Sangeeta Squires, Registered Nutritional Therapist
My own journey started as a teenager. I ate like most of my friends: quick and easy meals, microwaved food, white bread and pasta, crisps and dairy (especially cheese and cream), and I loved biscuits, chocolate and fizzy cola! I enjoyed sport, so I thought this was fine. But then the health issues began.
At 16 I began to experience hay fever and asthma, and my female cycle became debilitatingly painful. At 18 I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome due to bloating and pain, and at university my diet of pot noodles and coffee impacted my mental health. As I’d been taught to think of food only as calories, I never thought my diet was the problem. So things got worse.
In my early 20’s my immunity weakened, with regular chest infections and influenza, and chicken pox at 24 leading to hospitalisation. In my late 20’s as a business analyst I developed ongoing, severe back pain (I couldn’t brush my teeth over the sink), daily itchy eyes and sneezing. With long commutes, all day at the desk, fried bap breakfasts, and fast food stops on the way home, my health issues were spiraling, and I was exhausted by it.
The Turning Point
The final straw came in my 30s when I experienced agonising pain and bleeding just to use the toilet and I was worried. Various GPs advised work-arounds but not solutions: laxatives, physiotherapy, anti-depressants, reduce working hours to avoid fatigue, until finally my current GP told me to look at my diet and potential food intolerances, or go for MRI scans and potential back surgery (which he warned came with significant risks).
I was at the end of my tether physically and emotionally and surgery sounded drastic, so I embarked on a full-elimination diet, cutting out all potential food allergens for 6 weeks hoping I might find some relief. And after just 1 week, every single one of my symptoms disappeared. I was completely taken aback.
After much trial and error, reintroducing and cutting out foods to pinpoint the problem, and experimenting with supplements, whilst my health had improved, I didn’t understand what was working or why. Remaining on a restricted diet wasn’t sustainable or healthy.
I decided to begin 4 years of study in Biomedicine and Nutritional Therapy. Through my training I learned about the science and mechanics of the body at a cellular level, nutritional requirements for each gender and age group, the body of evidence for specific foods and protocols for health conditions, how to use supplements safely at therapeutic doses, and how to work correctly alongside clients’ medication programs.
My Health Now
After implementing this knowledge into my own life, I have a strong immune system and barely catch colds, I have motivation and energy from morning until night-time, my mood is high and my back is pain-free (and I can use the bathroom normally, everyday)! I’ve also experienced a leap-forwards in my fitness, muscle strength and endurace. In 2019 at 45 years old, I played in two division 1 badminton leagues for Worcester and Birmingham, and won 1st place in the local Birmingham winter bouldering league in my age group (climbing without ropes). I regularly enjoy long cycle rides, climbing, swimming, surfing and full days in my garden allotment. I’m so thrilled by the results of nutritional changes for myself and for my clients, that I want to help as many people as possible enjoy great health and vibrant lives.