The question I am asked the most when I tell people I am a Nutritionist is ‘what does a Nutritionist do?’. There isn’t exactly a short answer to this. The reason I became a Nutritionist is because the profession is so board, so encompassing and so impactful in many aspects of a person’s health and wellbeing.
The term Nutritionist is unfortunately not regulated, therefore there are no set guidelines around who can use the term and what qualifications they have.
What can a Nutritionist help you with?
A Nutritionist can help in the prevention and management of a wide and varied number of disease states and conditions. These include digestive complaints, stress and fatigue, mood disorders, sleep problems, allergies, autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular disease, female and male reproductive concerns and endocrine disorders.
I know the term holistic is beginning to almost seem overused these days but there really is no other way in which to describe how we treat our clients. A good Nutritionist is not just interested in alleviating your current complaint – although we definitely work on that. A good Nutritionist is like a detective. They want to know why your complaint occurred in the first place and how to help prevent it from coming back.
This is where the holistic aspect comes in. Our body systems are all very inter-linked. It is very rare that something happening in one of our body systems is not having an impact somewhere else. As Nutritionists we take our time to look at all body systems that have the potential to be related to your complaint. You may come in with wanting support for a weakened immune system – hello frequent colds – and we will be discussing your nervous system eg: how much and well you sleep? and your digestive system eg: what does your poo look like?. Actually I would say most times you see a Nutritionist you will be talking about your poo. Hippocrates (the first person to talk about disease) states that all illness begins in the gut. We can tell a lot about what is happening for a person based on this so defiantly be prepared for that conversation.
Not only are our body systems inter-linked, our lifestyles, our beliefs and our minds also play a large role in what is happening in our bodies. A good Nutritionist will also look at these areas – your physical activity, your social interactions, your work, your sleep. When putting the puzzle pieces together they will also dive into your past to see what was happening for you and how that may have contributed to your current state of health and wellness.
Of course you cannot go to a Nutritionist and not talk about the food you are consuming. Let’s face it we are all about the food! Food is either a potent source of medicine or a strong source of poison. What you are currently consuming is assessed in terms of nutritional adequacy, food quality and dietary behaviours.
This isn’t all achievable in one session. This level of interest in your health and wellbeing takes time and often involves addressing one layer, strengthening one body system at a time. It requires commitment from both the Nutritionist and the client.
A personalised approach.
The outcome is a truly personalised approach to helping you achieve your desired level of health and wellbeing. The treatment plan given is based on what is happening for you, fitting in with your lifestyle, with your goals. It includes recommendations for diet and lifestyle and supplementation when indicated. Some Nutritionists base their practice around a certain style and I would suggest that maybe these people aren’t looking after your best interests. There are definitely certain diet protocols indicated for some health conditions. There are times when removing foods/food groups from a person’s diet is indicated in the short term. It is my own personal opinion that the best ‘diet’, the best way of eating, is the one that leaves you feeling energised each and every day, all day. That is true personalisation.
So as you can see when I have to explain what it is I do as a Nutritionist, it is a little complex, In a nutshell I guess you could say I work with people no matter what their current state of health and wellness is to achieve their optimal health and wellness, as this is different for us all.
If you would like to book chat further with me regarding your health and wellness, head over to the Work with me page. Here you will find different ways we can work together or you can book a complimentary consult.