Not sure if nutritional therapy is right for you?
I sometimes get asked what nutritional therapy is, how it works and what working with a nutritional therapist is like. So, if you are curious, here is a bit about my approach to nutritional therapy.
What is nutritional therapy and how does it work?
Nutritional therapy is all about trying to get to the root cause of people’s symptoms. Through a process of assessment, we look at where there are imbalances in the body and the reasons they might have come about. We then try to get things back in balance with diet, supplements and lifestyle changes.
Will I have to make big changes to my diet?
I find this is the biggest concern people have about nutritional therapy. People are worried that it means lots of change or cooking everything from scratch. This can feel overwhelming if you are already struggling with fatigue or pain. My approach is to make nutritional therapy manageable for you. We’ll start where you are currently at and make changes at a pace that suits you. You don’t have to cook everything from scratch – I don’t when I’m busy! I can give you quick recipe ideas or ideas for healthy options in supermarkets.
What is I’m a fussy eater?
This is another question I get asked quite often. I’ve worked with people who class themselves as ‘fussy eaters’ before and we find a way round things. We start with using the foods you already like that will support the areas we are working on. If you are open to it, I might suggest a new food to try sometimes. If you don’t get on with it that’s fine, we’ll find something else. But often people do come away with new foods they like that they hadn’t tried before. And if there really are foods you don’t like we can always try supplements instead.
Does it mean a harsh exclusion diet?
This often comes up for people with endometriosis who have read things about an endometriosis diet that involves cutting out a large number of food groups. I’m not a fan of cutting out a lot of foods unless we really have to. I’ve been there, it is miserable if you are a foodie and hard work to do. My approach is more around adding in more anti-inflammatory foods. Sometimes if can be helpful to take out a particular food for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference to your symptoms. However, if it doesn’t, you can keep it in. Often it is just one or two types of food you react to rather than a long list of them.
I haven’t got the time or energy to make changes right now
I hear you, that was me too at the peak of my endometriosis symptoms. Dealing with the symptoms was enough, adding anything else into the equation felt like a step too far. In the end I felt so desperate I took the plunge and started nutritional therapy, but it was hard work. I don’t want you to have to go through that, so I have a range of different programmes of support, that mean that we can work slowly over a much longer period of time if that feels easier. We will work at your pace and only make as much change as you can manage. I’ll also give you plenty of implementation support such as shopping and recipe ideas to make it easier for you.
How long will we have to work together?
For anything hormone related, or where you have been experiencing symptoms for a long time, we’ll need to work together for at least three months. This is because it takes time to get things back in balance and for nutrients to build up in your system. The longer you can make changes for the more benefits you get, but often people have the tools to continue this journey on their own once we’ve got a plan in place. I’m always available for follow-up appointments later down the line if something changes, you need a review or you just want to check in to get your back on track.
Do you do any testing?
My starting point is always to look at any test results you may have from your GP or refer you to the GP for some tests as that might give us some clues as to what is going on. Sometimes it can be helpful to have some private testing to really see what is going on in the body. For example, a stool test can help with gut symptoms, or a DUTCH test can check hormone levels. I also use tests that look at the bacteria levels in the urine and vagina which can be helpful for ongoing problems with cystitis or thrush. Testing can help us get to the root cause of what is going on quicker, but it’s not essential, so if the cost of private testing puts you off, we can manage without it.