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  • Barbara Shead

How Finding Good Nutrition Helped Me Feel Well Again

Updated: May 6



This is the story of how I became aware of the importance of good nutrition and lifestyle, which led me to investigate my symptoms and possible causes and how I became passionate about good nutrition to such an extent that I trained in nutritional therapy.


When I was in my 40s and 50s, I suffered from various symptoms that, whilst they were investigated by my doctors and consultants, never really produced any diagnosis other than maybe IBS. Some of you may know that IBS is a generalised diagnosis of conditions that affect the digestive system, and duration is often lifelong, although dietary changes often help symptoms.


I was also suffering from chronic migraines; these would occur at least twice a week, although the lingering effects could last for most of the week. Again, all medical tests were undertaken, but no cause ever found; the outcome was that medication was recommended.


One day I was perusing the shelves of a well-known stationery shop and found a complementary medicine book on IBS. The advice given by the author started my journey into nutrition and wellness. I was also fortunate at that time to get some advice from a wellness/exercise coach, which helped shape the direction of my search.


I began to look into food intolerances and made some changes to my diet; I eat as cleanly as I could, cutting out additives and artificial flavourings, I became gluten-free, which seemed to resolve a lot of my stomach cramping. It was then suggested to me by my wellness/exercise coach that perhaps ‘going organic’ might help.

I was sceptical at this stage but thought well what had I to lose and threw myself into eating organic food with vigour.


The first thing that struck me was although I had been expecting my food bills to soar, they didn’t. Why, because I was also cutting out any rubbish foods (although I hadn’t considered I eat many). On the plus side, I was surprised to find how delicious organic food is.


After about 2-3 weeks of this organic eating, I realised my migraines had slowed considerably, and I can’t tell you how liberating that was. I felt good; my perpetual foggy head was gone – I felt set free. After about six weeks of eating in this fashion, my migraines were now only very occasional. I was living again.


DEFRA definition of organic food


The Department for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that:

‘Organic food is the product of a farming system that avoids the use of artificial fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation.


I can only surmise that reducing my exposure to chemicals contributed to my lack of migraines.


I have told my story to some fellow sufferers who have similarly benefited from this route to wellness. Still, I would stress your physician is the first port of call to eliminate any medical reasons for symptoms. One migraine sufferer similarly found alleviation of her symptoms and at the same time became pregnant after many years of trying!


My interest in good nutrition grew, and I decided to change my career and studied as a Nutritional Therapist qualifying in 2010; since that time I have continued to practice nutritional therapy in my therapy rooms.


In 2012 I went on to study psychotherapy which is another story, I work with many clients suffering from anxiety, fears, phobias and more complex issues. In 2018 I extended my nutritional qualifications to become a Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Obesity, a degree-level qualification bringing together my nutritional and psychotherapeutic training.


So, if you are similarly suffering from symptoms for which medical tests have not discovered any cause, I would urge you to consider your nutrition and lifestyle. Eating healthily and looking at your lifestyle is only ever going to be a good idea. If you need help with those changes, I am here to help.


This story is an anecdotal account of how nutrition helped me overcome my health challenges and wellbeing. I am not suggesting it will work for everyone with the same health challenges, but I am confident to suggest that prioritising diet and nutrition will go a long way in supporting health. If you are worried about your health, your first port of call should always be your physician, who will arrange the appropriate tests to investigate your symptoms.

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