built enough information and drafted a colleague physician to build a specialized treatment plan. Seven years later, she got her body back.
Nicole Anziani, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist shared how her own experiences led her to specializing in the management of thyroid conditions with the hope of preventing other patients from experiencing a similar occurrence.
Society’s idea that if one eats healthy and is physically active, there should be no disconnect with the body. Yet, this is not always the case. There is a vast importance as a dietitian in understanding the sensitive effects the thyroid can have on one’s body. Learning to assess biochemical labs and being attuned to the role of the thyroid in the body can help the dietitian gain knowledge and awareness, and the patient feel like there is a supportive, well-informed, and wise ally on their side.
Anziani addressed some challenges to treatment based on labs and the controversy with non-normative TSH levels, how medications, both generic and brand name, can affect the body differently, along with being attentive to signs and symptoms. She described differences in treatment plans between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, along with a key feature on the etiology of thyroid cancer. Anziani stressed the value of having an open mind and thinking outside the box. A dietitian’s most powerful tool is being able to personalize a plan and all the while are guided by evidence-based practice and guidelines.
Anziani had a plethora of knowledge and guidance she was eager to share. Her presentation was informative and engaging and could clearly hear in her voice the empathy and compassion she had towards promoting awareness in thyroid conditions. For more information, check out Anziani’s book, The Health Professional’s Guide to Nutrition Management of Thyroid Disease; the first peer-reviewed, American Thyroid Association physician-reviewed, and evidence-based practice guidebook to instruct dietitians and allied healthcare professionals on MNT for thyroid disease, published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2020. The book is available from eatrightSTORE.org and Amazon.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram @thyroidnutritionist: https://www.instagram.com/thyroidnutritionist/
Toni Tirozzi, Framingham State University Student, Major: Food and Nutrition Minor: Public Health. Her goals include one day becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a focus in Pediatric and Community Nutrition and starting a community garden.
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