About Gayle Merchant Registered Nutritional Therapist
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 than was being offered by conventional medicine.
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 and 3 years 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’. 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 now studying to qualify as a Functional Medicine Practitioner and am an AFMCP-UK graduate.
I also teach Year 1 Clinic to students at the College of Naturopathic Medicine.
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