The Basis of Nutritional Therapy
Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Nutritional therapy practitioners 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. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.
Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Nutritional therapy is never recommended as a replacement for medical advice and any clients with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms are always referred to their medical professional. Practitioners will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.
Why us it?
Some people simply want to check that they are on the right track with regard to healthy eating. Others may want to lose weight or get help with their symptoms.
Nutritional Therapists recognise that each person is an individual with unique requirements and take time to define personalised nutrition plan rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Nutrition and lifestyle approaches to healthcare have been shown to support the health of all the major systems of the body (skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, endocrine, immune, reproductive and integumentary [skin, hair, nails]). Typical priorities in nutritional therapy consultations are support to achieve optimum energy levels, healthy blood sugar balance, emotional and psychological wellbeing, optimum gastrointestinal health and tolerance to a broad range of food groups.
What to Expect from a Consultation
Before the first consultation, you will be asked to complete a health and nutrition questionnaire. This will provide information about your health, symptoms, diet and lifestyle enabling a thorough assessment of your nutritional status.
An initial consultation typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and in this time the practitioner asks detailed questions about current health concerns, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, medical history, family history, lifestyle, levels of physical activity, use of medication and supplements and diet. The practitioner then evaluates individual needs and uses the extensive evidence base for nutritional science to develop a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle programme.
Follow up consultations are generally after four to six weeks in order to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Typically, you will need three consultations. Further follow-ups may be required depending on each individual situation. Skype or telephone consultations may be available under some circumstances.
Functional testing may be useful for some individuals to evaluate the physiology of the body and identify any functional imbalances or pathogens. These can range from simple tests carried out by yourself at home to laboratory tests used to evaluate hormone, digestion or metabolic function.
Supplements may be prescribed to address nutrient deficiencies to support your body through the healing process. These will be reduced to a maintenance dose once improvements are achieved ensuring optimum health is sustained.
You can find further information on both the BANT and CNHC websites.