One of the reasons I decided to pursue a career in health and undertake formal nutrition training was because I came to understand that nutrition is a vital component, possibly the most vital component, of robust health. It was also apparent to me that nutrition was an aspect of health largely overlooked by the current healthcare system which serves us.
Our present healthcare system is one based on 'allopathic' medicine, a term coined by Samuel Hahnemann in the early 19th century, and is characterised by an emphasis on pharmaceutical and technological driven interventions. Our present healthcare system is concerned primarily with dealing with symptoms of disease, rather than the root cause and the promotion of optimal health. The results of this system have been mixed, to put it mildly. While our modern healthcare system has been able to effectively treat certain conditions, it has had terrible results with many of the major health conditions and complaints of the 21st century, in particular chronic disease.
Nutrition, on the other hand, when used in a personalised and targeted manner, can be used to address the root cause, addressing the problem directly, to either help alleviate a health complaint or to promote optimum health generally. Our health can fail for many reasons such as stress, physical and emotional trauma, genetics/epigenetics, lifestyle factors, and so on. But nutritional inadequacy often has a major role to play.
Nutritionally deficient diets are very common in today's world and are often the root of a health problem, or are at least a limiting factor for optimal health. Nutrient deficiencies, for instance, can occur as a consequence of modern agricultural practices which have seen the use of synthetic fertiliser and pesticides deplete the soil of vital nutrients and produce nutritionally deficient, and toxic, foods in the process. In addition many of the foods people consume today are highly refined, a process generally used to increase the shelf-life of food which can strip out many of the vital nutrients in the plant. Furthermore, many people have absorption issues due to poor digestion and leaky gut for example. Nutrients from the diet are required for innumerable different reactions, processes, and biochemical pathways in the body, and without them the body's physiology can break down and cause symptoms. The consequences of nutrient deficiencies may take years to manifest, but when they do, symptoms are generally produced. Often these problems can be corrected when the necessary nutrients are put back into the diet and imbalances are redressed.
It is my deeply held belief that nutrition is the biggest element of the overall equation of health - but not the only element. Everyone requires good nutrition to thrive. Nutrition can do a lot to improve and completely correct certain health problems, however, where appropriate, it might sometimes be recommend to consult health professionals of other specialties (possibly in conjunction with personalised nutrition). Such professions could include mental health professionals, physiotherapists, chiropractors, herbalists and such like. It should be the duty of any professional who works in health to advice you on the best possible course of action for your particular situation.
By seeking professional nutrition advice you have the opportunity to benefit from years of accumulated education and training which could help put you on the right path towards achieving your health goals!