As a fully qualified nutritional therapist I am scientifically trained to know which nutrients are needed to make the different functions and systems of your body – and brain! - work properly. I am also trained to identify which nutrients may be missing by considering your health, your diet and eating patterns and your lifestyle.
During your consultation, I will therefore be looking for patterns which suggest one or more specific nutrient deficiencies. Sometimes the clues come from more than one body system. For example, many girls and women are deficient in the mineral magnesium. This can show itself through a wide range of symptoms including anxiety, high blood pressure, constipation, low energy, sleep problems, hyperactivity, period pains, frequent urination or palpitations! Until the magnesium deficiency is corrected, people will continue to feel much less than their best.
In this case, your diet may simply be low in foods containing magnesium. However, the contraceptive pill and drinking too much tea and coffee also deplete magnesium levels. I need to consider not only the quality of your diet but also other factors which may be interfering with nutrient absorption. These can include poor digestion, food intolerances/allergies, sluggish metabolism, toxicity or unbalanced gut bacteria, for example. Poor digestion in particular is involved in many health and weight problems.
In some cases I may suggest that we test your levels of vitamins, minerals and essential fats, or look into the functioning of your liver or your level of friendly gut bacteria, so that we can be clear about what is happening. In many cases, such tests are not necessary, and we can take action immediately to correct obvious deficiencies and imbalances.
I also work with you as a unique individual to explore what may have triggered your health problems or low energy or inability to lose weight. We are all biochemically different, and the needs of one person can be very different from those of another. For example, certain people may have much higher nutrient needs: smokers, pregnant women, people who are exceptionally busy or under stress, regular exercisers, and people with specific health conditions.
This explains why you may follow the diet or supplement advice found in a newspaper or magazine and get no benefit whatsoever. The job of a nutritional therapist is to help you cut through all the conflicting advice about healthy eating and find out what’s right for you, enabling you to take positive charge of your own health.
Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
It is important to understand that a nutritional therapist cannot diagnose a medical condition. That is the job of your doctor or consultant. It is always advisable to keep your doctor informed, particularly if you are worried, or are pregnant or taking medication. I may also refer you to your doctor if I think a certain condition should be checked out medically or your doctor needs to know.
What a nutritional therapist can very often do, through analysis and testing, is identify an imbalance or deficiency which is directly causing your symptoms or making them worse, and advise you on how to correct this. That is why many people consult a nutritional therapist when they feel that for the time being they have exhausted the possibilities of conventional medicine – and very often get the results they are looking for.