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What is Nutritional Therapy?

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Nutritional therapy is an indispensable, personalised tool that can support you towards achieving specific health goals, managing a chronic health condition - alongside medical support - or helping you to implement long-term healthy habits.

Nutritional therapy is about much more than weight loss; it includes a wide range of different health conditions that may benefit from nutritional support, which are detailed below.

When it comes to health, one size doesn’t fit all, and given the current and predicted health challenges faced by most Western societies today, nutritional therapy is now more important than ever before.

What is Nutritional Therapy?

Nutritional therapy is an evidence-based, whole-body approach to nutrition and lifestyle medicine. It addresses potential underlying causes of ill health, rather than solely focusing on symptoms, and is used to promote optimal health through nutrition and lifestyle interventions including:

  • Diet plans and healthy recipes

  • Sleep and circadian rhythm optimisation

  • Heat therapy, e.g. cold water showers and saunas

  • Movement and physical exercise

  • Nature and sunlight exposure

  • Targeted nutritional supplements

  • Functional and investigative testing, e.g. DUTCH test

  • Stress management techniques, e.g. mindfulness

  • Environmental toxin exposure, e.g. cleaning products, skincare, make-up

  • Self-care and emotional health, e.g. healthy boundaries, journaling

Practitioners of Nutritional Therapy often utilise a range of tools in assessment of the individual's health status and to identify any potential nutritional deficiencies or imbalances that may be contributing to symptoms.

The focus is always on the individual because no two people’s illness is the same, even if their diagnosis is identical. Recognising that everyone’s body, biochemistry and history is unique, is an important part of creating an intervention that really works. As Nutritional Therapists, we work with the person with the condition, not just the condition itself.

Nutritional therapy practitioners do not diagnose or treat diseases, however they often work alongside other healthcare professionals in supporting individuals with a wide range of health concerns.

What Does a Nutritional Therapist Do?

  • A Nutritional Therapist can provide nutritional support to individuals in a one-to-one context, or with groups and companies, providing talks and resources.

  • They can work alongside other complementary professionals such as chiropractors and acupuncturists in multi-disciplinary wellness centres.

  • Nutritional Therapists offer in-person and online consultations and services like workshops or courses.

  • They have the ability to liaise with supplement company representatives, functional testing laboratories and other healthcare providers to provide the best possible programme to their clients.

Typically a Nutritional Therapist will assess:
  • Your current eating habits

  • Lifestyle

  • Exercise

  • Medical history (provided at your discretion)

  • Goals and timeframes

  • Your understanding of what makes a ‘healthy’ diet and lifestyle, and will provide any necessary education

  • As a Certified Mindfulness Practitioner, I will also take account of your mindset and emotional health and support you as necessary with Mindfulness and Compassion techniques.

In doing so, we can create a bespoke plan that will provide you with YOUR version of a healthy diet, give you the knowledge of what works best for you, and provide you with the tools to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Common Reasons to See a Nutrition Professional

There is a wide range of reasons why people may choose to see a Nutritional Therapist, so I've pulled together some examples and explained the ways in which Nutritional Therapy can help each one.

Managing Health Conditions

You have a diagnosis of one or more chronic illnesses or autoimmune diseases, and are struggling with symptoms or are unsatisfied with current treatment options.

If you’re struggling with a chronic illness(es) or autoimmune condition(s), Nutritional Therapy can support you in alleviating symptoms and managing flares.

Sufferers of chronic health conditions such as endometriosis, psoriasis, or diabetes can benefit from Nutritional Therapy. It is common that people struggle with many varied and seemingly random symptoms alongside their diagnosed condition such as digestive complaints, chronic pain, and fatigue that point to underlying imbalances.

One example of how a Nutritional Therapist can support those with endometriosis, is by creating a suitable diet plan, such as one that places emphasis on anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense foods that provide a slow release of energy to keep steady energy levels throughout the day.

Female Health Conditions and Fertility

You have a diagnosed women's health condition and are struggling with symptoms; or you may have an autoimmune disease or female health condition and would like support having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

There are a number of medical conditions specific to people with ovaries or a womb, that may benefit from nutritional support. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that affects 7-10% of women and is related to hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and metabolic dysregulation.

Many women with PCOS struggle with insulin regulation, which leads to many of PCOS’s symptoms. A Nutritional Therapist can assess the symptoms you suffer from, and devise a personalised Health Plan that can support the underlying issues creating your symptoms.

Preventative / Health Optimisation

You are healthy and want to stay that way going forward; you have a family relation with significant health issues or diagnoses that you do not want to develop.n

Here we can work with optimising your health and investigating what works best for you. Something like Continuous Glucose Monitoring, Heart Rate Variability testing and other functional tests can be helpful tools to understand how your body works and what it needs to function at it's best. We will then create a tailored Health Plan based on these results.

Surgery and Rehabilitation

With the guidance of a Nutrition Therapist, nutrition can play a key part in rehabilitation, such as from laparoscopic surgery. It can help to support healing and to rebuild the body's defences, by introducing gradual dietary changes to fuel the body with essential vitamins and minerals that boost immune function and aid overall well-being.

Next Steps

Hi I'm Molly, I'm a UK-based Nutritional Therapist (DipION, mBANT, CNHC) and Self-Compassion Coach (MSc) serving my community in Harpenden and online. Here in my little online home, you'll discover the benefits of nutritional therapy and complementary therapies for autoimmune disease and chronic illness.

Want to understand more about nutrition for autoimmune diseases? Download my free recipe book and discover 12 Nutritionist-Certified Recipes to Help Alleviate the Symptoms of Autoimmunity & Chronic Illness.

If you’re ready to take the next step, please book a FREE mini consultation

In this appointment, we will discuss your goals, any symptoms that you would like to address and relevant medical history that you think I should know about.

Together, we will decide whether this is the right step for you.


College of Naturopathic Medicine


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