People are always asking me why they need to see a nutritionist. Nutritionists can help in a number of ways advising and guiding healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Here are my top ten reasons why you need to see one:
1. Your blood tests come back out of range
Blood tests have come back with irregularities? Nutritionists are trained to read blood tests results and can successfully guide you on which foods, supplements and lifestyle factors to choose to get them back into a normal range.
Whether you need to increase iron stores, reduce cholesterol, increase vitamin D levels, reduce fasting glucose levels, insulin or HBA1C, improve thyroid function, reduce inflammation or improve liver function. These can be achieved and corrected back to a healthy range.
2. Your blood test came back normal but you still feel, tired, constipated and can’t lose weight
Your blood tests have come back within range but you don’t feel good. Sound familiar? Your thyroid might be struggling. Drs mainly test TSH which is the messenger our body sends to produce thyroid hormone. If this is within range then investigations often stop there. But this is only part of the picture.
To get the full picture of what’s going on with your thyroid and your metabolism it’s important to look at T4, T3 and Reverse T3 levels. T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone we produce which needs to be converted to the active form (T3) in the liver and the gut. By checking these blood tests, we can see how well your thyroid hormones are being converting into the active form.
If you aren’t converting well, we can look at why not? Does your liver or gut need support? Do you have all the nutrients required to make thyroid hormones? And then there’s reverse T3. This hormone can sit on the thyroid receptor and effectively block it from producing thyroid hormone. This is often the missing part of the puzzle.
Nutritionists look at detailed blood work but also treat individual. Even mild deviations in thyroid blood work could leave some people feeling awful and impact their ability to lose weight. 3. You are thinking of having a baby or are pregnant.
What you eat and drink before you conceive, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding can affect your child’s future health
From starting to plan for a baby to actively trying to conceive working to enhance your nutrition and lifestyle is key. Optimal nutrition can improve your fertility, egg and sperm quality and reduce the risk of pregnancy complications as well as positively affecting the health of your future child.
4. Your hormones are out of balance and you have PMT, painful periods, no periods, heavy periods, mood swings, bloating, and/or migraines
Hormones are chemical messengers in our body and even slight imbalances can start a cascade which can lead to symptoms like bloating, sore breasts, acne, mood swings, headaches, heavy periods and weight gain.
Hormones are made from the nutrients we consume in our foods such as zinc, b vitamins, magnesium and essential fats.
A nutritionist can help improve your hormones by addressing poor gut function, impaired liver detoxification, unbalanced blood sugar, stress and lifestyle factors.
4.You have an autoimmune condition
Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system attacks normal healthy cells by mistake.
A nutritionist can help you bring your body back into balance by changing your lifestyle and in particular eating a personalized autoimmune disease diet. Nutrition and lifestyle changes can improve gut health and reducing inflammation, the common factors in autoimmune disease. Inflammation is part of the immune system’s response to a foreign invader. That’s helpful if you have a cold or a cut, but with autoimmunity, your body can end up being chronically inflamed constantly mounting an immune reaction trying to fight off its own healthy cells. That can lead to symptom flare-ups. Reducing inflammation and healing the gut are key when treating autoimmune disorders. A nutritionist can help you support a healthy microbiome, and prevent and manage flare-ups when they occur by using nutrition lifestyle factors such as stress reduction and sleep to enable the body to heal and reduce inflammation.
5. You have acne, eczema, rosacea or another skin condition
Our skin is one of our major routes of elimination and reflects what is happening in our bodies. A great skincare routine is helpful but its only by addressing what is going on inside that we will get glowing skin. Our gut, liver, hormones and nervous system all affect our skin.
No matter how expensive our skin products nutrition is the foundation of good skin.
A nutritionist can help you eat your way to glowing skin. Wholefoods are amazing. There are so many great foods that have skin health benefits such as fresh berries, vegetables and omega rich foods like oily, fish, chia and flaxseeds and walnuts.
Gut health is often the first thing to look at. This interconnection is called the Gut -skin axis. An imbalance of certain bacteria such as Bacillus olernoius, E,coli, and Lipopolysaccharides in the gut can produce inflammatory chemicals with lead to an increase in acne, eczema, and rosacea.
A nutritionist can test to see the exact landscape of your gut microbes. The good news is that what we eat directly impacts of gut bacteria and that we can reseed and populate are Gut bacteria.
6. You react to foods but aren’t sure which ones
Do you suffer from food intolerances? Feeling bloated? Suffering with IBS? Flatulence or burping? Feeling anxious or depressed? Hidden food sensitivities significantly impact gut health, digestive capacity and overall gut function. Food sensitivity testing can help identify foods which may be triggering symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, skin breakouts, and increasing inflammation. Food intolerances can drive hormonal conditions, autoimmune diseases, skin and mood issues.
A Nutritionist can test for sensitivities and help navigate elimination diets, gut healing work and reintroduction so that these troubling symptoms can be reversed. Once you find the triggers you can start to improve your health.
7. You don’t go to the bathroom every day or you go several times a day
One of the best ways to measure if our gut is healthy is the quality and frequency of your bowel movements.
Passing a stool every day is key to good health particularly our hormonal and skin health. If you are not eliminating every day hormones can be reabsorbed into the blood stream in a more toxic form and be recycled into the body to have their action again. This excess of hormones can lead to oestrogen dominance with symptoms such as heavy bleeding, headaches, weight gain, endometriosis, anxiety, depression, insomnia and low libido.
Similarly going several times, a day can indicate IBS, bacterial infections, food intolerances, Crohn's disease, hyperthyroidism or nervous system and hormonal imbalance. Loose stools will mean that nutrients will not be absorbed effectively into your system.
A nutritionist can access and provide ways to successfully bring your stools back to ideal consistency and frequency to improve your health.
8. You feel tired all the time.
Fatigue and tiredness are general symptoms that can be caused by many factors. Stress and poor sleep are the obvious reasons.
However, many other factors can come into play. Fatigue is such a common symptom that many are used to it. Feeling tired on a regular basis could be a result of other conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, hypothyroidism and autoimmune conditions.
Underlying causes could also be nutritional deficiencies such as iron or b12. Iron deficiency is widespread and effects women throughout their lifespan particularly during their menstruating years.
Poor blood sugar balance can also cause fatigue along with undiagnosed food intolerances, low nutrient intake particularly Magnesium and high stress.
A nutritionist can work to uncover the true cause of your fatigue and help you gain back energy and vitality.
9. You can’t Sleep
Can’t fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up too early? You are not alone. A whopping 96% of Australians will experience sleep disturbances and insomnia during their lifetime.
Having regular good quality sleep can improve heart health, glucose metabolism, improve brain function, immunity and mood. In fact, nearly all of our body systems are affected by poor sleep particularly hormones, cognition and immunity.
If you want to improve your health, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do.
A Nutritionist can recommend lifestyle and nutritional interventions to improve your sleep, from balancing your blood sugar, to resetting your circadian rhythm, and correcting hormone imbalances. There are many things we can do to ensure you have a restful night’s sleep.
10. Your mood is low, you have anxiety or depression
If you are experiencing low mood, anxiety or depression good nutrition can make a huge difference.
Your emotional health can be impacted by many factors. Stress and trauma are big ones. Other factors include nutritional deficiencies, elevated blood glucose levels, food intolerances and of course hormonal imbalances
A nutritionist can help to work out what are the factors that are fuelling your anxieties. For example, excessive histamines particularly around peri menopause can be responsible for high anxiety, feelings of agitation and even palpitations all of which can be reduced by certain dietary strategies.