What is Nutritional Therapy?
Nutritional Therapy is a complementary medicine that uses nutrition science and the latest evidence to optimise your health. I use food, lifestyle changes, supplements and functional tests to guide you in reaching your health goal.
Nutritional Therapy is not a ‘quick fix’ or a ‘one size fits all’. It doesn’t use fad diets. Instead we find a way together to use food and nutrition to support life-long good health and well-being.
Who is Nutritional Therapy for?
Nutritional therapy is for people who would like to take more personal control over their own health and well-being. I work with clients of all ages and with a range of health issues. Nutritional Therapy works alongside conventional medical practice to support the body and mind through nutrition. Clients are motivated to make changes to their diets and lifestyle and sometimes carry out testing to address the issues that may lie beneath their on-going health complaints.
How it works
Everyone is unique in his or her nutrition, diet and lifestyle needs. Typically I often see clients with numerous health issues that have usually developed over several years. When it comes to supporting you with nutrition, we don’t just look at food. We look at your health and wellbeing through birth to the current day. We discuss signs and symptoms, lifestyle, stress, exercise and food-related issues. It can be a challenge to change the way we eat and so I provide as much support as you need to help you during this process. For some, it might be practical tips and recipes. For others, it might be regular phone calls of encouragement and guidance. Because of this, everyone’s experience it individual. I suggest we work together for at least 3 months, working on what you eat, how you eat and lifestyle changes. In more complex cases we may work together for much longer. However, the aim is that after I have supported you, you will have reached your health goal and be able to manage your health and well-being with nutrition independently. Nutritional Therapy is about investing in yourself.
Below is a simple summary of how the Nutritional Therapy process may work in terms of stages:
Stage 1. Make your health goal
Prior to your appointment (ideally a minimum of 7 days), I ask you to complete a health questionnaire and 3-day food diary. In the first consultation I refer to your questionnaire and take a full health history, we discuss family history and current signs and symptoms. I will ask you about your typical diet, lifestyle, activity and stress levels. We also talk about any challenges you might face when making changes. I will share your dietary analysis and we will discuss this. By the end of the first session, we will decide one or two simple changes to begin with and agree on the level of support required. Typically we may then speak or email 1-2 weeks later to see how you are getting on with those simple changes.
Stage 2. Make an individual nutrition plan
In the next session, I will discuss my analysis of your case and provide further dietary changes if required. We will go at your pace so you don’t feel too overwhelmed or if you are keen to make changes quickly. Again, some clients choose to have extra email or telephone support between sessions to adapt their plan or for additional motivation. I can provide a variety of information and support: practical tips, recipes, information, help sheets, sign-posting to other professionals if required, supplement protocols if required and functional tests if desired. Tests provide a measurable insight into your health and can help to inform your protocol more specifically.
Tests are organised by myself but conducted through reputable labs. Typical examples include stool tests for digestive issues, finger prick blood tests for Vitamin D and thyroid, saliva tests for stress and fatigue, urine tests (DUTCH) for female/male hormones, and organic acid tests for a metabolic picture. Here is an explanation of Organic Acids:
“The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of a patient’s overall health with over 70 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Many people with chronic illnesses and neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The cause of these high levels could include oral antibiotic use, high sugar diets, immune deficiencies, acquired infections, as well as genetic factors. Our Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only OAT to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses. If abnormalities are detected using the OAT, treatments can include supplements, such as vitamins and antioxidants, or dietary modification. Upon treatment, patients and practitioners have reported significant improvement such as decreased fatigue, regular bowel function, increased energy and alertness, increased concentration, improved verbal skills, less hyperactivity, and decreased abdominal pain. The OAT is strongly recommended as the initial screening test.” (Quoted from: https://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/organic-acids-test/).
Stage 3. Reviewing your progress
Everyone progresses at a different rate in terms of reaching his or her health goal or goals. This depends on many factors such as the complexity of the health issues and personal challenges that lie in the way –for example, a busy, stressful lifestyle. In further sessions, we review how you are feeling and how you are getting on. These sessions are unique to you but may include tweaking your plan so that you are heading in the right direction.
Stage 4. Supporting yourself independently
After a period of support and advice from me, and diet and lifestyle changes from you, you may have reached some of your health goals and be feeling ready to continue your new diet and lifestyle without support. Sometimes it can take a few months to feel the benefits of the changes made. You can choose to book in for a follow-up session to evaluate how you are doing or talk on the phone for a ‘top-up’ of support if you feel the need.