Sometimes I have clients who seem perplexed at why I’m asking so many questions, especially when they may be related to other systems in their body than the one they came in to talk about. Why am I asking about their poo and if they suffer bloating, or reflux when they just want some help with their hormones. And how does bumpy skin on the back of their arms, or white spots on fingernails have anything to do with the recurrent infections they want help to beat?
When I ask to see the inside of their eyelids, or ask them to poke their tongue out, the confusion is confounded further! You see what I’m looking for are the numerous little body signs that shed some light on your nutritional status and give me feedback on what support your body needs. This is also the main reason that whilst we offer skype sessions for those living a long way away, we suggest an in-person, face to face appointment for your first visit at least (where ever possible).
It’s amazing how many little clues I gather from asking questions about what symptoms you experience and from doing a simple body assessment.
- Bumpy skin on the backs of your arms or legs? It may indicate Vitamin A deficiency, essential fatty acid deficiency or both.
- Twitching eyes or little spasms in the muscles? Leg or calf cramps at night? Shoulder tightness, headaches, chocolate cravings or period pain? Perhaps your magnesium levels are suboptimal.
- Pale skin, or pale inside the lower eyelids or lips? Or suffering frequent infections, fatigue, headaches or dizzyness? Your iron levels may be lacking.
- White spots on the fingernails? Wounds slow to heal or do you suffer from frequent infections? Poor appetite? Slow growth in children? Zinc deficiency may be at play.
Of course all the little clues need to be taken in context of the whole picture, and none are diagnostic on their own. However they provide me significant insight into what might be going on for you, where you body is saying it needs more help and where we may need to investigate further with some blood tests or integrative pathology. I think of them as little pieces of your health puzzle.
If you are looking for a little help in piecing together your own health story, don’t be afraid to reach out for some support and make a time for an appointment.
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Sandi Cooper is an experienced Naturopath working in clinical practice for almost two decades. Her clients love her down-to-earth approach and her naturally caring qualities. Although Sandi is experienced in most areas of clinical practice, she has a special interest in children’s health and nutrition, working with parents to get the best outcomes for their children.