What is Nutritional Therapy?
Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in promotion of health, peak performance and individualised care. Nutritional Therapists use a wide range of tools to assess and identify nutritional imbalances. They will use the information gathered to understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns.
Nutritional Therapy is considered a complementary medicine and is practiced alongside mainstream healthcare. It can be used to help individuals who are looking to enhance their wellbeing and also those with chronic health conditions.
How does a Nutritional Therapist differ from a Nutritionist or Dietician?
A Nutritional Therapist is a practitioner who has been trained to degree level or higher in Nutritional Therapy or Personalised Nutrition. They may also have undertaken training in Functional Medicine. A fully qualified Nutritional Therapist will be registered with a regulatory body such as the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). Nutritional Therapists typically practice personalised nutrition and provide nutrition and lifestyle advice to individuals, following a thorough assessment of the presented symptoms and health concerns.
Nutritionists typically work with individuals on a one-to-one basis for personalised goals such as weight loss. Nutritionists also work in food companies, research and food-related industries. Unfortunately, the title “Nutritionist” is not protected and therefore anybody with or without training may claim to be a Nutritionist. When looking for a Nutritionist, we recommend searching for a AfN registered Nutritionist.
Dieticians typically work within the NHS or in mainstream healthcare services. They are often the first point of nutritional care for individuals suffering from a health problem such as diabetes, obesity and poor growth in children. Individuals may be referred to a Dietician by their GP. Dieticians are regulated by law to maintain standards of care and are educated to degree level.
How many appointments will I need?
The number of sessions you may require depends on your current health profile and how quickly you make progress. I will provide you with the tools to make improvements to your health, but ultimately, you are the one that needs to take action.
To make things simple, I have two programmes available – The Fundamentals, which involves 4 sessions, and The Investment, involving 6 sessions. The Fundamentals is recommended for individuals who mainly require diet and lifestyle intervention. The Investment is recommended for clients who have chronic/long term health conditions and require more research.
If you are unsure of which programme would be suited to you, please book a call with me and we can discuss this further.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is a systems based approach to healthcare, that focuses on the individual and not their symptoms. I gather information from your health, diet and lifestyle, and piece together a puzzle to help reveal the root cause of your ailments. As part of my toolkit, I may also use Functional Lab Testing to help uncover valuable information about a your health, such as their gut bacteria composition or their digestive function. From then onwards, I will produce a comprehensive health programme to help you find relief from your symptoms.
Click here to find out more about lab testing.
Is functional laboratory testing necessary?
No, functional lab testing is optional. However, I include lab tests of up to £500 in value in “The Investment” programme. This is because I find that lab tests reveal crucial information which allow us to make significant progress with my clients’ health, especially if my clients have complex diagnosed health conditions. It is possible to run our programmes without testing, but this may mean we will make slower progress as we will be doing more trial and error.
Some lab tests are available with the NHS and I may recommend tests to do with your GP, however comprehensive functional testing is not provided by public healthcare.
If you wish to sign up to The Fundamentals programme, you can buy functional lab tests as add-ons later.
What does a Nutritional Therapy programme involve?
Before starting a health programme, I will provide you with a Health Profile Questionnaire and a Food Diary to fill in. Once you have provided the relevant information, I will then conduct thorough research into your health concerns and start to build a case using Functional Medicine. This means that I will look at all of the different body systems and link the information together, to find potential root causes of your symptoms. For example, because about 75% of the immune system actually resides in the gut, I may look at gut health when a client approaches me for immune support.
Should I inform my GP of my intent to start Nutritional Therapy?
This is entirely up to you. As a Nutritional Therapist, I work alongside your GP and any other healthcare practitioners.
Nutritional Therapy is not a substitute for medical advice and a responsible Nutritional Therapist will always alert a client’s GP of any “red flag” symptoms. Nutritional Therapists also cannot make any medical claims or diagnose any conditions.
Is your clinic insured?
Yes, Laura Lam Nutrition Ltd and myself (Laura Lam) is fully insured by BALENS which covers professional liability and malpractice. Rest assured that all BANT and CNHC members must abide by a code of conduct and a breach of this may result in loss of their practicing license.
I am a fully registered member of BANT and CNHC, and I undertake continuous professional development to ensure my knowledge is up-to-date and current.