FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What sort of conditions can Katherine help me with?

Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutritional science in the promotion of health and prevention of illness.  It can help support many chronic conditions as well as those simply looking to optimise their health.  Some examples of symptoms clients who seek of nutritional therapy support may be experiencing are:

  • Digestive disorders – bloating, heartburn/reflux, constipation, IBS, IBD, coeliac disease, H-pylori and candida overgrowth.
  • Female hormonal imbalances – PMS, PCOS, endometriosis and peri/menopausal symptoms.
  • Blood sugar imbalances – Type II diabetes, sugar cravings, and poor energy levels.
  • Poor immune function – recurring infections, asthma, hay fever and sinusitis.
  • Skin disorders – eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
  • Weight management.
  • Food intolerances, allergies and headaches.
  • Many chronic health conditions including auto-immunity.

Nutritional Therapy is not a replacement for conventional medical advice and if any ‘red flags’ are raised Katherine will always recommend you seek advise from your Doctor. However, Katherine frequently works alongside other health care providers such as GP’s and Consultants, to provide the best overall care package for you possible.

As an athlete how can a nutritional therapy help me?

Athletes frequently push their bodys to the limit, particularly age-groupers, who work hard, play hard and train hard with little time for rest and recovery.  This can be fine for a while and you think you can do it all but, over time, imbalances build-up and, as we age, it is common to begin to see cracks in our health which can feed into reduced performance and enjoyment of your sport.  This is where a functional sports nutrition approach is ideal, addressing underlying health issues first as the foundational building block from which to work.

As we age, to improve as an athlete, we need to go beyond the basic macro nutrient ratios and calorie counting, with careful consideration to your own genetic make-up, protein (amino-acid) metabolism, energy (mitochondrial) pathways and immune and hormone function.   Personalised nutritional therapy using the functional model looks at all of these factors and how they interact, allowing us to find out what your unique nutrient requirements leading to improved overall health, vitality and, last but not least, performance.

As an athlete, how will advice from Katherine differ from the standard ‘sports advice’?

Traditional sports nutrition is still heavily biased towards the quantitative understanding of nutrients, such as how many calories do you need, how many carbs, protein, fat etc.  Functional sports nutrition places a much greater emphasis on the quality which it then overlays later on with the traditional more quantitative approach of sports nutrition.   There are three tiers to the functional sports nutrition approach – these are:

• The initial focus on an athlete’s mind-body health through application of the functional model – this may involve supplements but not as ergogenic aids.
• The second focus on performance nutrition – consideration of macro and micro-nutrient requirements for competitive gain, including considerations such as timings of food and fluid consumption.
• Supplements – the use of traditional supplements and newer ergogenic aids that may encourage functional health.

This tired approach ensures the foundations are firmly in place enabling consistency in training and your energy systems firing optimally to help you once again love what you do and performance improvements to be seen.

Can Katherine work alongside my Doctor/coach/physio?

Yes, Katherine frequently works collaboratively with GPs, consultants and coaches/physios etc.   This is very important in ensuring the best care for you if, for example, you are on various prescribed medications.  For athletes, working alongside your coach, helps us to understand some of the stressors being placed on your body and how best to balance these in order to optimise your performance.

How could genetic testing help me as an athlete?

Genetic testing is a fascinating area that can help inform you on your genetic predisposition – whether you are more or less likely to suffer from inflammation, calf injuries, how well you convert vitamin D to its active form, your ability to detoxify certain foods and hormones, how well you metabolise carbohydrates and fats are examples where we can gain an insight.  There is still much we don’t know but the research base is rapidly growing and, with a bit of trial and error, it becomes much easier to determine what is actually going on in your body and how best to fuel it, how to recover, preventative action to take optimising your opportunity to perform as an athlete.

There are ethical considerations when undertaking genetic testing which will need to be discussed and it is important to remember that your genes do not determine your destiny.  Just because you have a particular gene alteration (single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP) on a gene does not mean you will develop x y or z but it highlights were attention needs to be paid, additional nutrients that you may require and also how any gene alterations may be used to your advantage.    SNP’s may or may not be being expressed, with the expression being affected by your diet, lifestyle and environment and thus offering you an element of control over them.

What is Functional Blood Chemistry analysis and how does it differ from the blood tests my doctor arranges?

Functional blood chemistry analysis is a hugely valuable tool to get a clear overview of your whole body’s general health, not only at potential disease processes but also how all of the body’s key functional systems are working by looking at patterns and using a comprehensive analysis programme, overlaid with knowledge of your unique personal situation.  The health report you will receive also reports on the status of key nutrients and trends to and from clinical dysfunction.   An assessment of your cardiovascular risk, immune function, blood sugar regulation, thyroid function, gastrointestinal function, liver function, adrenal function, red blood cell function, gall blood function and kidney function are all provided.

Additionally, reference ranges provided are both standard and optimal.  Standard NHS ranges are the ranges within which 95% of the population needs to be to avoid outright deficiency or disease.  Many clients who feel ‘unwell’ or that ‘something is not quite right’ come out ‘normal’ when tested with their GP providing them with no solution.  One size does not fit all and we all have our own unique requirements – the optimal ranges used here are based around an optimal physiology and not a normal pathology.  This results in a narrower range which, if outside, provides an indication that something is not quite right in one or more of your physiological systems associated with this bio-marker.

The panel Katherine typically recommends uses a panel that looks at 80 blood bio-markers to provide this information and costs £299, plus the cost of a blood draw (typically £35-40).

I don’t really have anything ‘wrong’ with me but I just don’t feel right. Can Katherine help me?

Absolutely!  This is a very common reason that clients come to see Katherine – it is hard to pinpoint anything specific and your GP has perhaps put it down to tiredness and getting older.  Whilst this may in part be correct, that does not mean there is nothing you can do about it.  Imbalances build up over time and these initial symptoms such as lack of energy and perhaps a general loss of vitality can be important signs that  you need to pay close attention to before they develop into anything that is can be classified by a Doctor as a ‘disease’.   A ‘disease’ is merely a collection of symptoms that have been given a name such as ‘diabetes’ or ‘PCOS’ – Katherine looks to find out WHY you have these symptoms in the first place to improve your general sense of vitality and health.

Will I need to have any tests carried out and if so what do they cost?

Whether testing is recommended will depend on your individual case history, symptoms and personal situation.  Functional testing is most commonly recommended that uses specific laboratory tests which aim to evaluate your health status by measuring how the physiology of the body is functioning, rather than simply looking at indications of disease, which many, more typical, health practitioners focus on.  Tests such as these can be invaluable in identifying what may contributing to your health issues and therefore result in faster successful outcomes by helping to target more precisely your personal nutritional programmes.

Blood, urine, stool or saliva based tests are typically used with a variety of accredited laboratories and prices vary depending on the nature of the test.  These will always be discussed in detail during your consultation.

Will I be advised to take supplements?

Diet is always addressed as the foundational platform from which to work but often supplements are recommended after a thorough analysis of your personal case history and symptoms.  Often, nutrients are required at therapeutic doses in the early days (and sometimes longer) to help re-balance your body and supplements can  play an important role here. 

Where supplements are required, Katherine can arrange this for you and will pass on a Practitioner discount to you.

I take prescribed medication, how will this be effected by any dietary changes or supplements that are recommended?

Drug/food/herb interactions are always taken into consideration and Katherine will write to your GP, with your permission, informing them of the advice you are being given.   Where your GP/Consultant is happy, Katherine will work collaboratively with them to achieve the best results for you, with consideration always to your goals and desired outcomes.

How soon after implementing a nutritional plan can I expect to see changes?

Frequently changes are seen quickly but as we are all biochemically unique, everyone can react differently and at different speeds so there is no guaranteed time in which you will see results.  In addition, results will depend on your commitment and motivation to the plan and the extent of the imbalances that we are dealing with.

What are the systems within the Functional Model?

The functional model works on a body system basis. The main functional systems that are recognised are:

  • Gastrointestinal – eg digestion, absorption and assimilation.
  • Communication – eg hormones, neurotransmitters and immune molecules
  • Energy – eg mitochondrial function and energy metabolism.
  • Detoxification and bio-transformation eg detoxification of hormones, nutrients, environmental toxins.
  • Structural – from subcellular membranes to the musculoskeletal system and hair, nails etc.
  • Transport – including the cardiovascular and lymphatic system
  • Defence and Repair – including immune function, microbiota and inflammation.

What are red flags?

Red Flags are signs and symptoms that may indicate a more serious underlying pathology and if any of these are indicated, Katherine will ensure that if you have not already spoken to your GP about them, recommend that you do straight away.

What is NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming)?

Neurolinguistic programming is is an approach to communication, personal development and pyschotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Griner in the 1970’s.  It looks to the connection between the neurological processes and behavioural programmes learned through experience which can be used to change and achieve specific goals.

It can be a very useful technique in nutritional therapy as our thoughts around food and our habits are rarely simple.  Breaking long engrained habits with strong psychological links can take more than being presented with a food plan and some pots of supplements.  Working NLP techniques into Nutritional Therapy sessions can help you achieve your goals more quickly and increase the likelihood that they will be sustainable long term.

Katherine is a certified NLP Coach (The Association for NLP).

Who else will be involved in my Family Nutrition Package?

This is on a as needed basis but if required Katherine has behavioural coaches, physios, personal trainers and sports therapists that she works alongside with and who can be called upon.

What is the difference between a Nutritional Therapist, Nutritionist and Dietician?

Nutritional Therapist is not a regulated title under law unlike a Dietitian (see ‘How are Nutritional Therapists Regulated?’) and dietitians are typically more involved in maintaining life rather than optimising health like Nutritional Therapists.  Dietitians principally work within NHS settings whilst Nutritional Therapists work more frequently in private practise and may have a broader set of clinical skills at their disposal.

It is important to check the foundational qualifications of your Nutritional Therapist and understand the way that they practise.  Some Nutritional Therapists may have undergone short diplomas while others a 3 year BSc Honours Degree and/or a Masters in their field of expertise.  Dietitians will have a degree based around Dietetics.

Katherine has a First Class Honours BSc degree in Nutritional Science from CNELM, accredited by Middlesex University and a Nutritional Therapy Practise Diploma, accredited by NTEC.

How are Nutritional Therapists regulated?

Nutritional Therapist is not a regulated title under law and thus registration is on a voluntary basis with the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine, BANT, and the Complimentary and Natural Heatlhcare Council, CNHC, who hold the accredited register for Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.  Ensuring your practitioner is on both of these registers should allow you peace of mind that the minimum professional standards as set out by each have been met, including minimum annual Continue Professional Development.

Katherine is a full member of BANT and the CNHC.

How do I book a package?

Once you have had your free 15 minute consultation and a chance to ask any questions, a first appointment can be arranged at the end of the call.  Terms and Conditions, Health Questionnaires and payment details will all be emailed to you.  If you need a little time to consider which package to choose, Katherine can email you some suitable days and times, subject to availability.

Do consultations have to take place in person?

Ideally first consultations will take place in person and follow-ups can be either in person or via Skype, which ever is more convenient for you.  The first consultation can take place via Skype if this is the only option reasonably available to you.  Katherine can travel to you subject to her availability but this does incur additional costs of not only travel but time spent travelling if the journey is of significant length.

I live abroad, can I still see Katherine for a consultation?

Yes.  Consultations can be carried out via Skype.  Whilst it is preferable if the initial consultation can be in person, it is not essential.

How can I pay?

Bank transfers for packages are required 48 hours before the initial consultation.

What if I need to reschedule?

48 hours notice is required if you need to cancel or rearrange.

Is the information you hold about me confidential?

Yes.  Katherine and all employees of KCH Nutrition are governed by the same ethical standards as your Doctor or Lawyer.   As set out in the Terms and Agreement, which both you and your Practitioner sign at the outset, all standards of professional practise are governed by the CHNC Code of Conduct.