3. Naturopathic Nutrition


Part 2: Can the food you eat really affect your health?

With nutrition we find out which food combinations you need to help you feel better. We also investigate any particular food intolerances or allergies. Each person has to be individually assessed and given their own nutritional programme based on these findings.

A person may have a cluster of symptoms such as headaches, joint aches, pains, lack of energy. The orthodox way is to treat these symptoms separately. With nutritional therapy, the aim is to find and deal with the cause of these issues and alleviate the symptoms at the same time. With this approach there is less likelihood of the symptoms returning. Many people believe we get all we need by eating a 'balanced diet'. With modern life being very busy and stressful, not everybody eats as well as they could and, in addition, our health also depends on how well we are absorbing and digesting nutrients. A naturopathic nutritionist not only looks at a person's deficiencies of vitamins and minerals, but also assesses whether there are problems in digestion, toxic overload or the need for extra nutrients.

What happens in a Nutritional Consultation? When you see a Nutritionist they will work out your nutrition requirements and programme, usually by using a questionnaire and interview in order to build up a picture of all the factors underlying your health status. The focus is to find out what is out of balance and diagnose which aspects of metabolism are under stress.

They may also offer a collection of tests that can accurately detect any imbalances, toxic loads and pinpoint nutritional needs. This could be hair analysis, tests for allergies, candida albicans and yeast, liver and parasite tests or biochemical urine and saliva tests.

What is your personal programme? Based on all this information, your nutritionist will design a tailor-made programme aimed at dealing with present health complaints and setting the scene for minimising one's risk of future illness and degenerative disease. For example, you may be asked to take plenty of essential fatty acids for a cardiovascular problem and arterial health, plus you will get the added benefits of it helping with weight maintenance and the fact that it is also a valuable anti-ageing nutrient.

Nutrition can succeed when a conventional healthy diet fails, because it is tailored to your needs. For instance, wholegrain bread is considered to be a healthy food', but if you cannot digest it properly it could in time produce inflammatory reactions and lead to chronic problems such as migraine or irritable bowel syndrome.

I am taking lots of supplements and still not feeling better This may be because you are not treating the cause of your problem and you are only treating your symptoms. An example of this is eczema. You read that vitamin A and vitamin B complex is good for the skin. With some people this may help alleviate the symptoms. Others will find that it was only with the help of a nutritionist that they discovered that they had a food allergy or a liver that needed support before their eczema would disappear.

What conditions can Nutritional Therapy help? Nutritional therapy is not intended to replace any medical treatment or advice that the person might be receiving from a doctor.

Nutrition will help people of all ages to stay at their personal peak of energy and vitality. It is safe for babies and children as well as adults, and the change of eating patterns that is typically recommended usually has far fewer side effects than synthetic medicines. Many conditions can be relieved effectively with good nutritional advise. These include disorders ranging from chronic fatigue, energy loss, insomnia and depression, to backache, skin complaints, asthma, and headaches.

Nutrition can also be utilised to help meet the special nutritional needs of those with long-term conditions such as gastrointestinal problems and those who need assistance with weight management.

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Email: sue_j_mills@hotmail.com