Frequently Asked Questions

How many sessions will I need with the nutritional therapist?

How will I know if my condition has improved?

What if I can’t cook or have no time, or travel a lot?

Will I be given supplements?

Are there any other additional potential costs?

Do you cater for cultural or religious dietary requirements?

Will I be criticised for my current diet and lifestyle?

What’s the difference between a nutritional therapist, a nutritionist and a dietician?


 

How many sessions will I need with the nutritional therapist?

The average number of visits a patient might make  is three, spread over 12 weeks. Sometimes a client may need fewer visits, sometimes more. Your ability to make changes also affects the amount of time you need to achieve your goals. Complex conditions (eg IBD, IBS) usually need more time than simple issues (eg cold sores, gastritis).

 

Sometimes a patient just wishes for a general, healthy eating tutorial.  This does not involve you giving information about your health, only information about what you eat and drink and whether you smoke.  For this type of one-off consultation you only have to fill in a food diary in advance of the visit and inform your nutritional therapist of any medications you may be taking.

 

How will I know if my condition has improved?

At your first visit the severity of your 2 main symptoms are recorded, if possible.   Tracking your symptoms over subsequent visits allows you to see if there is tangible progress.

Appropriate laboratory tests at the outset and after several months can also sometimes be used to track progress.  If you have a medical condition it is also important that you are under medical supervision.  Nutritional therapy is not a substitute for the care of a medical doctor but works in conjunction with it.

 

What if I can’t cook or have no time, or travel a lot?
Anna will tailor a programme that fits in with your lifestyle and abilities, whether that is providing very simple meal ideas that can be made in minutes, providing bought-in and ready-made options (and where to source them), or providing tips and advice for eating out.

 

Will I be given supplements?

Supplements are no substitute for a healthy diet but high quality vitamins and minerals may help while you work on improving your diet. Using supplements can sometimes work faster than diet/lifestyle measures alone. Some people such as those with digestive issues, anybody on acid-blocking medication, the elderly and women going through the menopause, have impaired ability to absorb minerals such as zinc and chromium and so may need extra levels over and above those needed by others. Your nutritional therapist will always discuss cost with you before suggesting a supplement and will tailor your programme to suit your budget and personal preferences.

 

Are there any other additional potential costs?

If appropriate your nutritional therapist may suggest some independent laboratory tests or tests which can be organised through a GP. A test can help to pinpoint the exact problem quickly, allowing targeted, specific action on the issue you would like to address.

 


Do you cater for cultural or religious dietary requirements?

Yes, I can tailor specific programmes that fit in with different cultural eating restrictions, e.g. kosher, vegan, Muslim, indian subcontinent. Meal and menu ideas can also include e.g. Middle Eastern, Asian etc. dietary preferences and traditions.

 

Will I be criticised for my current diet and lifestyle?

Anna’s aim is to provide a non-judgemental and supportive environment for my clients. During a consultation it may be explained exactly in what way some of your current choices may be affecting your specific health issue. My aim is to work together from where you are now and to put an easy, staged, plan in place and help you to achieve your goal.

 

When I ask clients to be as truthful as possible filling out the 3-day food diary it is because this is a valuable tool for assessing your intake of nutrients and anti-nutrients. Nobody has a perfect diet 100% of the time (even nutritional therapists!) but the aim is to improve very specific aspects of your diet affecting your individual health concern.

 


What’s the difference between a nutritional therapist, a nutritionist and a dietician?

A dietician works usually within a state sector typically in a hospital and is qualified to give advice on diets for people with specific medical requirements. Diets provided by a dietician are usually intended to manage medical conditions.   They are not usually individually tailored to take account of other issues that a patient may have.

 

In Ireland the term nutritionist and nutritional therapist are interchangeable.  Nutritionists and Nutritional Therapists may work in an advisory capacity to the food industry or hospitals.  They may alternatively do diet and lifestyle coaching working one to one with clients who want to find safe, natural solutions to complement their medical treatment.  Nutritional therapists undertake clinical training as part of their qualification.

 

Properly qualified nutritional therapists are subject to the code of ethics and regulations of the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI) [for more information see www.ntoi.ie ] NTOI will shortly soon amalgamating with the Irish Association of Nutritional Therapists (IANT) to form a larger umbrella organisation.  Anna Collins is a member of NTOI and of the British Association of Nutritional Therapists (BANT) [see www.bant.org.uk ]
 
 

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