Nutritional therapy for clients with wide range of health conditions in Edinburgh
Weight Management – Metabolic Balance
Mental Health – disordered eating, anxiety, low mood
Female Health – PMS, hormone imbalances, menopause
Energy levels –stress, low mood, poor concentration
Digestion – IBS, SIBO, bloating, wind, constipation, food intolerances
Skin Health – acne, eczema, dry skin rashes
Fertility – pre-conception, fertility, infertility, pregnancy
Nutritional therapy and functional medicine take into account the individual’s case history, signs and symptoms, and can investigate clinical imbalances in an approach that aims to improve health and wellbeing.
Practical plans and recipes are provided to make any changes manageable.
Hormonal issues are also problems Kate regularly sees in clinic. Hormone issues such as polycystic ovaries, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, PMS, painful or irregular periods, menopausal symptoms and infertility can be the cause of suffering for many women.
Nutritional therapy looks at and tries to improve your overall health when hormone-related problems are presented. Here are some factors Kate may offer you nutritional advice on:
1. Blood sugar control
A diet high in sugar, stress or caffeine can lead to poor blood sugar control and insulin spikes. Too much insulin production can affect the sex hormones and ultimately lead to insulin resistance, which increases oestrogen production.
2. Being overweight
Fat cells are factories of oestrogen. It’s very difficult to have balanced hormones when you are overweight. A diet high in saturated fats increases an enzyme that prevents hormones being excreted in the gut.
3. Liver health
Your liver is responsible for deactivating old hormones and needs B vitamins to do this, especially folic acid. Certain foods offer the liver nutrients it needs to work optimally.
A healthy gut is one with plenty of beneficial bacteria and not too many “bad” bacteria. Sugar, stress, alcohol and some medication all give the “bad” bacteria a chance to proliferate and unfortunately they produce an enzyme which reactivates hormones that are waiting to be expelled from the body via the stool, meaning they are reabsorbed instead of excreted.
Energy levels are very rarely 10 out of 10 in our society these days. Why is that? Are we too busy, too stressed or too poorly nourished? Quite likely it’s a combination of all these. As a nutritional therapist Kate can analyse your diet and lifestyle and make suggestions to fit in with your lifestyle. She will consider:
1. Blood sugar balance
Highs and lows throughout the day caused by diet, caffeine, stress and timing of meals can hugely affect your energy, concentration and mood.
Forget “ You are what you eat.” The approach of a nutritionist is often “You are what you eat, digest and absorb.” Take magnesium for example, pumpkin seeds are a wonderful source of it, yet if your body can’t absorb the magnesium, then no matter how many seeds you eat, you still won’t get the benefits. Working with a nutritional therapist can help improve your digestive function.
Especially B vitamins.
4. Thyroid and adrenal health
5. Mitochondria function
The mitochondria are where your cells produce ATP, the energy giving molecule for the body.
Digestive symptoms including IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) are a common reason for seeking nutritional advice from a nutritionist. It is estimated that 30% of the population suffer from IBS at some point. IBS is different to IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. The former is a term given to problems of digestion when no cause has been identified.
To improve and minimize digestive symptoms a nutritional therapy consultation at The Edinburgh Clinic of Nutrition might include nutrition and supplement advice on any of the following:
1. Stomach acid
Nutrition starts in the mouth and continues in the stomach and we need adequate amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCl) to break down foods, especially proteins, into smaller particles. HCl triggers enzymes to break proteins down and also triggers the pancreas to release digestive enzymes to continue to break food down. HCl is necessary to protect the body from certain microbes. It also allows the absorption of B12 and zinc. It decreases naturally as we age and through stress and poor eating habits.
2. Intestinal permeability
Sometimes we have an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in our gut and the gut wall can become inflamed and damaged. This can lead to intestinal permeability which results in particles of food “leaking” through into the bloodstream which should be too big to get through the gut wall. The body recognizes them as foreign, the immune system reacts and food intolerances can develop. Digestive, skin and certain auto-immune problems can be provoked.
3. Gut flora
Once again, this is connected to the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Your gut flora can be negatively influenced by diet, stress, caffeine, anti-biotics, the contraceptive pill and steroid medication.
These can play a huge role in digestive health and unfortunately standard medical tests may not always detect a parasite. An extremely thorough test to identify parasites and give other indications of gut health is called a CDSA. Kate can advise on this during a nutritional consultation.
Your diet can play a big role in improving or worsening symptoms of menopause.
This is a period of great change for women. It can be a smooth and easy ride, but in many cases, especially in the west, we experience more of a turbulent rollercoaster with many symptoms that are challenging to deal with. The average age is 50. Anything between 45 and 55 is common, although it can be much earlier or later. Chemotherapy and excess exposure to hormone-altering chemicals such as pesticides can trigger an early symptoms.
The most common things we would would like to address through nutritional and lifestyle support are:
hot flushes and sweats
dramatic mood swings
low sex drive
loss of bladder tone
Peri-menopause when your periods many become heavier or lighter or your cycles may become longer or shorter. Hot flushes may begin.
Menopause when ovarian function declines (oestrogen and progesterone decrease significantly) and periods stop.
Post-menopause begins 1 year after your last period.
How can nutrition have an effect on my symptoms?
There are many ways in which taking a holistic approach to your health can help during this time. Individualised nutrition is an important factor.
- Some foods are known to have hormone-balancing roles. They contain compounds called phyto-oestrogens which help to supply a little oestrogen in a natural and harmless way.
- Some foods provide the building blocks for hormone balance. B vitamins and magnesium are among these.
- Symptoms such as sweats and hot flushes can be triggered by poor blood sugar control. Changes to your diet can result in far better blood sugar balance.
- Managing stress plays a large part in easing the symptoms. Measuring cortisol levels through a simple saliva test may be a useful strategy. Targeted nutrition can help improve your cortisol response and decrease your symptoms.
- Your liver also plays a role in hormone balance. A personalised nutrition programme can ensure your liver has the correct supply of nutrients for optimal function.
- Digestive health can be important during the menopause. More and more research is being done on the importance of the bacteria in the guts. They are implicated in energy and weight control, absorption of nutrients and deactivation of old hormones.
- We are surrounded by chemicals in our environment. Some of these are known as endocrine disruptors. Finding out ways to reduce your toxic load can be beneficial during the menopause.
- Comprehensive Adrenal Stress Index cortisol, DHEA, secretory IgA (4 samples over 24 hours)
- Menopause Screen – E1, E2,E3, progesterone, P/E2 and testosterone (3 samples, 5 days)
- Menopause Check Plus – E1, E2, E3, progesterone and testosterone plus post-awakening DHEA (as above + 1 sample 7-9 am)
What you eat and your lifestyle can have a huge impact on your ability to conceive and carry a healthy baby to term. One study at the University of Surrey involved several hundred couples with a history of unexplained infertility. They were given tailor-made dietary programmes, lifestyle advice and nutritional supplements aimed at boosting their fertility. A massive 81% of them had healthy babies!
The success rates for assisted conception IUI, IVF and ICSI at the London Fertility Centre – which claims to have among the highest success rates in the UK are:
IUI – average 14.8% (9.7% – 24%)
IVF – average 35% (14% – 52% depending on age)
ICSI – average 40.4 %(24% – 52% depending on age)
Fees (in Edinburgh and via Skype)
2 hours (partners together) – £200
90 mins individual – £120
1 hour together – £80
45 mins individual – £60
Many couples spend huge sums of money on assisted conception techniques such as IVF. Following a nutritional programme prior to starting the treatment may improve the chances of success.
Many people assume the difficulty with fertility issues lies with the woman but in approximately 25% of cases the problem is linked to the man. Learning what nutrients are vital for sperm health and how to make sure you’re getting enough of them can lead to conception. Making sure the sperm is of optimal quality can also reduce the chances of miscarriage. According to the NHS around 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage but this figure could be higher as women may be miscarrying before they realize they are pregnant.
Eggs can take around 5 months to mature and sperm 3 to 4 months so it’s a good idea to start a pre-conception and fertility nutrition plan up to 6 months before planned conception – whether natural or assisted. This gives you time to get your body in the best condition possible to have a healthy body and to address any underlying imbalances.
Being pregnant for 9 months and then giving birth is wonderful, but is also a strain on your body so making sure you’ve got all the nutrients you individually need helps allow this to happen and you to have a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy. We all know that things such as folic acid are vital in pregnancy but there are many others to make sure you have enough of beforehand.
I prefer to see both partners together, so both parties understand why certain dietary changes are being recommended and can fully support each other. However, I am also happy to see just the woman or man.
I may also advise testing to check for levels of minerals or toxic heavy metals, sex hormones, stress hormones or essential fats.
You will be given a tailor-made dietary programme that is unique for you and based on boosting your fertility and chances of conception. There are certain nutrients that are beneficial to all those trying to conceive, but due to lifestyles, existing health issues and diet, some peoples’ needs for certain things are higher than others. A detailed questionnaire and discussion can highlight these areas and testing, if advised, can give further, more specific information. Included in your consultation is fertility nutritional advice, meal ideas and guidance, recipes and diet information sheets. Your fertility nutrition consultation can be in Edinburgh in person or if Edinburgh is inconvenient for you, it can also be done via Skype. Saturday consultations are available.
Follow-up consultations are advised after one month. You may also be recommended to see other Edinburgh-based complementary therapists who can support this plan and frequently work with fertility issues. For example: acupuncturist, herbalist, fertility counselor, reflexologist or cranial sacral therapist.
Once pregnant I can continue to support you and your growing baby throughout the 3 trimesters of pregnancy.br>
It’s normal to have a lot of questions at this stage. Here are my most commonly asked questions:
This depends on many things. For example, how long you’ve been unwell for, what the underlying causes of your symptoms are and how much you need or are able to change your diet and lifestyle. I would certainly hope to see improvements within the duration of your health package. We may wish to work together for longer after this.
The foods you eat are at the core of my work. Food provides the foundations to then add targeted supplements where needed. I only use companies whose research and ingredients I trust. There are a lot of “not very good” supplements on the market, made with fillers and in forms the body can’t use very well. I disagree strongly with statements saying that all supplement are a waste of money. Therapeutically, I see them make huge differences and science backs this up.
Your consultations are normally 4 weeks apart. On a package you will have a 15 minute call with me every week in between consultations so we can make amendments in the interim and so that I am able to fully support you.
I don’t always recommend testing but if I think it will help you get better quicker then I will. I only recommend tests that will change my course of action.
My most frequent tests are the GI Map (stool test) SIBO breath test (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), ONE test (Optimal Nutritional Evaluation) and DUTCH test (hormone testing).
No, I hope not! In some cases, I recommend elimination diets to my clients but only when these are appropriate. My aim is to have you eating as wide a range of foods as possible – hopefully including the odd glass of wine and piece of cake! However, do be prepared to make some dietary changes.
No! One of the reasons my first consultation is 1.5 hours is so I can understand your lifestyle, who you cook for and what is realistic for you to be able to do. The vast majority of clients are extremely busy, so quick meals are an absolute must.
Make an Enquiry
A nutritional therapy consultation generally involves:
Health and diet questionnaire completed by you.
Analysis of health and diet questionnaire by me before we meet.
90 min initial consultation
Dietary action plan (inc.recipes, meal ideas) that you agree is achievable.
Supplement and test recommendations if applicable
Initial consultation is £120 - including email with report, meal suggestions, recipes and supplement suggestions.
Follow ups are £60 and usually happen at 4 weekly intervals.