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Nutritional Therapy And Lifestyle Medicine Use A Root Cause Approach To Healthcare.

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Nutritional Therapy and Lifestyle Medicine are forms of healthcare that seek to achieve optimal health and prevent disease through educating patients in how to recognise potential triggers for disease and employ strategies to modify their lifestyle in order to effect lasting change to their health.

Most Nutritional Therapists will work according to principles that aim to identify and modify the root causes of disease, shifting the focus of care away from the presenting symptoms, and instead, targeting the hidden factors that might have led to the emergence of disease. It is a patient-centred approach that involves looking at the bigger picture of a patient's health, and which aspects of their diet, lifestyle and environment may be contributing to their health problems.

Identifying and addressing the root cause of a problem, is often an effective way of achieving long-term change. The tree diagram gives a good pictorial representation of the principles of working in this way. Treating only the presenting symptoms (the 'fruit') often fails to address the underlying reasons that have caused them to develop (the 'roots'). Failure to deal with the roots of the problem can mean that symptoms may continue to reoccur and over time, new symptoms may develop.

For this reason, patients who attend for consultations are requested to complete a detailed health questionnaire and food diary, which gives the clinician a full picture of the individual's current diagnoses, medications, food intake, exercise regime, work commitments and social/emotional influences. This allows a comprehensive assessment of the patient's needs, which in turn enables the clinician to design a bespoke programme of intervention which is tailored to the individual needs of the patient. 

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