Nutritional Therapy and Dietary Consultation
As a qualified nutritionist (first class honours), I work with clients to enable them to recognise potential triggers to poor health and optimise their nutrition to help achieve vitality, manage disease and reduce risk of disease.
Nutrition and health: an introduction
Nutrients and other food components may influence the function of the body, protect against disease and help restore health. Under certain circumstances and in some individuals, diet can be a serious risk factor for a number of diseases (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy 2015). Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutritional science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care.
I recognise that every individual is biochemically unique and has different dietary needs due to differing lifestyles, genetic background, current disease/ risk of disease, metabolic type and stress.
As a nutritional therapist I recognise the functional medicine model which recognises that all the systems in the body (e.g. hormonal, musculoskeletal, digestion, energy production, detoxification and immune system) are interlinked and have a profound impact on each other. Many diverse symptoms may actually have a link. Looking at your current and previous medical history, test results from your GP (if you have any) and functional lab test results (if necessary) I hope I may help you uncover and understand the underlying triggers and perpetuators of your symptoms. I also hope I may help educate you so that you may provide the nutritional support required to support and optimise the underfunctioning systems in your body and promote health. You may discover for example that identifying your food intolerances may reduce your eczema, asthma and low mood.
In negotiation with you and other healthcare professionals involved in your care, I aim to recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes to enhance your health and well-being.
What to expect from a nutritional therapy session
Prior to attending your consultation I will send you a comprehensive nutritional questionnaire to complete which will help provide some background information on your health, lifestyle and diet.
The nutritional therapy consultation
Aim to allow 2 hours for the consultation which will include:
I will endeavour to understand your needs/goals, assess your motivation levels and help you set realistic goals.
We will discuss your health, diet, lifestyle, family health, physical activity, stresses, medications and supplements from pre-conception to current day (don’t worry, this won’t take as long as it sounds!). Your health history will provide valuable clues to your current signs, symptoms and general condition.
I will try and help you to understand what may be happening in your body and why it may be behaving as it does. Using evidence based medicine we will discuss which dietary and lifestyle changes may optimise your health and help you achieve your goals.
Negotiations and programme development
Finally we will discuss the potential use of testing to help to clarify your condition and then negotiate/develop a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle strategies (and possible) supplements to help optimise your health.
A follow-up consultation lasting an hour is recommended to evaluate the efficacy and negotiate modifications to the initial programme.
A dietary consultation and implementation plan would take into account your:
- Family history of disease and therefore your individual risk of disease (and dietary intervention strategies).
- Health history
- Medication history
- Current illness/disease/stresses
- Caloric requirements based on activity levels
- Individual goals
- Risk of disease based on any relevant laboratory tests and their results
- Food intolerances/allergies
- Taking into account your food preferences I would derive a diet plan that may help you to meet your goals, optimise your health and reduce your risk of disease.
Eating healthily may help with:
- Weight management
- Reducing risk of managing disease such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes
- Managing diseases such as depression, ADHD, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS) and other stomach and intestinal disorders, auto immune disease (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis etc.), respiratory conditions e.g. asthma), chronic fatigue syndrome/ ME, cancer etc.
- Managing allergies/food intolerances
- Longevity-healthy aging
- Supporting your genetic makeup and your health overall
As a functionally-medicine trained nutritional therapist I am always interested in the root cause of disease and how to optimise health. Excitingly, genetic testing has recently become available in the UK and provides valuable insights into just this. The genetic tests I recommend only screen genes related to health and disease which are modifiable by diet and lifestyle.
The structure and the functioning of your physical body is a product of your genetic make-up and the environment you expose it to e.g. diet, stress, infection. Common dietary chemicals can influence your genetic material and alter its expression or structure, and are key in playing a play a role in the onset, incidence, progression, and/or severity of chronic diseases. Dietary intervention based on knowledge of nutritional requirement, nutritional status, and genotype (which the test results provide) can be used to help prevent or moderate chronic disease. Experience as a nurse, registered nutrigenetic councillor and nutritional therapist enables me to advise you on relevant genetic tests, interpret functional lab test and genetic test results and recommend dietary and lifestyle choices to support your individual genetic makeup and help reduce risk of symptoms, disease and health. (Read more on Genetic Testing)
The functional medicine approach assumes that all the body’s systems are interrelated and, although divided into six key areas, each system has an overlap with the others.
These areas are:
1. Gastrointestinal Health (managing irritable bowel syndrome, bowel disease and digestive symptoms)
The healthy digestive tract performs many functions and is key to overall health. These functions include… (read more)
2. Mood Health (irritability, anxiety, low mood, depression, mood swings)
Your mood health is dependent on many factors which includes family history of mental health issues, genetic make-up, diet and lifestyle factors, neurotransmitter production and function is key to mood health… (read more)
3. Hormones (cortisol, stress response, inflammation, male and female sex hormone imbalance, hypothyroidism)
Communication in the body is achieved via molecules called hormones which are secreted by cells in one part of the body, which travel throughout the blood stream and impact on distant cells, organs or systems. Hormones (including oestrogen, progesterone, insulin, cortisol and thyroxine) impact on mood and behaviour, energy levels, growth, menstrual cycle, immune system, appetite, weight gain… (read more)
4. Cardiovascular Health (high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, atherosclerosis)
The cardiovascular system comprised of the heart, blood vessels and blood is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, hormones, cellular waste products throughout the body and for helping maintain body temperature and pH balance… (read more)
5. Immune System Health (fighting infection, leaky gut syndrome, histamine and salicylate intolerance, enzyme deficiencies, food allergies and intolerances, auto-immune disease)
The body’s ability to interact with the world around it and remain healthy is largely reliant on the healthy functioning of your immune system… (read more)
6. Energy Balance (fatigue, energy dips, regulating energy via blood sugar levels, weight management)
Energy levels throughout the day are regulated by the type of food we eat and the regularity with which we eat, activity levels and our genetic make-up… (read more)