You may be experiencing some unpleasant symptoms that are related to your hormones. You may have sought medical help or another professional help, but have you considered seeing a hormone nutritionist (a.k.a a registered dietitian specializing in hormones and endocrinology)?
I’m very excited to write this blog as I’m a passionate endocrine dietitian (hormone nutritionist), who loves to help you overcome symptoms and improve your relationship with food and body. I believe it is important for you to seek the help of a registered dietitian specializing in endocrinology and hormones for few reasons. Here they are!
Reason 1: Hormones and Hormonal Disorders Are Complicated
Hormones can be a complicated topic because we have many hormones. Also, the hormonal disorders are so common in Canada and the world and can be misunderstood by many.
Additionally, I’m sure you see that hormones have been a buzz word on the internet, which makes it more confusing for individuals to navigate their health with all the difficult and conflicting information out there. Did you feel so yourself?
Let me explain this to you briefly!
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are considered the “messengers” in our bodies. They are chemical compounds that are secreted by the cells on the glands into the blood stream to send messages to organs to do its functions.
The system that produces hormones is called the endocrine system.
The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is a group of glands that produces hormones into the blood stream to regulate the functions of the body organs.
Hormonal Disorders and their Prevalence
There are many hormonal disorders, but I will focus here on 3 common hormonal disorders (the ones that I treat in my practice). Those hormonal disorders are prevalent more than you think in Canada and worldwide.
Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar because the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or insulin is not working properly to allow glucose to enter the cells from blood stream. There are different types of diabetes as well. Diabetes has many consequences if not treated.
Diabetes affects 9.3% of the population in Canada in 2015 (Houlden, 2018).
PCOS or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a group of symptoms that affect women and diagnosed if two of the three criteria are present according to the Rotterdam Criteria:
- Missing of irregular periods or long cycles.
- High androgens (male hormones) appearing in blood work or as symptoms.
- Cysts on the ovaries on ultrasound that appears like a string of pearls.
PCOS affects 10% in Canada and around the world.
The thyroid gland is the metabolism master gland. It affects all body cells. There are different thyroid conditions. Underactive (hypothyroidism), overactive (hyperthyroidism), and auto immune conditions that affect the thyroid function.
Your Body Systems Are Connected
Every day I see this clearly that our body systems are connected. How the brain and the endocrine system are connected to function. Also, because our hormones affect other areas of the body, they have a big impact on the body organs.
Your Hormone Nutritionist Offers Education for Better Understanding Your Body
One of the important parts of your care is to understand your body and your condition. Your hormone nutritionist empowers you with education of knowing and understanding what is going on with you, and understanding your treatment.
Your Hormone Nutritionist Helps You Interpret Your Own Data
During your journey, there will be a collection of a lot of data to diagnose or evaluate your health. This may not be explained in detail by your doctor. Your hormone nutritionist helps you understand this data!
Reason 2: Nutrition and Lifestyle Are an Essential Part of Hormonal Health
Day after day, it is being confirmed by evidence that nutrition and lifestyle have an effect on hormones and their regulation in the body. Diabetes for example is a condition that is affected directly by nutrition and lifestyle choices. Food affects the glands work and hormones.
Reason 3: There is a Lot of Confusing Information on Hormones and Nutrition Out There
Eat this and don’t eat that… Do this diet or that diet. Confusing, right? There are plenty of information on the web and many can be conflicting too to add to the confusion!
Reason 4: Hormone Nutritionists Are the Food, Nutrition, and Hormones Experts
When you want to find answers and solutions to your condition, you may go to the specialist. It can be the same with seeking a dietitian for your hormonal condition. You would want to see a hormone nutritionist.
I’m a registered dietitian and I like using this name; however, you see me using the word “nutritionist” interchangeably because every dietitian is a nutritionist, but you need to be careful because not every nutritionist is a dietitian. I also easier to find this article and my website if I’m using nutritionist versus dietitian. We may not have the same qualifications! Continue reading to learn more about dietitians!
What is a Dietitian?
A dietitian is a regulated health professional and a part of the healthcare team. A dietitian uses food, nutrition, and related sciences to provide evidence-based client-centered treatment, care, education, and support to promote health, prevent diseases or treat them.
Dietitians translate science in the areas of food and human health to create plans, education, and recommendations that are practical and applicable to individual, groups, or population needs.
Every Dietitian is a Nutritionist, but Not Every Nutritionist is a Dietitian
So anyone with some nutrition knowledge can call themselves a nutritionist, but not everyone can call themselves a dietitian.
Dietitians have a great deal of education, knowledge, and skills. We go through internship, big exam, grad school (many of us) and we commit to continuing education.
Dietitians Are an Important Part of Your Health Care Team
Many dietitians work closely with other health professionals in different settings. As a hormone nutritionist, I work closely with endocrinologists (most of the time), family doctors, and gynecologists.
If you are building a care team, having a dietitian on board is a great idea to take care of your diet and other lifestyle choices as they impact your hormonal health.
Reason 5: Your Hormone Nutritionist See You as a Whole Unique Individual
It is not all about your condition. It is about you as a unique human being. You may be living with a condition or experiencing some unpleasant symptoms or dealing with your relationship with food. Your hormone nutritionist help you navigate that as a whole individual.
Reason 6: Improving Your Hormonal Health Goes Beyond Information
I’m sure you agree that education and information are great, but they are not enough to create change.
Behaviours and Habit Creation
Your hormone nutritionist provides you with education about your unique situation and your nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, but sometimes that does not guarantee a change when needed. That’s why your hormone nutritionist helps you create habits and routines that are sustainable for you and your lifestyle.
Support and Accountability
Your hormone Nutritionist supports you along your journey of learning, taking action, implementing, maintaining, and problem-solving.
Reason 7: Your Hormone Nutritionist Has a Passion to Help
Helping you navigate your health and hormones is my passion and mission. I feel very excited to speak, write, and educate on this. I am also committed to learning more about aspects of health and psychology.
Hormone Nutritionist Gives You Enough Time
In many specialist clinics, patients don’t get enough time to discuss their health with their doctors due to the limitation in time. On the other hand, hormone nutritionists give you enough time to listen to your story and develop a plan for your health.
Hormone Nutritionist Listens
Who doesn’t want to be listened to? I love it when I visit my health care provider who listens to me, empathize, and appreciate me as an individual first
What to Expect from a Hormone Nutritionist Visit?
The process starts with having a free call with your hormone nutritionist to find out if you are a good fit to work together. At this call, your nutritionist will get to know you better and you will her and what she offers better as well. It is also a good chance to ask questions.
After that, there will be an initial consultation meeting, where your hormone nutritionist will collect data about you, lifestyle, medical conditions, lab data, medications, supplements, your eating habits, and so on. From there, a plan and information will be discussed for you specifically.
Follow up sessions have great value to continue with learning and the plan towards healthier hormones and bring support and accountability.
If you are interested in exploring your options working with a hormone nutritionist like myself, book a free discovery call now!
Houlden, R. L. (2018). Diabetes Canada 2018 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada: introduction. Can J Diabetes, 42(Suppl 1), S1e5.