Nutritional Nutters.

Some would say that completing a degree with a disability is quite an achievement, but as a Millennial even the greatest of achievements pales in comparison to the terrible flaws displayed by my generation that will surely be the end of society itself. People will always find faults if they are looking for them and as such, it has been made apparent to me that being disabled with any sort of medical knowledge is completely incompatible, because surely everyone with this knowledge is in perfect health all of the time and would cure themselves with their knowledge should they fall ill.

Approximately a year ago I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia, which I have since recovered from. At the time the response I invariably received upon revealing my deficiency to someone was, “but I thought you were a nutritionist”.  The truth was that a tablet I was taking limited the absorption of iron in the intestine and despite my dietary iron intake being perfectly adequate, most of the iron was quite literally being flushed down the toilet. Of course, despite the fact that I have spent three years and thousands of pounds dedicated to the subject, the person I was speaking to knew far more than me having read about it on Wikipedia, and I was just making up excuses for being a poor nutritionist. Just about anyone with any medical knowledge or experience in a clinic will roll their eyes at this point; while I can hardly criticise using the internet, because well… I’m on the internet, it can be the bane of our lives.

The same logic has been applied to my disability; admittedly there are a few dietary tricks that can help maintain energy levels throughout the day, but certainly there is no scientific evidence showing a particular diet that will immediately cause me to leap out of my wheelchair completely free of disease for the first time in years. The closest I ever get to feeling like that is when someone offers me chocolate cake, because although I know the many ways in which cake could potentially kill me, I like cake, particularly the chocolate kind. The fact that I am chronically ill is frequently used to evidence my incapability in my chosen field, which is almost as annoying as receiving a smug look before being told nutritionists shouldn’t eat chocolate cake. Why this would apply specifically to nutritionists and no other human being on the planet is beyond me, but clearly I know only that I know nothing.

There is also one deep flaw in the thought process behind such accusations; nutrition is very rarely used as a cure, but is actually used to treat a disease or manage symptoms. Ask any diabetic this and they will confirm that no matter how many visits they have with a dietitian, altering their diet will not make their pancreas behave itself, merely managing the consequences instead. Likewise I use nutrition to help me manage the symptoms of my condition, not to cure it. By my albeit somewhat biased logic, this makes me an even better nutritionist, as I have experience in altering the diet to suit my needs while still satisfying my cravings for chocolate cake. It is by stating that nutrition rarely cures to people I deem to be “Nutritional Nutters” that I return their self-satisfied smugness, in a dish that is far more nutritious when served cold.

Author: diaryofadisabledperson

My multi-award-winning blog discusses what life is like as a disabled bisexual woman. I have a 1st class honours degree in nutrition from the University of Leeds where I now work in medical research, something which has been very difficult when I have had a chronic illness for many years. Outside of work I have a passion for wrestling, rock music, and the MCU. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram simply by searching diaryofadisabledperson.

6 thoughts on “Nutritional Nutters.”

  1. I have often thought I would love to get a degree in nutrition or weight management but I am disabled and overweight myself. How can anyone trust anything I say, once I get a degree? Lol. You’ve put things into perspective for me! Even if I learn how to manage my own pain with diet, then I need to try! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really glad you liked this post so much; it’s always worth trying, but also it can be good to bear in mind that nutrition and weight-management is all about risk. Being underweight or overweight can increase the risk of a certain condition, but many people still don’t get it, and those of a healthy weight can still get it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While I love using the internet to make myself more informed of subjects I wouldn’t have the chance to otherwise, I have always been wary of treating any of it as absolute fact. At least, not until getting it verified by more than just one Wikipedia-centered source.

    While people either want to blame people for everything about their condition, or take no responsibility at all for their own, it seems difficult for those of us who know it’s not as black and white to not get our heads bitten off. Thank you for this post, it makes me feel much better about my ongoing dietary struggles while also wanting to enjoy that occasional piece of chocolate cake.

    Liked by 1 person

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