Beacon House has a ground-breaking approach to mental health, offering a bespoke nutritional therapy clinic. Our Nutritional Therapist, Rebecca Tanyar-Mead, is a Registered Nutritional Therapist with a particular interest in mental health, hormone balance, child and teenage health, gut health, autoimmune conditions and the emerging fields of nutrigenomics and psychoneuroimmunology.
Registered Nutritional Therapists assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and consider how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. They apply evidence based, nutritional science to promote health and personalised care, supporting the mind and body as a whole. By taking an in-depth case history, including antecedents, triggers and mediators, they can then use diet and lifestyle interventions to alleviate health concerns, and create an individual health template.
Diet is the focus of treatment, but other methods of treatment are used, such as orthomolecular medicine (targeted supplements), essential oil therapy, herbal medicine, and lifestyle factor advice such as stress management techniques, exercise plans and sleep hygiene.
Nutritional therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic symptoms or conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their general health and wellbeing.
One of the most under recognised factors in the area of mental health is nutrition. Just like the rest of the body, the brain requires nutrients, especially essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and water, to remain healthy. An integrated approach equally reflecting the interplay of biological, as well as the psychological, emotional and social factors of mental health, is vital. Diet is a cornerstone of this integrated approach.
Research in the fields of neuroscience and nutrition show that people who eat a diet of modern processed foods have increased levels of depression, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, and a wide variety of other mental and emotional problems.
The correct balance of macronutrients, protein, fats and carbohydrates, is critical to health, including that of the brain.
Good quality protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) for neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that calm us and keep our outlook positive.
People who are lacking in key amino acids can experience weakness, moodiness, and increased anxiety or signs of depression for this reason. Protein also helps balance blood glucose, further preventing mood changes, irritability and cravings that can occur due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Refined carbohydrates like white pasta and rice, cakes and biscuits, and of course sugar, and overreliance on carbohydrates in general, raise blood sugars, and disturb hormone balance. We need unrefined, or ‘complex carbohydrates’.
Healthy fats are critical for brain and overall health. They are the backbone of our hormones, and our brain consists of 80% fat.
Micronutrients present in whole, unprocessed foods perform a number of essential functions, including co-factors for brain cell health and the production of neurotransmitters. Some of the key nutrients for brain health include omega 3 fats (DHA and EPA), tryptophan, B-vitamins, zinc and magnesium. Many of us are deficient in some or all of these.
Deficiencies in micronutrients are linked to a number of mental health problems. Reduced intake of omega-3 fats in the diet, is a risk factor for a number of mental health problems, including depression. Studies have also shown that optimal consumption of these fatty acids can be helpful in the control of bipolar symptoms. Reports suggest that these fatty acids have an association with better mental health even after adjustment for other factors (income, age, other eating patterns), and a reduced risk of cognitive impairment in middle age. Deficiencies in B vitamins and zinc, can also be a contributing factor to many other mental health issues, such as anxiety, panic attacks, and even schizophrenia.
There is also a growing understanding of the link between experiences of trauma, and changes in the individual’s ‘microbiome’ (in other words, their gut bacteria). Chronic stress is known to physically change the body’s systems, and re-balancing the digestive system can be a very effective part of stabilization for vulnerable and traumatised individuals.
Preservatives, pesticides and plastic packaging in processed foods have also introduced a plethora of new chemicals into our systems, which pose additional threats to our brain functions.
Stress management plays an equal role. The more stress we respond to and endure, the more nutrients we require, and the less able we are to absorb them from our food.
Do you have any of the following symptoms?
Feel it’s hard to eat well on a budget?
Need a nutritional reboot? Lost your way?
Worry that your diet is less than optimal?
Have a chronic or inherited health condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular issues, hypercholesterolemia or an autoimmune condition like Hashimoto’s or MS?
Before the consultation you will be asked to complete a client form and 3 day diet diary, to be returned to your therapist before your appointment.
You will also need to bring a list of all pharmaceutical medicines and natural supplements you are currently taking, including brand and dosage, and any recent medical test results if available.
At your consultation, your nutritional therapist, will take a thorough medical and symptom history. With your permission, the practitioner may look at your tongue, nails and iris (eyes), and may take your blood pressure. No internal examinations are performed and no disease state diagnoses are made.
Your initial appointment may take up to 2 hours (1 hour for children), and follow-ups are up to 1 hour (30 minutes for children).
Your Nutrition Pack will be emailed within 5 working days. This includes a health evaluation and symptoms finding report, diet and lifestyle plan, supplement list if required, and handout folder with useful information and recipes. You will be given an in-depth analysis, so you can take control of your own health, knowing how, and why.
We prefer to see clients for a minimum of two sessions, however some chronic health conditions will be ongoing. It is not always clear from the start how many sessions will be optimal, but we endeavour to give as much transparency as we can. Our priority is to support and educate you towards self- sufficiency as soon as possible.
Please ask for the ‘Nutritional Therapy’ Leaflet if you require further details, or would like to know more about different nutritional packages and services we offer.
Learning to look after your health with lifestyle medicine, by optimising diet and lifestyle practices, puts you back in control of your physical and mental well-being. It’s a powerful tool, with no side effects that will last a lifetime. Rather than symptom management, you can reverse symptom progression, living your fullest life. The role of the nutritional therapist is to help your body, and mind, heal itself, by teaching you how.
We also offer a complete range of tests through private laboratories. These can be useful for gut and hormonal health especially, including tests for infections, and food sensitivities and intolerances. Where tests are available on the NHS, we will supply a referral letter for your GP.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01444 413 939. You are welcome to book a Nutritional Therapy appointment straight away, or our Nutritional Therapist can offer a free 15 minute telephone call before you commit to an appointment.
Beacon House Psychological Services Ltd
Registered No: 09205920
Registered at: Cardiff (England & Wales)
Registered office address: Office AD5, Littlehampton Marina, Ferry Road, Littlehampton BN17 5DS
Copyright © Shoshanah Lyons 2015. All rights reserved.