About Gayle Merchant Registered Nutritional Therapist
I was born confused about food.
A vegetarian in the 1980’s was a difficult place to be as well as being a teenager to boot – there was little nutrition going on! Poor food choices coupled with chronic stress took its toll – but silently and under the radar.
It took over a decade of teaching in secondary school to start showing the signs of hypothyroidism, but that wasn’t the whole story…..
I knew that food played a role in how I felt and wanted to know more. That, coupled with the brain tumour diagnosis of my beloved step-father Keith, I decided that I had to know more, to help heal myself and to help others who needed more guidance
During my 3 years at CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine), I looked more deeply into my own food choices and started using Functional Testing on myself, as well as seeing a Nutritional Therapist. It soon became clear that my hypothyroidism was an autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). The functional testing also revealed that I had ‘leaky gut’ as well as a yeast overgrowth. This now explained so many of my symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, gut problems and sleep issues.
I took a further 2 years to eliminate the yeast overgrowth, repair my gut and calm my immune system but one year on, my autoimmune disease is still in remission and it is my intention for it to stay there.
I just can’t imagine where I would be had I not started to dig deeper into my symptoms and seek the guidance of a Nutritional Therapist. I guess it would have just led to inevitable medication for my thyroid and a whole host of new symptoms with deteriorating quality of health.
I work with a wide variety of people in the community under ‘The Healthy Eating Project’ (firstname.lastname@example.org). At the project we hold healthy eating mornings where we discuss nutrition; share recipes; cook and eat together. I also give presentations to local groups and organisations who are interested in nutrition.
I am passionate about finding out more in this ever-expanding field of information and regularly attend conferences and webinars.
I am about to start my training with the Institute of Functional Medicine to qualify as a Functional Medicine Practitioner.
I am also an Assistant Clinical Supervisor at the College of Naturopathic Medicine where I support final year nutrition students in their clinical experience.
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