At the moment I am working online, so consultations are done via video-phone link on platforms like FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Zoom.

I prefer to keep GPs informed when supporting a specific health condition, for which you are under their care, especially if there is medication involved.  However I only ever write with your express permission.

It’s not essential, but it can be helpful and sometimes quite enlightening.  It’s worth having a chat about this in a discovery call, because some intestinal symptoms may suggest a breath test is more appropriate.

There is a list of suitable blood draw sites available on the Functional Dx website, but if you choose another location, ensure the clinic has a centrifuge, for spinning the blood sample, prior to returning it to the lab.  There are also private phlebotomists who will travel to your location, and perform the blood draw.

It’s certainly not alternative, but it does work well in conjunction with mainstream medicine. Nutritional Therapists are trained using the Functional Medicine model, which looks to investigate the causes of chronic disease, and use lifestyle and dietary tools to restore health and well being.  Chronic disease invariably has a period where declining function in one of the system of the body produces vague symptoms that maybe hard to categorise, but once identified, lifestyle measures and therapeutic use of nutrients can help to reverse that decline.  Prevention is better than cure.

Yes, if you have no health issues to address and simply want an audit of your diet, you don’t need to invest in the 8 or 12 week packages.  However you still need to complete the health & nutrition questionnaire, which will include a 3 day food diary, but you may like to supply more than 3 day’s worth of a food diary, to give a more comprehensive picture of your diet.

This is the current recommendation for your daily intake of fruit and vegetables, but for optimal health it really needs to be more, and variety is key.  Eating a really broad variety of vegetables and plant foods brings in a diversity of nutrients, which in turn increases the diversity of your gut microflora and that makes for a healthy gut.

It certainly can. Both male and female fertility is dependent on certain nutrients that come from the foods we eat. The absence of those nutrients can mean the precious DNA in both sperm and egg, is affected. Book in to see if your diet is delivering what’s needed as eggs take three months to mature before ovulation and the same nutrients are needed to help sustain an early pregnancy too. An audit of your lifestyle and chemical exposure may also help as certain chemicals interfere with hormones.

Our immune systems evolved with great sophistication to respond to our environment. Everything we come in contact with through our skin, the air we breathe, the food we swallow, the germs we ingest, gets ‘sampled’ by our immune system, which will either tolerate it, or attack.  Our bacterial microbiomes play a part in this and  Nutritional Therapists are trained to support healthy microbial diversity.  They will also use plant extracts that science has shown boost our immune system’s natural killer cells, as well as nutrients which can moderate over-reactive immune responses.

The popular media would certainly have us believe this, and in fairness, some of the cheaper, synthetic products are poorly absorbed and literally ‘pass through’, without having a therapeutic effect, especially if we are adding the same nutrients we are already getting adequate supplies of – from a well balanced diet. A nutritional therapist will always assess an individual’s ‘need’, the bioavailability of the product, and may use real food grown plant extracts, with a proven, evidence based therapeutic effect, for certain health conditions, that have been shown to benefit from the particular nutrient.

This may be about blood sugar regulation.  If you’re always hungry between meals, it may mean the balance of the macronutrients in your meals are out of balance (the ratio of protein/carbohydrate/fats).  Including healthy fats, protein and fibre with each meal,  should sustain you for four to five hours, until the next meal is due.  Whereas a meal where carbs are dominating tends to spike blood glucose levels, which then quickly plummet, leaving you hungry and looking for a snack in between meals.  There may also be an element of ‘habit’ too.  Book in to discuss some strategies for behavioural change!

This is known as the yo-yo effect and is associated with calorie-controlled diets, or diets that exclude whole food groups, and is especially associated with fast weight loss. The human body evolved over millennia and deep in its DNA has a life preserving response to food and energy availability. Just as animals lay down fat stores when food is plentiful, in preparation for hibernation, or a winter of food deprivation, we also turn excess food calories in to fat stores. When our bodies then encounter a period of deprivation or food shortage, it reaffirms that need for the physiological response, to ‘store’ in times of plenty, so the greater the calorie restriction, the greater the body’s response to lay down fat when food becomes plentiful again.

This is a common symptom we see reported in the health questionnaire, with several possible causes: overgrowths of gut bacteria in the small intestine; food intolerances; and poor digestive function are just three possible reasons, and may be worth investigating with functional tests.

There can be many reasons, and a Nutritional Therapist will explore, investigate and look to exclude any serious underlying health condition, before studying your diet, which may be a contributory factor. Sometimes it is simply choosing the wrong foods that make blood sugar go awry leading to low energy. See the blog article on balancing blood sugar.  For some people the ‘credits in’ (nutrients), don’t match up to the ‘debits going out’ (oxidative stress), which is not the same as calories and energy balance, so if you have a full on, busy, active, stressful life, you may need more nutrient dense foods, and less of the refined carbs, which are generally ’empty calories’.

‘Lifestyle medicine’ uses the tools of diet, nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle to address preventable, lifestyle-related disease.  Many patients when given a diagnosis – a ‘label’ for their illness, or condition, assume it’s just the luck of the draw, or that because it ‘runs in their family’ that it was inevitable.  But this is not always the case.  Many chronic conditions occur through habitual lifestyle choices, and will not resolve with a pharmaceutical drug approach, which suppresses the symptoms, but keeps one indefinitely dependant on that drug.  To get better, you need to look upstream at what is actually causing the illness, and with the help of a functional medicine practitioner, put in place the  diet and lifestyle choices that will see the illness reverse.

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