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Areas of Expertise

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Stress management
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Stress & BURNOUT

  • Overwhelm, exhaustion or poor concentration, perhaps with an over-dependence on caffeine

  • Instability or no resilience/ poor stress tolerance

  • Mood changes or poor mental health 

  • Insomnia or nightmares

  • Food cravings

  • Flare of skin conditions or general inflammation

  • Low libido

  • Run-down and recurrent infections

  • Difficulty conceiving

  • Hair loss

  • Low/high blood pressure

  • Aches & pains including chronic headaches

  • Weight won’t shift

  • Hormonal, fertility issues or chronic digestive issues.


 

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Let’s face it - modern life is increasingly stressful with our fast pace of life, intense pressures, constant multi-tasking, over-stimulation from tech, insufficient down-time and of course recently a global pandemic. It's estimated that 60-90 percent of all doctors’ visits are about stress-related issues.

Stress depletes nutrients needed for a healthy stress response, energy production and brain function. And being stuck in ‘fight or flight’ is very detrimental to health (our gut, immunity and endocrine system take second place so we can flee from the perceived threat/work deadline).
Unbalanced blood sugar levels also upset our equilibrium, causing further stress on the body. Fatigue and cravings lead to poor dietary choices which also create a vicious circle. 

Mood Disorders
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BRAIN, MENTAL HEALTH & NEUROLOGICAL

  • Poor concentration or memory

  • Brain fog

  • Feeling down, low, anxious, obsessive, irritable, angry outbursts, impulsive, on edge, or hyper

  • ADHD, ADD, Autism

  • Mental illness such as anxiety, including general anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar, PTSD, OCD, PMDD, phobias, panic disorder, psychosis, cyclothymic disorder

  • Low motivation/apathy

  • Hypervigilance, noise or light sensitive, emotionally sensitive

  • Postnatal depression or postpartum psychosis

  • Neuro-inflammation

  • Tics or Tourette’s syndrome

  • Gluten ataxia

  • Cognitive decline and neurodegeneration- dementia e.g., Alzheimer’s, aphasia. And Parkinson's,

  • Auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis

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Sadly, rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders such as bipolar, OCD, PTSD, PMDD (a severe form of premenstrual tension), and diagnoses of ADHD and autism (neurodivergent conditions) and neurodegeneration (dementia) are sky rocketing. And many people experience anxiety, mood swings, poor concentration and memory, irritability, low mood, and brain fog on a daily basis. 

10-20 percent of mothers experience postnatal depression (women with bipolar are alternatively at risk of postpartum psychosis). Unfortunately, there is a huge mental health crisis, which the NHS is sadly neither equipped to deal with, nor does it have adequate funds. (Kirsten knows this first hand, as she’s experienced, like many others sadly, the lack of adequate care and provisions).
 

However, Nutritional Psychiatry (balancing the mind with nutritional measures, nutrigenomics, supplementation & lifestyle interventions) is a growing field with an increasing evidence base and recognition. So is the functional medicine approach to poor brain health, cognitive decline, and neurological conditions. They both seek to determine the underlying causes to promote health recovery or health stabilisation. There is no shame in taking medication, however, it can be a life saver and programmes will always work alongside medical prescriptions for integrated healthcare. And Kirsten can work with your GP, psychiatrist, or neurologist.

Hormone Imbalance
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HORMONE IMBALANCE OR SENSITIVITY TO HORMONE FLUCTUATIONS

  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or its more severe form- PMDD (premenstrual dysmorphic disorder)

  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which often involves oestrogen dominance/ raised testosterone

  • Fluid retention, tender breasts, heavy/painful periods

  • Fibroids or endometriosis (in part linked to oestrogen dominance)

  • Perimenopause & menopause - which cause a huge recalibration of the brain & nervous system. PMS & PMDD & mood disorders often worsen during this time

  • Meno belly (fat around the middle linked to perimenopause & menopause)

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  • Underactive thyroid, e.g., Hashimoto's

  • Fertility issues (including failed IVF & recurrent miscarriage)

  • In males- low libido, low muscle mass, fat around the middle, low motivation

When our hormones are in balance (our stress hormone- cortisol, our fat storage hormone- insulin, ghrelin - appetite, our sex hormones and melatonin for sleep) we feel relaxed and there is improvement in our weight, less cravings, less problematic menstrual cycle, reproductive health and better sleep.  

 

Balancing hormones entails getting blood sugar levels right to reduce circulating insulin, supporting our stress response as excess cortisol via our brain (and adrenals) blocks progesterone causing a female hormone balance. We need to support our liver which detoxes our hormones, our gut which has to break down the hormones, stopping them being reabsorbed into the body.

Perimenopause and menopause are phases of life that can cause huge range of unpleasant symptoms, and nutritional therapy can assist with this tumultuous period of fluctuating hormones, or work alongside conventional treatments. 

Unfortunately, NHS tests are not always cut out to detect hormone imbalance, so private testing may be suggested. See Lab Tests. 

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GUT HEALTH

  • Irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating, diarrhoea & constipation

  • Acid reflux, GERD, heart burn, nausea or gastritis, abdominal pain

  • Inflammatory bowel disease- ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

  • Coeliac disease, and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity

  • Diverticular disease and diverticulitis

  • Dysbiosis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), intestinal permeability (leaky gut) - the latter 3 can all cause/ exacerbate chronical inflammation & skin & mood issues etc.  

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common complaint- second to the common cold as the main reason for having time off from work. 30-50% of all referrals to gastroenterologists are as a result of IBS and unfortunately there is little conventional medicine can do to address it. Kirsten also regularly sees clients with acid reflux, heart burn, SIBO (small bacterial overgrowth), GERD, gastritis, dysbiosis, inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive issues. Skin conditions (such as dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis) and mood disorders can all be linked to poor gut health. Her job is to work out the underlying reasons for gut issues to treat them successfully. And poor gut health affects all our body systems especially the brain via the gut brain axis, so attention to gut health is always key to any successful health outcome.

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CHRONIC FATigue & Pain, IMMUNE IMBALANCE

chronic pain
  • Exhaustion, tired & wired, weakness

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, long covid or post viral fatigue

  • Pain syndromes- headaches & migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, recurrent UTIs & interstitial cystitis, vulvodynia, endometriosis

  • Histamine intolerance, inflammation, hives, allergies.

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As a clinician who has treated many people with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia & post-viral fatigue during her 18 years in practice, Kirsten has learnt valuable lessons from both clinical experiences, as well as from her own personal experiences. In my 30’s, she was bedridden with post-viral fatigue and fibromyalgia for some weeks, after she succumbed to a nasty virus during a very traumatic period. So, as you can imagine, she has devoted significant time to keeping up to date with the research on Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and in more recent times to Long COVID, having now seen a number of people with long COVID who have responded well. 

Potential commonalities include brain inflammation, adrenal imbalance from chronic stress and trauma, neurotransmitter imbalances, gut & immune dysfunction, mitochondrial imbalances (our energy factories in each cell), histamine imbalances and so on. And with a tailored, integrated approach, Kirsten hopes to significantly improve your well-being.

Weight Managemen
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WEIGHT, MEtabolism & FOOD CRAVINGS

  • Poor thyroid health (including Hashimoto’s)

  • Slow metabolism and weight issues

  • Belly fat that won’t shift

  • Peri- and menopausal weight gain

  • Yo-yo-dieting, food cravings, emotional eating & food addiction

Weight is a very emotive issue, as society judges us on our weight and favours the slim. Remember, weight-loss is a billion-pound industry. And we are marketed highly palatable, addictive food which activate our reward centres of our brains, and we are lied to about their health benefits.   

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Whilst some people know to some degree where they are going wrong, they still need the right support to sustain them, others find when they try on their own, weight loss soon grinds to a halt, and they lose momentum and all motivation.

Others suffer with stubborn, and unexplained weight gain, maybe fluid retention, or perhaps abdominal bloating, intense cravings, sugar addiction and whatever they try, the number on the scales goes up every year with an expanding waistline. Kirsten’s nutrition plan will be practical, keep you satiated, reduce food cravings, and get to the underlying reasons for your metabolic issues. And empower you to take back control. She can also offer nutrigenomic testing where appropriate, which can determine genetic reasons why you are struggling to lose weight /or struggling with your appetite and then suggest powerful, personalised, evidence-based & targeted modifications.

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BLOOD SUGAR, DIABETES & BIological Ageing

Diabetes
  • Blood sugar & energy crashes, feeling hangry with uncontrollable cravings

  • (Pre)diabetes or diabetes

  • Insulin resistance & its link to various chronic conditions below:

  • Fat around the belly, fatty liver, high blood pressure & cholesterol

  • Inflammation, PCOS, chronic thrush, erectile dysfunction, migraines, dementia

  • Poor brain function & metabolic health

  • Accelerated brain (& cellular) ageing

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Shockingly around one in four adults in the UK have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms which often occur together which significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Tell-tale signs may include a large waist, unhealthy cholesterol levels, raised blood pressure, insulin resistance and blood glucose markers in the prediabetic or diabetic range. One is then more prone to excess clotting & chronic inflammation and it can increase the risk of dementia & other neurological issues, mood disturbances, stroke, fatty liver, and certain cancers & so on. 
 

This is very much a Western condition that may be caused by chronic stress, a sedentary lifestyle, a diet too high in processed foods, refined carbs, as well as excess alcohol consumption, gut bacteria imbalances, nutrient deficiencies and so on. Women can become equally prone to this after the menopause and there are genetic factors involved (there is more prevalence in certain ethnicities for example.)

Vegan & Vegetarians
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VEGAN & VEGETARIAN

Kirsten also has expertise in creating bespoke plans for vegans, vegetarians and those who are plant-based, who are ever increasing in number due to ethical, environmental, religious and health considerations. And she has even devised a unique nutritional lab test for vegan with Viva Health Labs (Kirsten Brooks vegan profile), to ensure identification of any potential associated nutritional deficiencies, which is unfortunately not uncommon. See lab tests.

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Other Conditions
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OTHER CONDITIONS

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Kirsten has a lot of clinical experience helping clients with a wide range of different health issues. Please contact the clinic, if you wish to know if she could help you with your unique health concerns not covered above. But pllease note there are illnesses she doesn’t offer help with. These include Lyme disease, eating disorders- bulimia and anorexia, and nutritional support for cancer. 

It is always best to get a proper diagnosis from a medical doctor and advise them of any additional therapies or supplements you are having. Her nutritional program will be safe with any medication you are currently taking.


Contact Kirsten if you would like further information on how nutritional therapy might support your particular health concerns.

Nutrigeomics
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Nutrigenomics

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Personalising nutrition based on your unique genetics

For a powerful targeted & pro-active approach, Kirsten uses nutrigenomic testing (via Lifecode Gx and Nordic Lab- DNA health), both of which provide very affordable, highly actionable reports she will clearly interpret that can have a profound impact on health.

They can determine how your genetics may impact different areas (neurotransmitters, hormones, weight, thyroid, energy, pain perception, methylation, fertility and so on) and which nutrients you have higher requirements for as a result. And Kirsten can then implement specific targeted modifications to potentially downregulate unfavourable gene expression.

 

Our understanding of genes has evolved with the emergence of the fascinating field known as Epigenetics, which investigates how external environmental factors such as our diet, lifestyle, stress, and environmental toxins have the ability to switch our genes on and off. Unless you are born with a chromosomal disorder, genes alone don’t determine disease. We now understand that it is the interplay between our genetic individuality and our environment that can increase or lessen the risk of poor health. Through diet and the personalised use of nutritional supplements based on your genetics, it is therefore possible to modify gene expression, or switch our genes on or off.

This integrative approach enables an understanding of an individual's biochemical individuality, providing a clearer picture of  your unique needs and provides direct, actionable suggestions based on known genetic polymorphisms (variations over evolution in our genes).

An example - genes that influence serotonin production and cellular function

Kirsten can determine if someone is less likely to convert the amino acid, tryptophan to 5-HTP under stress- a precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin. And if they are likely instead to convert serotonin into a neurotoxic compound, causing mood disturbances.  Antioxidants (in brightly colourful foods and targeted antioxidant supplements) are known to reduce the negative impact. Also, a variant of another gene that can be teste for can lower someone’s sensitivity to serotonin, leading to low mood, anxiety, and increased impulsivity. Specific nutrients can be recommended to increase serotonin sensitivity.

In Kirsten’s case- nutrigenomic testing, showed she had far higher requirements for certain nutrients to reduce certain gene expressions for balanced mental health, support methylation, which then led to a recovery from monthly premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD- a more debilitating form of premenstrual syndrome).

However, most DIRECT TO CONSUMER TESTS provide basic information with little, or no, interpretation or support which can be overwhelming and subject to misinterpretation. But in the hands of someone with nutrigenomics training, it can be motivational, empowering and genuinely life transforming.

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