Nutritional therapists do not diagnose or ‘treat’ conditions and nutrition advice is not a substitute for professional medical advice and/or treatment. Nutritional Therapy uses what is known as a ‘functional’ approach – that is, it considers how well, or otherwise the systems of the body are functioning. This may be before the onset of disease but when some symptoms are being experienced. Hence a key part of Nutritional Therapy is that it takes a preventative approach. It seeks to reduce future risk of disease as well as lessening the impact of current symptoms by supporting the systems of the body, aiming for nutritional balance. Following thorough assessment, which sometimes includes functional testing, Nutritional Therapists will often recommend changes to diet, supplements and lifestyle interventions.
Nutritional Therapists recognise that each person is an individual with unique requirements and take time to define personalised nutrition plans rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
About Nutritional Therapy
What is Nutritional Therapy
Most people are familiar with the word ‘nutrition’ and are aware that it relates to food and diet. However, ‘Nutritional Therapy’ also relates to the approach used which differs somewhat to traditional healthcare available via the NHS in the UK.
While the NHS is of course an extremely valuable provision, it is often left dealing with people at the point of acute illness or crisis (rather than taking a preventative approach). It is also not necessarily well equipped to deal with the complexity of some long-term conditions and the links between them, due to different consultant specialisms. Staff time is often restricted as it is a universal provision and experiences huge demand from the public.
Nutritional Therapy is not available on the NHS although practitioners will often work alongside GP’s. To learn more about other professionals who work in the field of nutrition, please see http://bant.org.uk/about-nutritional-therapy/nutrition-titles/.
The industry is voluntarily regulated by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) at www.cnhc.org.uk and membership enables GP’s to refer to Nutritional Therapists. Educational and ethical standards are set by British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) at www.bant.org.uk. You can be confident that a practitioner who is a full member of both organisations is properly trained, qualified and insured.
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