Lisa, 41, Mother of 3
Lisa came to see me as she was severely lacking in energy, felt tired all the time, and consequently found it a struggle to keep up with her daily routine. She had begun to develop flu type infections regularly which took her a long time to recover from. Lisa’s diet was fairly healthy and she was very open to learning more about nutrition.
Lisa presented with other signs and symptoms. These included constantly feeling cold, thinning hair, constipation and looked unusually pale. Though Lisa ate fairly healthily her diet seemed to lack iron as she infrequently ate red meat and consumed leafy green vegetables around once a week.
Together we agreed that Lisa should have some tests done and I wrote a referral letter to Lisa’s GP requesting that she have her thyroid and blood counts tested. In the meantime, after she was tested, Lisa was to try to eat a small amount of lean red (preferably grass fed organic) meat 2-3 times a week and at least one portion of leafy green vegetables a day along with some other suggestions to help get her bowels working more regularly and suggestions to balance her blood sugar to give her more energy during the day.
Lisa’s thyroid tests came back positive for Hashimoto’s disease which is the autoimmune type of hypothyroidism and the tests also indicated slight iron deficiency anaemia. Lisa’s GP suggested she go on the medication Thyroxine for her thyroid; however Lisa preferred to try to manage this naturally as her levels were not yet too severe. The GP agreed to give her 3 months before being tested again.
When Lisa returned for the follow up, we worked specifically on thyroid support, optimising Lisa’s iron levels and continuing work on her digestive system. I recommended a number of dietary changes. Additionally, supplements were recommended which would target the auto immunity and offer general thyroid support, along with a specific iron supplement which would not further exacerbate her bowels.
Lisa was tested 3 months later and her GP was surprised to tell her that she had managed to reverse her Hashimoto’s and her iron levels were back to normal. Lisa had been previously informed that the Hashimoto’s could not be reversed and her GP told her to carry on with whatever she had been doing!
I am delighted to say that during Lisa’s final follow up we were able to make a few adjustments to her plan and Lisa felt better than she had in a long time. She had plenty of energy, did not feel cold all the time and her hair was beginning to thicken up. She had also avoided catching any nasty bugs. She felt really well but also looked much better.
Leslie, 67, Retired
Leslie came to see me with severe rheumatoid arthritis. She suffered with stiffness and daily flare ups which were painful and prevented her from exercising and doing her favourite pastime of gardening. She was already on medication for her blood pressure and was worried about being put on further medication, so her daughter suggested she tried a nutritional therapist.
I looked at her diet and decided that joint support and immune support were imperative along with being mindful of Leslie’s history of high blood pressure and family history of heart disease.
Leslie agreed to a number of diet changes and additions but I needed to take in to account Leslie’s husband who was less enthusiastic about making changes, when devising her plan. I tried to give Leslie meal solutions that would be suitable for both herself and her husband. I recommended supplementation to target the autoimmunity, inflammation, and the joints themselves. I was careful to avoid any nutrient interactions with the medication Leslie was on when making my recommendations.
When Leslie came for her follow up 8 weeks later, she was thrilled to report that she felt a substantial improvement. She had not had a flare up for around 6 weeks and the inflammation and stiffness had reduced considerably. Consequently Leslie had been able to get back to her gardening. She now rarely needed pain relief medication, her sleep had improved and she planned to start some gentle exercising. Consequently Leslie was thrilled to be able to make changes which resulted in a significant improvement in her health and well being.