IS YOUR DIET RIGHT FOR YOU?
NUTRITIONAL ADVICE – how I can help
Conditions that can be treated by diet and nutrition
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but gives you an idea of the sort of issues that I can help with. Many of them can be resolved in two or three sessions. Simply click on the term to read more information.
ALLERGIES and INTOLERANCES
The food industry makes millions of pound every year selling gluten free and lactose free products to people who don’t suffer from gluten or lactose intolerances. These products are almost universally more expensive, higher in calories and low in nutrition. But the symptoms of intolerance can be very real and uncomfortable, conditioning someone to avoid the problem food. If you think you have developed an allergy or an intolerance there are laboratory tests which are pretty conclusive and will influence the treatment options. If you are one of the small number of people who develop an allergy, I can refer you to a specialist. I can help with food intolerances, ensuring that even if you have to eliminate a foodstuff you are still getting good nutrition. Some intolerances are transitory. In time many people will be able to enjoy a wide and varied diet again.
BODY COMPOSITION IMBALANCE
Weight is a fairly rough indication of nutritional health. Body composition, the balance of fat and muscle and their distribution, is a more sophisticated measure. It is not unusual for people to find their fat mass increasing at the expense of muscle mass. Many people find that fat tends to congregate around the middle. If left unchecked visceral fat can interfere with vital organs including the heart. I can help you re-balance your diet to reduce adipose tissue and increase muscle mass. This is a really important long term healthy eating strategy which can reduce the risk of disease over time. See also SARCOPENIA.
DEPRESSION and LOW MOOD
Hormone levels like brain serotonin are directly related to diet. SSRIs, the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors used to treat depression, will not work effectively if the brain is deficient in tryptophan. This is an essential amino acid, only available to the body through a healthy diet. But low mood can have its roots in many dietary issues. Because macro and micro-nutrients have complex interactions, simply taking supplements is unlikely to have as good an effect as changing the diet. My treatment policy is food first, so that vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and proteins can all work together as nature intended.
DIABETES TYPE 2
This is a metabolic disease caused by hormonal changes and dietary imbalance. In the short term it leads to fatigue and progressively decreasing activity levels. It often goes undiagnosed for years until a crisis point is reached. In the long term diabetes type 2 reduces our ability to fight infection and induces serious circulatory problems that can result in amputation.
High blood glucose is a symptom of diabetes type 2, but many people are surprised to discover that reducing carbohydrate in the diet is not a cure. The disease is caused because the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Visceral fat is far more directly associated with onset of the disease because fat interferes with pancreatic function.
Prompt attention to excess tummy fat is an effective action to prevent metabolic disease. If the disease takes hold the only effective treatment, apart from pills, is weight loss.
It is all too easy to assume that digestive problems have their root in food intolerances. Often the cause is something quite different. For example, the stomach and gut are highly susceptible to physical and emotional factors as well. We talk of butterflies in the tummy which is a direct reference to the effects of stress that can be experienced by the digestive system. If you have any digestive problems such as discomfort, rumblings or wind I will take a broad approach, looking at the whole person, as well as their diet. In such cases it is also really important to rule out more serious gastroenterological conditions, before treating the symptoms as a simple dietary issue.
Fatigue can be felt as a physical or mental problem. Cardio-pulmonary function, muscle strength, and metabolic function can all be implicated. In addition the brain requires a regular and balanced supply of glucose to work efficiently. That’s why children who go to school on an empty stomach under-achieve. After taking a detailed diet history I can prescribe changes to the diet that can transform your energy levels.
MENOPAUSE and PERIMENOPAUSAL ISSUES
It is often forgotten that hormonal production in both men and women declines in middle age. In men, this is a gradual process. In women, the sudden drop in our hormonal secretions occurs over a few months in our late forties or early fifties. Some women find this a completely benign change. For others, it is fraught with unpleasant symptoms. But for all of us, a reduction in hormones means that we need to adjust our diet to the new metabolic landscape. Small adjustments in the diet can reduce the mental and physical trauma of the menopause as well as giving us greater resilience as we transition into a new and potentially rewarding stage of life.
No one need fear hormonal changes, but everyone should learn how to manage them.
It comes as a shock to some people to learn that there is malnutrition in London, a city we consider to be a sophisticated, well informed and wealthy. But so many of us are forced to rely on fattening cafe foods and unhealthy convenience foods which bear little nutritional comparison with the home-cooked counterpart we assume we are eating.
The symptoms of vitamin or mineral deficiency can be complex to diagnose.
If you suspect that your diet had become sub-optimal I can perform a thirty nutrient analysis of your current diet and make recommendations for improvements.
Sarcopenia is a loss of appendicular muscle mass. If left untreated it can result in fatigue, frailty, and leave the sufferer susceptible to falls and broken bones. The body raids muscle mass to replenish other organs, and to feed the immune system. So a poor diet can lead very quickly to emaciation and ill health. As we age, this process can accelerate. Fortunately it has been found that diet and focused exercise can stop the process and even reverse it. See also BODY COMPOSITION IMBALANCE.
WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM
As we get older our immune system can become sluggish. If you suffer from constant sniffles, stomach upsets or unexplained skin outbreaks your diet may be at fault. The immune system requires a rich mix of micro and macro nutrients to work. A lack of just one of these ingredients in the diet can wreak havoc. The good news is that often minor changes in what we eat can have beneficial effects.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
We all know when we are feeling run down. Anything from a grumbling digestion, a skin rash, lank hair, or low mood might signal a nutritional imbalance.
Inadequate nutrition can lead to fatigue, anaemia, breathlessness as well as muscle loss. An imbalance of vitamins or minerals can lead to a myriad of symptoms. These signs and symptoms can be confusing. But nutritionists are trained to look for signs and symptoms that might indicate the problem.
The only way of getting to the cause is to undertake a detailed assessment. While all assessments cover the same headline points, I will focus on particular aspects dependent upon what you tell me.
- Clinical history
- Diet history
- Therapeutic history
You’ll find me very non-judgemental. In my clinic there’s no right and wrong and there’s no good or bad. We simply explore together what better means for the individual.
Just as in any other clinical realm, there are no absolutes and no miracles on offer. But changing the way you eat can offer many people a very speedy route to feeling better. Good nutrition can completely change the way you feel within the space of a few days or weeks. I can generally help people who don’t have a weight loss problem with a couple of sessions, taken one month apart. I don’t prescribe medicines and rarely nutritional supplements. Food is my cure. Simple, fresh, wholesome, glorious food!
The next step is to book a consultation
You may book a one hour consultation at £95.00, which includes a basic assessment or simply a check-up at £55.00.
“Wendy advised me simply to tweak my normal eating habits. By shifting my protein/fat/carbohydrate intake as she suggested, I lost weight without ever feeling I was on a diet.”
Telephone 0207 637 0057 to make an appointment or click below to send me an email.