What is Nutritional Therapy?
There are many factors that influence our health, from the lifestyles we lead, the environments we live in, the genes we have inherited and, of course, what we eat and drink and breathe in. Good food clearly plays a vital role in good health, however it is not simply about what we eat. Our environment and lifestyles, our daily stresses and our habits, all have an important impact on the nutrition that our bodies need in order to cope. We may be eating healthy foods, for example, but not digesting the food properly or not even absorbing the nutrients due to some intestinal disturbance. Or we might be eating so much of a certain type of food that our bodies can no longer tolerate it, or be so lacking in certain nutrients that various systems in the body are beginning to malfunction. Nutritional Therapy therefore is very much tailored to the individual. It is about finding out what the client’s own specific needs are and then devising diet and lifestyle changes that will make a difference to them.
A consultation with a Nutritional Therapist is longer than you would typically spend with a GP. When you book an appointment, I will send you a detailed health questionnaire to fill in, providing me with your medical history and perhaps highlighting areas that need attention. This also includes a 3 day food diary.
During the initial consultation, which usually lasts 75 minutes, we will go through the questionnaire and I will explain what I think it is that is contributing to your health issues. We will then work together to agree a plan for nutritional and lifestyle changes that will suit you. I may recommend certain laboratory tests to get a clearer picture of what is going on. Sometimes tests can be done by a GP or they may need to be done by a medical laboratory and will thus incur an extra cost. Some commonly used tests are those that assess gut function, allergies or food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalances (including thyroid and adrenals). I also may recommend certain nutritional supplements if necessary. This will usually be for the short-term.
The follow-up consultation will take place 4-6 weeks after the initial visit and lasts approximately 45 minutes. For most people, one follow-up is recommended. During the follow-up, I will go through any test results and make further recommendations. This session can take place over the phone or via skype.
I also offer free support via email after the first consultation.