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What is Nutritional Therapy?
Have you ever suffered chronic health problems like digestive disorders, fatigue, skin problems, hormonal imbalances, stress, anxiety and depression? Have you been through the whole process of seeing your GP or a specialist and be told that you are healthy even though you feel unwell? May be you have lived with irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome and mood swings for so long so you think it’s normal. You simply have forgotten what it’s like to feel good. I am sure that you have a job, a relationship, a family but it’s a struggle because of the way your body makes you feel.
I've been there myself and I know that there is something "out there" that can unveil the cause of your health problems and treat your disease in a gentle yet effective way. It is called Nutritional Therapy.
Nutritional therapy combines science (biochemistry and nutrition) with naturopathy (natural, drug-free medicine) in order to return the patient to a state of good health. Nutritional therapy is wholistic because it is designed to treat the body as a whole - curing the causes of problems, not just the symptoms as is too often the case in conventional medicine.
Our bodies are amazing and have tremendous power to heal if they have the correct building blocks. Supporting the body's systems with the correct nutrients will allow its own healing mechanisms to flourish. The very best place to obtain these nutrients in the correct ratios and forms is whole real unprocessed foods or using food based supplements from reputable sources.
Nutritional therapy practitioners in order to determine a person’s nutritional needs use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual's symptoms and health concerns.
Therapeutic tools a nutritional therapist may use to help clients include:
- Identifying and countering reactions to commonly eaten foods
- Using functional diagnostic tests through professional laboratories
- Improving digestion and the absorption of nutrients
- Correcting nutritional deficiencies or excesses
- Creating individual supplement and dietary plans
- Encouraging good life-long dietary and lifestyle habits
- Creating personalised weight loss programmes according to the needs and lifestyle of every client
What Conditions can Nutritional Therapy help with?
Nutritional Therapy may help with chronic health problems including:
- Allergies and food intolerances – gluten, diary, etc.
- Digestive problems e.g. chronic constipation or diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, bloating, excess flatulence, abdominal discomfort, ulcers and Candida
- Joint and muscle pain
- Sleep problems
- Blood sugar imbalances e.g. sugar or carbohydrate cravings, lack of energy, afternoon drowsiness, poor concentration, insulin resistance and hypoglycaemia
- Immune dysfunction e.g. frequent colds, sore throats and chest infections, chronic fatigue syndrome and auto-immune diseases.
- Hormonal problems e.g. menopausal symptoms, premenstrual problems (PMS), thyroid problems, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis and PCOS.
- Lack of energy and vitality e.g. chronic fatigue, or generally feeling low in energy and tired all the time.
- Depression and post-natal depression
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Weight problems – weight gain or loss
- Childhood illnesses such as eczema, asthma, hyperactivity, behavioural problems, autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and learning difficulties
Unfortunatelly in our daily lives we often forget that food is our primary source of nutrients that actually nourish every cell of our bodies, feed all the organs, support all vital processes and that food must not be veiwed just as source of pleasure for the taste buds. As we forget that we tend to eat foods that are not nourishing to our bodies and actually steal vital nutrients from it and create nutritional imbalances. An example of an “imbalance” would be the diet of a person who consumes too many omega 6 fatty acids and not enough omega 3 fatty acids. This imbalance can contribute to variety of issues related to inflammation, skin problems and even depression. Another example would be someone who is deficient in a particular nutrient such as iron and as a result has symptoms of fatigue or a slow metabolism. Someone with food intolerances can have imbalances that show as inflammation in the digestive tract and poor nutrient absorption.
Nutritional imbalances can cause further imbalances in endocrine function, immune function and the cardiovascular and detoxification systems in the body. The first step in nutritional therapy is to address the six foundations in regards of diet, digestion, blood sugar regulation, essential fatty acids, minerals and hydration and work towards correcting imbalances so that your body can run more efficiently and function better. A balanced body will reward you with more energy, a sound night’s sleep, resistance to illness and a better quality of life.