Nutritionist

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Nutritionist

Postby carolad » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:12 pm

Has anyone been to a nutritionist? I'm still wondering if there is something I could change in my diet to improve my symptoms. There is so much conflicting advice though...don't eat dairy products, don't eat sugar...etc etc. I am already a gluten free vegetarian so I am reluctant to start cutting out any other food groups without advice from someone who knows what they are talking about. So I was thinking of going to a nutritionist at a local health store. I'm not really sure what to expect though...has anyone had experience of this?
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby emmas » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:36 am

I totally agree that diet can have a real effect on fibro symptoms, but I'm not keen on the idea of 'nutritionists'. Nutritionist is a totally unregulated term and literally anyone can set themselves up and call themselves a nutritionist. They are totally unregulated and their advice can be questionable. I'm not saying they all are questionable; indeed there are some who are very professional, but they are still unregulated and if they give you bad advice you have little recourse as a result. The only way to get properly qualified, regulated, and accountable dietary advice is through a dietician (people often mistake one for the other or think the terms are interchangeable when they aren't), who is a registered healthcare professional, in the same way a nurse or physiotherapist is.

If you think it is something you want to investigate further you could ask your GP for a referral to the local dietetics service and that way you know you will be getting sound advice based in nutritional science and not the fly-by-night 'wonder supplements' that some nutritionalists can try and push. You might get a good and/or in-some-way-qualified nutritionist, but you will definitely get a qualified dietitian and an accountable place to complain about them if they aren't good! Dieticians have a responsibility to consider your diet as a whole, which I personally think is particularly important if you already exclude some items from your diet.

Personally, I think it is a balance that is often best found on your own (as some of these things can be so very personal to each of us). That said, I have a good understanding of nutritional sciences and what makes up most of what we eat and I am able to experiment on myself and as a result I am able to work out what does and doesn't work for me (Personally the severity and frequency of my flares and the general day-to-day pain and fatigue levels can by influenced by a number of things -- gluten, fats, sugars are my big triggers, but smaller ones are artificial sweeteners, caffeine, dairy).

If you are confident enough to keep your own diary of what you eat and how you feel and analyse the base contents of your diet (with the help of the internet if you need it) them you might be amazed at what you can learn about yourself. It takes a bit of time and dedication to do it, but as a gluten-free vegetarian I am guessing you will already have a pretty decent understanding of what your food is made up of anyway. A simple spreadsheet of what you ate and how you felt might be very revealing for you and you can start to notice patterns and then see if cutting certain things out helps.

If personal logging and analysis feels like a bit much (and we all know how sometimes just waking up feels too much some days!) then I would suggest the GP referral route. If they aren't forthcoming with the referral (it can be a bit of a postcode lottery on that front, so be prepared to make a (financial) case, suggesting long term cost saving by fewer GP visits as a result might be a reasonable approach to take and/or (wellbeing) case about possible improvements to your symptoms and quality of life as a result) then try a free nutritionist, but take what they say with a pinch of salt - if they are paid by a health food store then they are likely going to try and sell you something - they are being paid by them for a reason and that reason will very likely be profit motivated! If they need to be paid another way then ask yourself if that person has a vested interest in up-selling further services or stringing out consultations or treatments to make a bit more form you. Take their advice, but go away and do a bit of research before committing to buying anything would be my suggestion!

Sorry if that all seems a bit anti-nutritionist; I have heard some bad things about some people who have taken advantage of vulnerable people who just wanted some help and so many people don't even know there is a difference between a nutritionist and a dietician!

I hope at least some of that has helped in one way or another...!

All the best with finding out what is right for you. Gentle hugs!
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby rich44 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:58 am

If you have an android or iPhone install FibroMapp, costs a few pennies. It takes you through your day you record symptoms like pain etc and what it stopped you doing, sleep record (hours & quality) there's a free text box there and you could record food taken too then you'd have a really useful record of cause & affect
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby iblinkin » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:04 am

Nightshade foods are apparently very bad for us and i myself have removed those foods from my diet with some success as well as losing weight.. i was actually called skinny today by my sister in law. I hope this helps some?
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby migrembe » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:33 am

I am a registered nurse and as an add on to that and part of my job i was also trained in nutrition - it was my job to advise post heart attack patients about diet and exercise and most of us get it wrong, some of the time.

The best exercise you can do is to go for a walk every day. Starting slowly and adding to it until you can walk for an hour at a reasonable speed about 3-4 miles.

Food - If you haven't seen a dietitian then get your Dr to refer you. If you haven't been tested and diagnosed as gluten intolerant then get tested has your body may be missing out on something you are not eating.

No one really needs to be a vegetarian, but most of us could do with eating less meat. It all comes down to variety. I would avoid eating soya in large quantities and quorn as well, these are man made products that the body doesn't know what to do with, and use beans, pulses and decent cheese and dairy, eggs.

Eat butter sparingly and whole or semi skimmed milk.

Taking too many supplements can be harmful, especially Vit A as it can destroy your liver and D as well. Although they say that many Brits are low in Vit D but that's because even when we get some sunshine we either hide inside or cover ourselves in sunscreen. Long term exposure to the sun can be harmful, they say, however 10 minutes 3 times a week is all we need. It can also be very expensive and they don't really help. However if you have been ill with an infection or a virus your body may thank you for a 3 month supply of multi-vitamins and minerals. If you need anything else you should have it prescribed. The nutritionists in the shops are there to get you to spend money and lots of it for nothing. And there is nothing in expensive honey, either unless you like the taste so don't waste your money.

Emmas - is talking about a diary and triggers, you might find it useful but my main trigger is becoming over tired, which i some times do on purpose otherwise i would spend all day every day in bed.

I also use to have static migraines and ate an organic vegetarian diet for 7 years, lost 8st, disgusting that i needed to, but it didn't stop the migraines or indeed the Fibro. Allergy testing didn't come up with anything either.

This is British Heart Foundation - http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/prev ... ating.aspx

So the answer to your question is 'no' but if you think it's a dietary issue then get your Dr to refer you and don't waste your money.

Beverley x
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby FluppyPuffy » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:32 am

I was going to offer similar words of caution to what emmas has already said. After being suckered in by a so~called nutritional expert many, many, many years ago, and being pumped full of various supplements and treatments they said I needed, I was rather ill to say the least for several months. It was then I was told to avoid supplements etc that can be bought otc because, altho the various tests to see what was making me ill had come back within normal/expected ranges, there was clearly something affecting me. Never got to the bottom of what it was, but these days I steer well clear of such things, unless I've been told I need something by my GP.

Choices relating to what we eat are personal to each of us, and should always be respected even if it's an approach that someone may feel is pointless or unneeded. And what we do eat, be it meat, fish, pulses, fruities and veggies etc, should be the best we can buy within our budgets.

Seeking advice from someone who has expertise in this area is never a bad thing to do. If you're at all unsure about how qualified they may be, then ask them. The decent ones will be more than happy to go thru what their training involved, what qualifications they have, and what regulatory bodies/organisations they are part of/affiliated to.

With this area being such a wide one, and there being so many places where people are looking for help and advice, it does leave it open to those who will push supposed wonder brands at you, so before buying, or following a plan, do some research, both into the good and the nasty~pasty side of things to make sure it's the right thing for you to be following/taking.
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby Lindilou » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:03 pm

I only take one 25ug of vitamin B12 a day. That's it. How do I know it's good for me? Recently I stopped taking it for a cpl of weeks and my brain fog was worse (I made a post about it last week re all the stress I've had this month)

I started taking it again this week and yes there is difference in myself. Plus my thyroid consultant advised me to carry on taking it when I saw him in April.
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby carolad » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:36 pm

Thank you all :) Funny, I was talking to a friend today who was saying about the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist, I hadn't realised there was a difference :oops:

I don't think the NHS has the answers though so I'm not going to go through my GP. He tested me for coeliac and it came back negative, so he told me I didn't have a problem with gluten. But every time I eat gluten, I get a hot itchy rash around my mouth, so I KNOW I am gluten intolerant (though not coeliac). Doctors rely too much on tests and they think this is the full story. But there is so much more to it that they do not understand...

Western medicine is too focussed on symptoms, and not enough on causes. The solution seems to be to give you drugs, not to try and change your lifestyle/diet to one that promotes health. And I don't think your average GP knows anything about nutrition. If you look at all the national guidelines on a 'healthy' diet, it is still based on a lot of carbohydrate and a small amount of fat (whereas recent research is showing a lower carb/high 'good' fat diet is better). Also, the RDAs for vitamins are very out of date so I think a good dietician should know what the latest research is suggesting, and not go by figures from the 1950s.

So I don't think conventional medicine has anything to offer me and I would rather go the 'alternative' route. But, thanks to your advice, I will make sure I have a look at someone's qualifications before I go to see them - I know getting the wrong advice could do more harm than good. I was underweight but have actually put on some weight recently (due to managing my problems better :)) and I don't want to start losing weight again by cutting out food groups for no good reason.

I will let you know how I get on :)
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby Zia2014 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:56 pm

Having worked at a hospital at the time I was diagnosed with IBS, I would second third and fourth seeing a dietitian at the hospital. They are brilliant, all have their specialisms. I was lucky, I popped down one lunchtime (one of very few perks!). She laughed like a drain at everything my GP had said and directed me on the right path. I only saw her once but her advice and guidance was spot on.

Nutritionists are not the same at all.
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby migrembe » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:31 pm

Are you sure you are not allergic to soya? they now put soya in just about everything including bread, cakes, pastry and every pre=prepared food under the sun. Soya and artificial sweeteners, the modern ones, are the only things that have been linked to my migraines.
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby carolad » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:04 pm

migrembe wrote:Are you sure you are not allergic to soya? they now put soya in just about everything including bread, cakes, pastry and every pre=prepared food under the sun. Soya and artificial sweeteners, the modern ones, are the only things that have been linked to my migraines.


Isn't it scary how much stuff we eat that we don't really know what's in it?! :o It is definitely gluten that causes my face rash. Apparently a gluten intolerance (or sensitivity) won't show up in tests, the only way to know for sure is to stop eating it and see what happens. There is no mistaking it in my case...when I take gluten (even a tiny about) my rash will start after about 8 hours. And if I stay off the gluten, no rash. Though I believe having a gluten intolerance can make you more prone to other intolerances so maybe I should try and cut out dairy or sugar for a while, and see if I feel any different. Though I'm not sure what I'd eat if I couldn't eat dairy products!

It's all very complicated!
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Re: Nutritionist

Postby HazelB » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:29 pm

I use fibro mapp to log my food if I'm trying to figure out what I'm eating is a trigger. It really helps to keep a diary as sometimes you don't react immediately to a food

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Re: Nutritionist

Postby carolad » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:15 pm

HazelB wrote:I use fibro mapp to log my food if I'm trying to figure out what I'm eating is a trigger. It really helps to keep a diary as sometimes you don't react immediately to a food

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That sounds like a good idea :) And yes, it is difficult to know what is having an effect because you can have a reaction quite a while after you eat something - like my gluten intolerance. It took me quite a while to work it out because I didn't realise it could take around 8-10 hours to affect me - so I was looking for something I had just eaten, not something I had eaten earlier that day. I had absolutely no idea what was causing my rash - it was hideous and it was very uncomfortable because it was itchy and burning hot. I had no idea if it was something I was eating, or toiletries/cosmetics, or something in the atmosphere...so I pretty much gave up everything for a week....no cleanser, moisturiser, makeup, toothpaste, and I ate rice, broccoli and tinned pears and only drank water. So I did that for a few days and I had no reaction...and then I started adding things in slowly, one new thing every other day...no reaction to anything...until I had a slice of bread. And then the rash appeared. So that was the proof I needed :) I've been gluten free for about a year and a half, apart from the odd time when I've taken gluten by mistake. And sure enough, every time I do, I get the rash.

I do wonder if my gluten intolerance has a connection with my fibro symptoms...the rash was the outward sign of inflammation, but it may be it was doing other damage in my body that I wasn't aware of.

Anyway, thank you very much for all your replies :) xx
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