What is Nutritional Therapy?
Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based complementary therapy that involves the provision of personalised nutritional advice to help an individual maximise their health potential. It examines the interaction between the macro and micronutrients in the food we eat and the effect that a deficit or surplus of these nutrients may have on our health.
Evidence shows that food and nutrition has a massive influence on our health, and research is increasingly showing how following personalised nutrition programmes can help alleviate a wide range of conditions and support recovery from illness.
It is best practiced under Functional Medicine guidelines, which allows the therapist to look holistically at symptoms to understand the connections and links that may be conspiring to contribute to health issues.
Specific requirements depend on a number of factors, ranging from genetic predispositions to lifestyle and environment. Nutritional Therapy is a process-driven modality and as such a therapist will work with each client to assess nutritional status and functional capacity in order to manage chronic health problems and advise on disease prevention.
Who can benefit from a Nutritional Consultation?
Clients often request a consultation after suffering years of ill health and after exhausting other remedies or solutions. Frequently these clients are suffering from extreme tiredness (“Tired all the Time”), digestive disorders, health issues related to poor weight management, or hormonal problems (debilitating PMS symptoms, or menopause). Similarly those suffering from autoimmune conditions, Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, skin disorders can also find their symptoms are improved by nutritional interventions.
Time is spent prior to and during the consultation to take a client’s full health history, to understand and identify potential underlying factors, as set out under Functional Medicine guidelines.
A programme for change is then created, which introduces foods and nutrients to address functional imbalances.
How does a consultation work?
Prior to a consultation each client is asked to complete a comprehensive health questionnaire detailing their family history, past and current symptoms, and lifestyle patterns.
They are also asked to complete a food diary to give an indication of their typical dietary intake. This is discussed in detail during the consultation to understand their food choices and reasons behind them, as well as their attitude and relationship with food.
The health questionnaire is discussed during the consultation to identify co-morbidities and to prioritise the issues to be addressed.
Dietary changes are then recommended, and where appropriate, biochemical testing may also be discussed. These tests can be helpful to identify underlying imbalances and to direct specific changes to diet that the client needs to make. These changes are agreed with the client to ensure they are willing to take on board the advice given, and to ensure that recommendations fit in with the client’s lifestyle demands.
Prior to the follow-up consultation our nutritional therapist maintains contact by telephone or email to check on progress and to provide support as the client introduces changes to their routine.
Depending on their circumstances, a client may need between 2-4 consultations to effect positive change.
Nutritional Therapy is a complementary therapy that can support:
- IBS and digestive disorders
- Low energy/fatigue
- Female hormone conditions (eg: PMS, menopause)
- Weight loss
- Poor immune system (frequent colds and infections)
- Skin conditions (eg: eczema, acne, psoriasis)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Sports performance