NB The terms:
Clinical Nutritionist, Naturopathic Practitioner and Holistic Practitioner have been used interchangeably in this FAQ and refers to a Complementary Medicine practitioner who has specialized in provision of Holistic/Naturopathic Nutritional Medicine as Apple has.
Q. What does a Clinical Nutritionist do?
A. Clinical Nutritionists are highly trained healthcare professionals with a minimum of three years of University training including one year of Clinical Practical placement experience. Clinical Nutritionists are constantly updating their skills and knowledge base via scientific literature and stay informed of new advancements in the field.
One key difference between Clinical Nutritionists and other Nutritionists, Health Promoters or Health coaches is that in addition to providing general nutritional counselling to address weight or to prevent the development of disease, a Clinical Nutritionist is qualified to, and specializes in the assessment, treatment and prevention of Chronic Disease states and associated symptoms using Nutritional Medicine via Diet manipulation and Nutraceuticals (Nutritional Supplements).
This is achieved by a comprehensive assessment of the culmination of your entire life experiences that has contributed to the state of your health today. This assessment includes the circumstances of your birth and medical history from infancy through to adulthood; your family history; your medication history and an analysis of your current presentation of symptoms, diet and lifestyle.
This is a collaborative process where the primary goal is to empower you and equip you with the knowledge of what to eat for your own bodies personal requirements. Not one way of eating suits everyone & Being a holistic practitioner means understanding that the uniqueness of each individual is paramount to developing a tailored plan
Q. Do I need to go to a Doctor or can a Clinical Nutritionist just treat me with Diet?
A. Clinical Nutritionists are not allowed to diagnose medical conditions, although we can certainly help you with your associated symptoms and in some cases ameliorate them all together.
As a Complementary Practitioner, we work along side your GP and other health professionals and support you through your health journey ensuring you have adequate nutrition relevant to your condition.
Q. Can I stop my Prescription Medication and just treat my illness with Nutrition and/or Supplements?
A. Sometimes. But NEVER by your own decision. You MUST have a consultation with your Holistic practitioner who would undertake a careful assessment of your case and overall state of health. It also depends on the medications, length of use and your age. Further, many medications require weaning and abrupt cessation can cause adverse effects which is against the Hippocratic code of ‘first do no harm’. If the option for weaning off medication does arise, this would be undertaken in conjunction with your GP.
Q. Can I take “Natural/Nutritional” Medicines & supplements at the same time as my doctors prescription medication?
A. Yes and No. You need to consult your Holistic Practitioner. Your Clinical Nutritionist has studied your prescription medication and it’s interactions with other medications (Both natural and pharmaceutical) whereas your Doctor hasn’t studied Nutritional Medicine or Nutraceuticals. Generally Nutritional supplements and therapeutic dietary nutrients are safe to take with prescription medication but there are some drugs such as Warfarin, Statins, SSRIs/SNRIs & herbs such as Ginkgo, St John’s Wort and Golden Seal that need to be considered to avoid adverse interactions.
Please consult your Naturopathic Practitioner before taking a cocktail of Nutraceuticals for your condition if you are also taking prescription drugs.
Q. Should I tell my Doctor I am taking Natural Medicine supplements?
A. Absolutely. Even Natural medicine can be harmful if taken inappropriately or in combination with other Medications. Your doctor needs to note what supplements you are taking to direct their treatment protocols and Visa Versa.
Be prepared for this information to not be well received by some GPs as some conservative professionals lack the appreciation of the new scientific breakthroughs in the world of Nutritional Medicine & Disease.
The the understanding of how important the nutrients, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other medicinal properties in our diets are to the state of our health and the prevention or treatment of chronic diseases is a relatively new and emerging science.