Practitioner Q&A – Dorian Soanes

Dorian Soanes is a registered Nutritional Therapist and certified NLP coach trained in the functional medicine model.

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Posted

April 28, 2022

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What brought you to nutrition?

My experience with my own health.

I was diagnosed with autoimmune hyperthyroid (graves disease) in my early/mid 30’s and both the symptoms of the condition and the diagnosis hit me like a tonne of bricks. I thought I was a healthy guy who ate the right sort of things and exercised so I couldn’t understand why this happened to me. My symptoms were fairly debilitating at times and got in the way of my family and work life, this was despite doing everything my endocrinologist told me to.

After 2 years of care under my endocrinologist with no change in my worst symptoms, I was told I needed to have my thyroid taken out or destroyed. This just didn’t make sense to me and that’s why I started to search of an alternative way to deal with this.

From there I actually found LCON (and saw Oliver) and this not only allowed me to eliminate my symptoms and keep my thyroid but also allows me to feel as good now at forty as I ever have. Through this experience I developed an intense interest in the power of nutrition and using natural treatments to improve health. So much so I ended up leaving my career in shipping to do a MSc in Personalised Nutrition and leading to me practicing at the place that first introduced me to this world!

 

What are your areas of interest in health and nutrition?

Digestive conditions, thyroid, mould illness, metabolic conditions and male health

 

What can clients expect from a consultation with you?

The first consultation will include a detailed look into the client’s health history. I’m looking for clues as to what are the predispositions, mediating factors or behaviours that may have contributed to where the client currently is.

After this I will suggest to the client what may be going on. Obviously, I can’t know what is going on and I will suggest testing if the result of the test will change the interventions we may suggest. The biggest test I like to do is see how a client will react to the interventions I propose; In the first consultation I will usually give very general interventions that may be effective based on their presentation and my hunches as to what is going on with them. How much they improve on these interventions gives me really good feedback as to likely mechanisms with this client that I can then use for interventions going forward.

With most of my clients, I’m usually fairly gut focused – it may not seem intuitively obvious why this would be if you don’t have overt gut symptoms and want to resolve a skin issue, joint pain, brain fog or something else seemingly unrelated to the gut. What we now see in the literature, and what I’ve found clinically, is that when you fix anything going on in the gut all of these other areas improve because of the guts influence over the immune system and therefore it’s ability to create inflammation in any area of the body.

I don’t just focus on nutrition, testing and supplements. Though these are important they are only part of the picture. Depending on the importance with the client I will also spend time discuss areas like sleep, stress management, exercise, and movement. These are all critical parts of health that I frequently see as overlooked by clients or applied inappropriately.

 

What is your favourite health and nutrition book?

Difficult to choose one! I like “Healthy Gut, Healthy You” by Dr. Ruscio as I’ve developed my own versions of the protocol suggested in this book for different applications within the clinic.

For a book outside nutrition I like “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker on the importance of sleep.

 

Favourite on-the-go snack?

Snacks are just incomplete meals!! I generally suggest avoiding snacking as if you structured your last meal correctly you won’t need to.

But if I must give one, I’ll say the orange chocolate almonds by deliciously by Ella, I usually buy them on my days in the clinic to have with lunch and they are highly addictive.

 

Favourite form of movement?

Strength training focused on the major movements of squat, hip hinge, push and pull. In terms of bang for your buck when you consider time and benefit, it’s hard to find something that competes. With just 1-2 sessions/week (30–120mins/week), you can get benefits far beyond just getting stronger including; faster metabolism, improved immunity, balanced hormones, improved energy, improved sleep – and much more!

 

When you feel a cold coming on you

Do completely the wrong thing – always!

I love training and pushing myself making this my blind spot. When I feel a cold coming on I know exactly what I should do but I always ignore it and try and press ahead crossing my fingers and hoping I’ll be ok – but I usually just make it last longer for myself.

What I would do if I didn’t have this weakness would be to focus on sleep, walking in nature for movement and restorative activities like meditation. I have found infrared saunas to be fantastic for an oncoming cold/flu as they mimic the body’s natural defence of a fever.

In terms of supplements high dose liposomal vitamin c, zinc, probiotics, echinacea, and elderberry are all good options I use.

 

One lesson you will take from the covid-19 pandemic?

I could talk about a lot here including the importance of metabolic health in immunity, stress management or sleep to help with difficult times. However, I think the biggest take away I see in myself, and my clients is the importance of human contact in health. Frequently the biggest issue my clients raise over the 2 years of on and off restrictions was how they felt not being able to socialise or see family.

We are social creatures by nature and this is a massive part of being healthy. There is some evidence to suggest social isolation is as injurious to your health as smoking and I’d have to agree with this.

Human contact with loved ones in your friends and family, having fun, playing and doing things you love with people who matter to you are extremely important for every aspect of your health. As this is the case, in instances of forced social isolation, having plans that mitigate the circumstances so you don’t go into yourself can make a big difference in all health outcomes.

 

If you could give one piece of advice it would be…?

Health is a practice not a destination.

There is never going to be a day that you wake up and think “well I did it, I’m now healthy”. Though we like to think in terms of results, it’s the journey that’s important and though you may well get there it’s never going to happen in the way you think it will.

I regularly see people getting in the way of their own results as they have an idea in their head of what it will look like when they get the results they want – and I totally get it as this was me. How I solved it was realising this (which took a long time) and learning to fall in love with the process of practicing health because when you do your already winning where ever you are in your health journey.