Dr Nayana Shah
RNZCGP, MBBS, Dip Obs and Paeds
I completed my basic medical training in India and moved to NZ in 1989. I started my first job in New Zealand in 1990 and went on to become a General practitioner completing my fellowship requirements in 2004.
Working as a GP I often found that I could not help my patients (especially with chronic health problems) to extent I wanted to and often found myself to be quite stressed. I wanted to provide my patients with more help and non- pharmaceutical ways to address their health issues and decided to advance my training in nutrition and environmental medicine. I was introduced to the most up to date science regarding optimizing nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids and how it helps the biochemical functioning of the body. I continue to attend conferences, seminars and learn about the science and clinical applications of different testing, supplements and herbs and how they can be used to overcome different health challenges.
I was introduced to the healthy lifestyle concept in 2002 and I increasingly modified my lifestyle over time. However, I believed that we should get all required nutrients through diet, to the extent that I ignored my GPs advice to have a B12 injection when my B12 was below normal.
This changed when I decided to advance my training in nutrition and environmental medicine and attended my first course with Australasian college of Nutritional and Environmental medicine in 2014. I was introduced to the most up-to-date science regarding optimizing nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids, and how it helps the biochemical functioning of the body. I learnt that for the human biochemistry to function optimally, it needs to be provided with all required ingredients. All these requirements may not be met solely with food for various reasons. Since supplementing nutrients tailored for my needs for last 6 years, I have seen huge improvements in my own body and mind’s performance. I am pleased to say I have seen the same rewarding results in my patients’ health. The more I learn, the more I want to know and I continue to attend conferences, seminars and learn about the science and clinical applications of different testing, supplements and herbs and how they can be used to overcome different health challenges.
Currently I continue to use my medical training to evaluate patients’ health problems, investigate, diagnose and then apply wide array of tools from my toolbox to achieve their health goals. I use lifestyle factors including change in diet, stress management, nutrient optimization, use of herbs and hormonal balance for targeted indications. I assess nutrient deficiencies by lab tests including blood and HTMA and monitor levels while the patient is on the treatment program to avoid overdose or harm. I assess hormonal health by blood test and DUTCH test. I am also versed at assessing some other functional testing like GI MAP- assessing microbiome, SIBO breath test, and methylation panel and make a treatment program based on my assessment.
I must say with the wide variety of approaches available to me, I don’t often resort to using pharmaceutical agents. Pharmaceuticals can be important for acute cases, but a majority of chronic health issues faced by my patients can successfully be treated with the foundations listed above. More and more patients are increasingly interested in reaching their desired health outcome with the use of more natural means like lifestyle and nutrients. I help people to minimize their medication where appropriate in a safe and monitored way. Being a medical doctor with interest in lifestyle and CAM, I know when to recommend conventional approach and make you aware of risk and benefits of various approaches so that you can make an informed choice.
Interacting with my patients gives me immense joy and I would look forward to working with you to achieve your health goals.