Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a Nutritional Therapist, Nutritionist and Dietician?
A Nutritional Therapist undergoes at least a degree level of rigorous training in Nutritional Therapy and is registered with a professional body, such as BANT and/or CNHC. A Nutritional Therapist typically works in private practice and consults with individuals on a one-to-one basis. He or she may work with healthy individuals to prevent disease or to optimise health and individuals that are ill in order to ease or minimise symptoms of a developed disease, taking into account biochemical individuality.
Anyone can call themselves nutritionists without any formal training or knowledge. The term ‘registered nutritionist’ indicates that a practitioner has attained a suitable level of knowledge and has been accredited by a professional body.
A dietician works with diagnosed patients under the direction of a GP in a hospital, a practice or in the community. Dieticians base their advice on the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of nutrients. RNI guidelines are based on the amount of a nutrient required to avoid deficiency. They do not take into account biochemical individuality i.e. the fact that each person is unique and therefore has unique needs.
2. How do I know if Nutritional Therapy is for me?
It is widely known and accepted that intensive farming, pollution, stress, stimulants and over-reliance on processed foods are just some of the reasons for us being deficient in vital nutrients. Overtime, we may start to experience poor digestion, constant low energy, headaches, changing moods, cravings for sweets or stimulants, or just feel generally sluggish. Since nutrient insufficiencies affect multiple organ systems in ways dependant on the genetic makeup and health history of each individual, Nutritional Therapy can help identify and provide personalised advice to correct such insufficiencies and metabolic imbalances.
Optimal nutrition, the level of nutrient intake that maintains the best possible health, varies from person to person and Nutritional Therapy is about personalised nutrition.
3. Is nutritional Therapy a substitution for medical advice?
It is important to remember that Nutritional Therapy is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and if a practitioner identifies any “red flag” symptoms indicating a health issue, he or she will let you know and will advise you to seek professional medical advice.
4. Do I have to have any functional laboratory testing done?
Testing is used to understand the root cause and fully optimise your health, but we don’t need testing to develop an individualised programme for you.
Functional laboratory testing aims to evaluate the health status of an individual and help identify nutritional, biochemical and metabolic imbalances underlying certain symptoms. Many factors influence nutrient status in an individual, such as diet, digestion, absorption, age, disease state, medication, stress, toxic exposure, activity level, genetics and biological differences. Various tests can help identify the status and the factors mentioned above.
5. What are some of the tests that are recommended?
There is a wide range of tests available depending on what you may want to achieve. Some of the frequently used tests are related to digestion and absorption, macro and micronutrients levels, detoxification capacity, assessing the bacterial balance in the gut, thyroid profile, adrenal profile, hormonal balance, DNA health, DNA mind, to name a few.
6. What is the difference between functional testing & genetic testing?
Functional testing is looking at several biomarkers which can assess how your body is currently running while genetic testing is looking at variations in your genetic blueprint which may impact how your body functions. These tests can be combined for the best results.
It is important to note that with genetic testing we do not look at genetic disease risk factors, but we use them to identify genetic weakness in various biological pathways and recommend diet and lifestyle interventions to support those gene variants that govern health and disease.
7. How many consultations do I need?
Clients ask for advice at different stages of their life and for different reasons hence there is no specific quantity or rule for how many consultations you will need as this will depend very much on your personal circumstances and what your health objectives are. We can work intensively for a short period of time to make acute changes or we can spread the consultations out to help maintain the achieved results. You can read more about the consultations here.
8. Confidentiality in Nutritional Therapy: how does it work?
All discussions with clients are confidential within clinic sessions. In order for you to feel comfortable and able to share openly, you need to know that your information is safe from the very beginning. Please note that there are some limits and exceptions to confidentiality; if the Nutritional Therapist recognises serious concerns about your safety, or the safety of another person, normal confidentiality may be lifted; this is all laid out in my working agreement and will be discussed in your first session.
9. How do I get started?
You can get in touch by booking a free discovery call and tell me a bit about yourself and why you are considering nutritional therapy. If we feel we are a good fit, we will arrange your first session and go from there. Alternatively, you can book a package of your choice here.
10. How is Nutritional Therapy Regulated?
BANT is the professional body for Nutritional Therapists whose primary function is to assist its members in attaining the highest standards of integrity, knowledge, competence and professional practice, in order to protect their clients’ interests, Nutritional Therapy and the nutritional therapist. My details can be found here, on the BANT website.
The CNHC is the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners. Sponsored by the Department of Health, the CNHC’s key role is to enhance public’s protection by setting standards for registration and ensuring that all registered practitioners meet the relevant National Occupational Standards. My details can be found here.
Nutritional Therapists must meet the BANT and CNHC’s standards and maintain their professional skills through an ongoing programme of Continuing Professional Development in order to display BANT and CNHC quality mark.
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