Hannah Richards is a Metabolic typing advisor and does functional diagnostic nutrition at
in NW London which she co-owns with Claud Sarjeant. Hannah is a great friend and colleague of mine and I asked her a few questions about how she gains so much success with all the clients I send to her for nutritional purposes. If you would like to work on another part of your healing and recovery as well as optimising your general health for life then this article is a great read for you.
KT: What is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN)?
HR: FDN is all about finding the root cause of a person's symptoms by testing saliva, urine, blood and stool to determine where the root issue lies and then fixing it. The treatment is bespoke to each individual. I am also a metabolic typing advisor so I help people discover what foods in what ratios are right for their individual make up.
KT: How does what you do differ from regular nutritionist?
HR: With normal nutrition people tend to get treated with an allopathic approach - a this for that system. You'll often find nutritionists treat the symptoms. With FDN I find the root that is causing the symptoms and this can be highly individual for each person. Every disease will inhabit itself very differently in a person. We all oxidise food at different rates, we have different strengths and weaknesses in our autonomic nervous system, we have different acid/alkaline levels and different fat production. So I look at all these systems and the disease it comes with to find a solution that gets the person back to optimal health.
KT: What do you specialise in?
HR: Gastrointestinal rehabilitation. All disease starts in the gut so that is where I look first. Clients will come with symptoms such as weight gain, disturbed sleep, skin conditions, constipation but nearly all of my clients have got digestive issues - so I look to kill off parasites, restore balance in the gut and repair the mucosal gut lining.
KT: What role does nutrition play in general health?
HR: The first foundational principle of survival is hydration but the second is most definitely food. Most people poison themselves with the food that they eat. Food should be a medicine - you should be curing things with food. It is the most preventable measure that people have to cure their own health. If you get the right nutrition then you reverse disease.
KT: What is the right nutrition?
HR: Everyone is different. Your right nutrition is based on genetic history, cultural history, your autonomic nervous system and your ability to break food down. If you have good digestive capabilities and strong stomach acid you'll do well on fat and protein and burn it off. If you don't have good stomach acid and don't have a gall bladder then eating fat and protein is not going to be for you. You can be healthy eating a lot of carbs and healthy eating a lot of protein - you have to find the right fuel for your body.
KT: Why can't I just exercise?
HR: Exercise is a stress to the body. If you don't have enough energy to exercise then over exercising will cause the body to stress out and you might see weight gain. Find the right exercise to do for you. If the body is very stressed out then parasympathetic forms of exercise such as swimming and stretching would be better. If the body has the capacity to exercise then run and do your weights. Exercise is a science one size doesn't fit all. Make sure you are assessed and have your stress levels determined so you know what exercise will serve you.
KT: How does nutrition affect recovery from back pain and injury?
HR: The right nutrition can help your healing and recovery of damaged and inflamed tissues at a cellular level. If you are not getting the right nutrients how can your body heal from injury? It is an integral part of injury and back pain recovery.
KT: What is the most common nutrition pattern you see?
HR: In terms of pathologies the most common are the H pylori parasite and yeast overgrowths. In terms of symptoms, Eating less and gaining weight. Most clients that I see think exercise alone will make them lose weight and they do not know what is in their food or where it comes from.
KT: When working with you what are the most common outcomes of your work?
HR: Success! Weight loss totally achievable once everything else clears up. Underlying symptoms like parasite, adrenal fatigue, infection once cleared then weight loss is achieved. Lose weight, better sleep, stop waking up in the middle of the night, look younger, have more energy, eat a more varied diet, look and feel younger and slimmer and all their digestive symptoms will all go - constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas.
KT: What are your absolute no-nos?
HR: Soy, gluten, dairy only if it doesn't suit you. Sugar is as addictive as crack cocaine. Sugar is one of the major causes of cancer and destroys every single cell in the body at the cellular level. It's the world's biggest problem.
KT: Can you offer some general advice that someone can implement immediately?
HR: Hydration - drink water. People are so dehydrated - kidney stones. Easiest thing to fix your health by drinking 2 litres of water per day. Generations of people who were not brought up drinking water. We water flowers so they grow - we need to water the body so it grows otherwise it just shrivels up. So many diseases can be prevented by hydration.
So there you have it - Hannah Richards has spoken. I cannot more highly recommend Hannah for any and all nutrition, weight gain and gut related issues. To find out more about what Hannah does visit her website
. You can contact her at
or call the clinic on
0207 624 4194