Nutritional Medicine is based on the principle that nutrients, including essential micronutrients, are required for the proper functioning of all the biochemical processes on which our bodies depend and for us to stay healthy. When treating symptoms or diseases, a nutritionist will look for the underlying causes which, although often partly genetic, are usually very much tied up with nutritional and environmental factors. This is in contrast to the tendency in the conventional medical approach to treat symptoms by means of drugs or surgery.
Although nutrition, as a science, has always been part of conventional medicine, generally speaking, Western medicine physicians are not taught the science of nutrition in their education. Therefore often Western medicine physicians do not offer nutrition as part of their practice.
Everyone can benefit from learning how to better handle their food intake and what foods are going to be best for their particular bodies and needs. But while everyone can benefit from a better understanding of their diet needs, particularly individuals with food allergies, diabetes, obesity, digestive or swallowing problems, or cardiovascular risk factors, among other specific conditions will gain tremendous benefit.
Apart from the treatment of gross nutritional deficiencies and rare metabolic disorders, other nutritional interventions generally are not part of conventional medical practice. Therefore, they are more commonly described as complementary medicine.
While a person may certainly seek the assistance of a Nutritionist to help them determine a diet to help them lose weight, a Nutritionist can be much more than that. A Nutritionist can play a valuable role in helping a person to understand their overall health. Often health issues such as digestive disorders, autoimmune conditions, food sensitivities, weight loss, diabetes management, hormone and thyroid imbalances, pediatric nutrition, pre and post natal needs, and chronic fatigue can be addressed through nutrition.
People are confronted every day with our Standard American Diet which consists of processed foods, artificial sugars, high fructose corn syrup, white sugars, genetically modified foods, pesticides – a Nutritionist can help sort through all the roadblocks in a person’s diet that is keeping them from being as healthy as thy could be.