What is nutritional therapy?

What is nutritional therapy – or what does a nutritional therapist do – are the most common questions I am asked in social situations. Friends, acquaintances, business groups, social settings, you name it – the interest seems to be there.

But not many people have a clear idea of what a Registered Nutritional Therapist actually does, or the people/conditions they support. That we mostly help with weight loss is the biggest misconception!

So, if YOU are curious about the question ‘what is nutritional therapy’ and whether it could help you or a loved one, I’ve put together a brief 101 about the kind of support you can expect.

  1. We look for the ROOT CAUSE. Just because you’ve been diagnosed with a disease doesn’t mean you know what’s wrong with you. “Disease” is just a label: The name we give to a group of symptoms and/or biomarkers. It doesn’t tell us why X has happened to you. Also, as diseases are caused by and affect multiple systems in the body, treating just the symptomatic part (seeing a neurologist for migraines, for example), makes little sense. We need to go deeper to the underlying root cause. Allopathic (“normal”) medicine asks what: What symptoms? What disease? What treatment? It’s not very interested in the why. Nutritional Therapy is all about the WHY. Because once we have unravelled that, we know how we might actually FIX the problem (not just put a sticking plaster over symptoms)
  2. We believe nutrition (and healthcare) should be PERSONALISED. Just as there is no such thing as a “standard” person, there is no “one size fits all” cause of a condition and no “ideal” diet for everyone, etc. If we take 10 different people with “IBS”, we will see 10 UNIQUE combinations of drivers (predisposing factors/ triggers/things in their lives that are making the problem worse)
  3. We have TIME on our side. It’s not doctors’ fault that a GP has 10 minutes to see you in. Our poor NHS has been underfunded and neglected for far too long. Now 10 minutes might be fine for a one-off acute infection. But that ISN’T the majority of appointments, which concern far deeper-seated CHRONIC issues (mental health, digestive/gut issues, metabolic syndrome etc.) A typical first appointment with an NT will be up to 90 minutes long!
  4. We have a much BROADER TOOLKIT than your regular doctor. We look at:
    – Your timeline (genetic background, family history, your health history);
    – All the usual GP tests PLUS an array of highly specialised functional tests; and
    – Your diet, environment & every aspect of your lifestyle, to find a way forward
  5. We give clients agency. You won’t be told that diet and lifestyle can’t help….and you won’t be told to just pop a pill. We help you understand what is actually going on in your body and why, so we can work as a partnership. TOGETHER we agree strategies and solutions that fit with your lifestyle to help you achieve YOUR version of OPTIMAL wellbeing
  6. We want to PREVENT the problem in the first place. NTs don’t just work with sick people – we also see pro-active people, keen to protect and nurture their greatest asset: their health.
    The “conventional” healthcare model waits until we’re broken before intervening. But the sad thing is than 85% of serious, chronic problems could have been found earlier and mitigated against or prevented! Let’s use the analogy of a car. Do you wait until it won’t start before you do any maintenance ever?! Or do you have a service, an MOT, repair anything old or damaged and have a car wash occasionally?

Hopefully you now have an answer to the question “What is nutritional therapy”. I’ll save “What nutritional therapy is not” for another myth-busting blog…!

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