What is Nutritional Therapy?
Nutritional Therapy practically applies the latest theories and research in nutrition and health sciences to individuals seeking to manage chronic disease or promote optimum health. The focus is improving physiological function of a number of bodily systems, including the digestive, immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Nutritional Therapy can help alleviate and manage a wide range of conditions and can help improve the health outcomes of many individuals.
How does a Nutritional Therapist Work?
Nutritional Therapists work with a variety of clients with chronic health problems and provide advice on disease prevention and control. They recognise that each person is an individual with a unique physiological make-up and unique dietary and nutritional requirements. Nutritional Therapists will therefore take a comprehensive case history from each client covering current and past health concerns, current and past diet and lifestyle and family health.
Nutritional Therapists may also use biochemical laboratory testing to help assess nutritional status, functional capacity and inherited strengths and weaknesses. Clients will then receive carefully compiled recommendations on diet and lifestyle. Recommendations by Nutritional Therapists may also include guidance on supporting digestion and absorption, natural detoxification, managing stress and the avoidance of allergens or toxins.
Nutritional Therapy Consultations
The initial Nutritional Therapy consultation may take 1 – 1½ hours, during which time a thorough case history is taken and the client’s requirements discussed. The Nutritional Therapist will then produce individualised recommendations on diet, specific nutrients and lifestyle, very often providing meal ideas, recipes and practical tips for moving towards a healthier lifestyle. The Nutritional Therapy consultant may also recommend laboratory tests or referral to other healthcare professionals.
In order to monitor progress and ensure the recommendations suit the client it may be necessary to return for a follow-up consultation which will usually last between 45 minutes and 1 hour. However the aim of a Nutritional Therapist is to give clients the knowledge and skills to manage their own health, so follow-ups are usually short term.