What is Nutritional Therapy?
Nutritional therapy aims to address the underlying causes of health problems rather than just treating the symptoms through a combination of dietary, supplement, and lifestyle changes.
Nutritional therapy can aid in correcting nutritional deficiencies, removing toxic influences and supporting all major body systems to restore the body to health.
WHY VISIT A NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST?
Common health issues can be a bewildering set of symptoms with no clear cause to the misery they are making. Nutritional Therapy treats the body as a whole while seeking the root source of health concerns, rather than simply treating the symptoms.
Optimal health is our birthright! As we progress down the path of life, however, we often develop symptoms of ill health and feel a loss of vitality. Nutritional therapy can assist you with these health challenges by identifying imbalances to get at the root of your symptoms.
PROPER NUTRITION IS NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL...
As nutritional therapy practitioners we understand that good health and proper nutrition is not a one size fits all. Everyone is different and although we may share common symptoms, the root cause of our symptoms vary tremendously and that is our goal, to find the root cause and correct the imbalances.
CONDITIONS THAT CAN BE HELPED WITH NUTRITIONAL THERAPY
|Acne ADHD Allergies Anxiety Arthritis Asthma Cardiovascular problems High blood pressure High cholesterol levels Chronic fatigue (ME) Colds & Flu Constipation Depression Diabetes Diarrhea Digestive problems Eating disorders Eczema
|Endometriosis Fatigue Fibromyalgia Hay fever Indigestion Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Menopause Migraines/headaches Polycystic ovary syndrome Premenstrual Syndrome Preconceptual care & infertility Psoriasis Recurrent infections Sleep problems Stress Thrush Thyroid problems Weight problems
INTERESTED IN NUTRITIONAL THERAPY?
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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM NUTRITIONAL THERAPY
Nutritional Therapy uses an assessment process to identify imbalances in body chemistry. These imbalances or nutritional deficiencies are corrected through diet, lifestyle changes and targeted nutrients. Nutritional therapists do not diagnose or treat disease, but work to correct imbalances with the goal of gently guiding individuals back on the path to optimal health.
THE FIRST STEP
IDENTIFYING THE PRIMARY ROOT CAUSE
Our comprehensive assessment process provides us with a clear picture of an individual’s areas of strength and weakness or “imbalances” in the realm of diet, digestion, blood sugar regulation, essential fatty acids, minerals, and hydration. These six areas are the foundations of nutritional therapy. This foundational approach and assessment process will also highlight potential imbalances in the areas of endocrine, immune, and cardiovascular health as well as detoxification issues associated with liver and colon function. The assessment process assists in linking your symptoms to potential nutrient deficiencies and imbalances in body chemistry and most importantly identifies the priority areas of concern to give us a clear starting point to get you on the road to healing faster.
Once priority areas are identified, we will work together to develop a personalized wellness and nutrition plan. This will be a plan that works for you and your lifestyle. The plan will use properly prepared nutrient dense whole foods and lifestyle modifications as the therapeutic foundation. This plan will also incorporate natural supplements as needed in the short term to facilitate the healing process.
It all starts with diet. I agree with Michael Pollen’s maxim, “Do not eat anything your great-grandmother would not recognize as food.” For the average American, nearly half of their caloric intake comes from nutritionally depleted foods. No wonder the Standard American Diet spells “SAD.”
It is hard to give up our junk food; however, eating whole foods can be an exciting journey with endless possibilities. When we realize that unrefined carbohydrates can taste great, that good fats are essential to our mood, energy, and hormone balance, and that appropriate amounts of protein from clean sources builds muscle and supports the nervous system, healthy eating becomes part of our self care. We need to eat well to support a healthy metabolism. It is not just about calories in and calories out; it is about the type of calories we consume and having the right balance in both our macro and micro nutrients.
We are not only what we eat, but also what we absorb from what we eat. Every cell in every organ depends on your body’s digestive system to provide the nutrients needed for optimal function. For many, a lifetime of nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, and frequent antibiotic or prescription drug use can be at the root of digestive problems. It is easy to ignore symptoms such as occasional heartburn, bloating and constipation and assume that they are normal. However, these symptoms are actually your body’s signal that something is out of balance.
Many people do not know that at least seventy percent of our immune system is located in or around our digestive tracts, so when digestion is compromised, not only does our nutrient status suffer, but this can place a burden on our immune system.
The digestive tract manufactures a wide variety of neurotransmitters; in fact, ninety percent of all serotonin is made in the gut. Bacteria in our intestinal tract weigh nearly three and one-half pounds and are metabolically active releasing many substances that are absorbed across the intestinal barrier. A number of these substances such as vitamins and amino acids are beneficial to our health. Other substances which come from harmful bacteria may alter our systems in a way that increases susceptibility to chronic illness. Having a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria is very important for overall digestive health. Digestive imbalances can contribute to other health issues including migraine headaches, autoimmune diseases, eczema, and food sensitivities to name a few.
Never before in the history of mankind have we had such an emergency need to lower blood sugar. In 1821, the average American consumed 10 pounds of sugar per person per year, and in 2004, the average American consumed 141 pounds of sugar per person per year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will develop Type ll Diabetes in their lifetime!
Not only do empty carbohydrates deplete our body’s reserves of minerals, vitamins and enzymes, but they create a state of blood sugar imbalance in our bodies that can contribute to hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Controlling insulin levels is important in maintaining health and preventing disease.
Essential Fatty Acid deficiency is prevalent in this country. Processed foods mainly contain omega 6 fatty acids. We all need the proper balance of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids for prostaglandins to manage inflammation in the body. Prostaglandins are hormone like substances our body needs. Although the tendency is to identify “good” and “bad” prostaglandins, in truth they are all needed for balance, and it is an imbalance of prostaglandins that can contribute to heart disease, immune system dysfunction, inflammation, pain, and PMS.
One of the easiest ways to get your prostaglandins out of balance and create chronic inflammation is to eat foods that contain hydrogenated oils (trans-fatty acids) found in margarines and most manufactured cakes, cookies, and chips. Eating the rancid vegetable oils found in these processed foods even when they are not hydrogenated creates prostaglandin imbalances and free radicals in the body. Many people have 20 times as many omega 6 fatty acids in their diets as omega 3’s. This creates an essential fatty acids deficiency that has consequences at the cellular level throughout our bodies.
Minerals are essential for nerve conduction, transfer of nutrients across the cell membranes, tissue growth and proper ph balance in the blood. Calcium is the mineral in the largest concentration in our body. Almost everyone gets enough calcium, however, they are often missing the cofactors that allow the body to absorb and utilize calcium. Zinc is critical for male fertility, and iodine is important for thyroid function. In fact, every organ in the body has a mineral on which it is dependant. However, due to depleted soils and the consumption of more processed foods, the average American is not getting all of the key minerals needed for optimal function.
Did you know that water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the American population? And of course, water is the body’s most important nutrient. 92 percent of water must be ingested, it can not be stored, and we can not live long without it. Water transports nutrients, flushes toxins, removes waste, lubricates joints and cushions organs. Caffeine, alcohol, and sugar containing drinks as well as not drinking enough water can cause levels of dehydration that have an effect at the cellular level. Early signs of dehydration can manifest as fatigue, anxiety, irritability and depression with more advanced dehydration causing joint pain, back pain or heartburn.