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Nutritional Medicine and Naturopathy – Oakleigh Naturopath Magda explains how it works and how it can help

What is Nutritional Medicine – how it works and how it can help you!

In Magda’s previous blog she talked about the fact that Naturopaths use a variation of tools to help someone get back to optimal health. These tools can either include herbal medicine, dietary and lifestyle advice and nutritional medicine.

So what is Nutritional Medicine?


Nutritional medicine covers both diet therapy, i.e., advising a person on dietary changes based on their presentation/health complaint, as well as nutritional supplementation. The most common examples of nutritional supplements include:

  • Iron tablets
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

Naturopaths use supplements that have either 1 particular nutrient or mineral in them (e.g., iron) or a complex of multiple nutrients and minerals that are formulated and compounded for a specific purpose or disorder.

Why nutrients and minerals?


Nutrients and minerals are the building blocks of our bodies. They are our fuel and without minerals and nutrients we would not be able to function on an optimal level, if at all. They are involved in the process of hundreds of chemical reactions and operations in the body.

We top up the levels of nutrients and minerals with the food we eat (except vitamin D, which we require from the sun). In many instances when dietary intake is inadequate, deficiencies occur.

The most common nutrient and mineral deficiencies seen are:

  • iron
  • vitamin D
  • magnesium
  • zinc

Nutrients and minerals have various and numerous functions, so when one of them is deficient, there may be subsequent reactions or consequences in the body.

The most common example is when there is an iron deficiency one may feel:

  • very tired
  • lethargic
  • have low mood
  • be prone to more infections

A magnesium deficiency may result in:

  • muscle twitches
  • cramps
  • prolonged muscle pain after exercise
  • poor sleep
  • even in some cases feelings of anxiety.

Plentiful research has also shown the benefits of supplementing with particular nutrients/minerals and the outcomes in regards to specific conditions. For example, prescribing iron, zinc and selenium has shown to increase thyroid hormone production in people with hypothyroidism.


How can nutritional medicine help me?


Taking the right supplement with the correct doses can rectify a deficiency and assist with certain disorders or health complaints. Dietary changes and supplementation together can have a powerful effect on your health.

During a consultation, a naturopath will take your presentation into account and prescribe the right nutritional supplement for you as well as prescribe the correct form (*see my previous blog on magnesium for more info!). It is also important to note that in regards to supplements you generally get what you pay for. Cheaper supplements that are found over the counter often contain fillers and additives and in a lot of cases the cheaper and less absorbable form of nutrient or mineral.

Will I need to take supplements forever?


This is generally not necessary. There are some instances where long term supplementation may be required, e.g. vitamin B12 supplementation in vegans, or in a chronic health condition, however common deficiencies can be rectified with short term supplementation and is best done so when guided by a health professional like a naturopath. Alongside dietary advice on how to prevent further deficiencies, the need to supplement long term will therefore not be necessary.


For more helpful nutritional information or to book an appointment with our Naturopath Magda, make an appointment today by phoning the clinic on 95703388 or book online.
Call (03) 9570 3388