What is Nutritional Therapy?
In today’s modern western (or allopathic) medicine, much of the primary focus on client care relates to addressing symptoms, not the causes of underlying issues. If you had a sick tree, would you try and treat the leaves, hoping the problem would go away? Of course not. You would look at the roots, the branches, the quality of the soil, the environment. You would form a holistic overview before making a diagnosis. To this extent, nutritional therapy (and specific practices like functional medicine), uses a range of diagnostic methods and approaches and tries to understand what is at the core of the client’s health issue.
First, and foremost, nutritional therapy promotes and encourages healthy, balanced eating habits. “We are what we eat,” as they say. Eating a balanced, healthy diet full of organic (where possible), wholesome natural produce is a welcome first step in restoring and maintaining good health. Accompanied with lifestyle changes, nutritional therapy may result in real change in a person’s condition and the quality of a person’s overall health.
Secondly, through the range of diagnostic tests that may be performed, deficiencies or imbalances in the body can be identified, whether due to the environment that we live in or even genetic causes. Applied nutritional therapy can correct any imbalances through the targeted addition of nutritional supplements, as well as particular food groups known for their healing properties. The results can be life-changing, especially when it comes to improving one’s mental wellbeing.
What are the benefits of nutritional therapy?
By targeting the cause, rather than the symptoms, targeted nutritional therapy can bring excellent results in the treatment of many conditions, including in the treatment of stress and anxiety. Krytopyroluria, a little-known genetic condition that some estimate arises in 11% of the population and is implicated in anxiety, autism and schizophrenia, can be treated through targeted vitamin and mineral supplements such as zinc, magnesium and vitamin b6 amongst a host of others.
Digestive complaints, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Intestine Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO), leaky gut etc.. can also be effectively treated. For example, a functional medicine practitioner may prescribe a course of antibiotics that are anti-viral and anti-bacterial in order to address any parasites or ‘bad bacteria’ that may be the source of the client’s digestive problems together with the elimination of certain known food types that may contribute to a host of digestive issues, before rebuilding a healthy gut flora with probiotics and digestive enzymes.
Other conditions where nutritional therapy may be effective include fatigue and lethargy, weight issues, eczema, stress, anxiety, and depression, amongst others.