Sinead McKay RD Registered Dietitian and Functional Nutritionist BSc Hons PgDip
I am a HCPC registered Dietitian with 11 years experience working within the NHS. I am a Diabetes Specialist of 10 years, working with both Type 1 and Type 2 clients.
I also consult as a Functional Nutritionist.
In either capacity - of Dietitian or Nutritionist - I have particular interest in working with Chronic Fatigue sufferers and those with Food Intolerance. I work with most areas of Nutrition including weight management, gut health, female health, heart health, healthy eating, Mood/Mental Health and optimising nutrition. I am passionate about helping people realise a better state of personal health.
What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?
Dietitian is a protected title and requires years of degree or masters level training including extensive supervised clinical training, continual professional development and adherence to professional standards of the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) throughout ones practice. In consulting with a Dietitian you are guaranteed to be advised only on the basis of the most robust and up to date evidence based clinical guidelines applicable to your diagnosis or area of health concern.
A Nutritionist or Functional Nutritionist can support you in exploring areas of nutrition and lifestyle that may be seen as more wholistic and potentially having a less robust evidence base behind it. There is so much mixed information out there today telling us how we can achieve better health. Much of this can be confusing and one man's food can be another's poison for some. So testing and trying different approaches at random can mean missing the mark in terms of achieving progress with your health goals. Having individualised assessment and support from someone who is trained and experienced at the highest level in weighing up and communicating evidence can provide a more solid footing if you find you are looking to explore areas of Nutrition where the guidelines available are conflicting or not so clear.
You can request to see me as either in the capacity of Dietitian or as a Nutritionist. Please be clear on which capacity it is in which you wish to consult with me as these are two very distinct professions and therefore two separate services that I provide independently of each other.
Diabetes Specialist Dietitian
Type 1 Diabetes - DAFNE, BERTIE, Pump, Carbohydrate Counting
My principle area of specialism is in Diabetes, having been practising as a Diabetes Specialist Dietitian for the past 6 years. I am a certified DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) educator with specialist skills in training patients with Type 1 Diabetes how to carbohydrate count and adjust their own insulin doses according to DAFNE principles. I am also a trained BERTIE educator, a program similar to DAFNE. I am also an Insulin Pump educator.
Type 2 Diabetes - DESMOND, Weight Management, Healthy Eating, Low carbohydrate diets, Carbohydrate portion control
I am a "DESMOND" educator, trained and experienced in delivering initial education to Newly diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes patients. I am passionate about empowering patients with Type 2 Diabetes to self manage through knowledge of healthy eating and carbohydrate counting portion control, as well as to achieve all-important weight loss for long term health protection.
I have vast experience working both with groups and on a one-to-one level with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients including patients on insulin pump therapy and patients with diabetes in pregnancy.
Sometimes patients feel they need that extra support that comes from sitting down on a one-to-one level and taking things at a pace that is better suited to them. I love teaching and have successfully gotten countless patients to a place of control with their Diabetes that they had long thought was not achievable.
Weight Management - Losing weight
As a Diabetes Dietitian I have vast experience in consulting with patients on dieting to lose weight, or as I prefer to see it, making diet and lifestyle change to lose weight for good. Dieting can be frustrating, particularly when you succeed but then regain the lost weight all over again. Making realistic changes that can be sustained long term is the most reliable way to see real changes in your weight that will last. People very often feel they need support with this process and I am here to help.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / ME, Fatigue, Low energy
I am very passionate about helping people achieve a better state of health, however they define "health" for them. Fatigue is a common complaint and very commonly one that is difficult to explain as to the cause. Often a person can find they are functioning at a level of energy or vitality that is just not optimal for them. Or some people there a level of fatigue that is debilitating and affecting their quality of life in a very obvious way. For others a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or ME may have been given. Finding the right balance in the diet can often help people feel improved and may be worth exploring. Having suffered myself from a level of fatigue related to food intolerance and experienced the frustrations of identifying the underlying causes I have a particular empathy and determination in trying to help people identify any potential problem foods or imbalances in their diet.
Food Allergy and Intolerance
I have a particular interest in food allergy and intolerance in adults. Food allergy is often first identified or confirmed by your doctor and I can support you with the challenges of ensuring avoidance of allergens while also achieving a balanced diet. Food "intolerance" is more difficult to identify and diagnose. Often you might have symptoms for which you cannot identify a cause and may suspect that it is related to something you are eating.
Unnecessary avoidance of falsely suspected food intolerances is common and can lead to a poorly balanced diet as well as having negative impact on your enjoyment of life. Equally, the continued eating of problem foods may be causing debilitating symptoms that are needlessly affecting the quality of your life. Having the guidance and support of a professional can make the process of identifying problem foods less troublesome and more productive.
Female health - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis, PMS
For those with conditions like Polycystic ovaries and endometriosis weight loss can be a key beneficial change to aim for, while the condition itself may make weight loss that bit more difficult to achieve. Making the right types of long term dietary changes, as opposed to yo yo dieting for example, can lead to better, more sustained results. Healthy eating, particularly if tit leads to a healthier weight, can also support better hormone balance and potentially help with symptoms like PMS.
Losing weight can often mean more than just feeling happier about how you look. Achieving a healthy weight can have important meaning for your long term health including your risk of heart disease. Making changes to achieve weight loss and also to improve other health factors like your cholesterol levels and blood pressure will reduce your heart disease risk and overall health for the long term.
Mood problems, PMS, Depression, Mental Health issues
There can often be a link between problems with a persons moods or their general sense of well-being and their diet. Sometimes, particularly if you feel your diet is not healthy, or where you suspect a relationship between your food choices and how you feel, it can be worth exploring dietary influences.
Gastrointestinal Problems - Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), low FODMAPs, Food intolerance, Coeliac Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Constipation, Acid reflux, Diverticulitis
Gastrointestinal problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, can often be related to food intolerances, as well as stress. I am trained in the delivery of FODMAPs training which is a very successful approach for many people in alleviating the symptoms of IBS through adjustment of the diet. I also have experience in advising patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, such as Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, particularly those who require nutritional support due to compromised nutritional intakes. I can also advise on other common gastrointestinal problems such Coeliac Disease, Diverticulitis, acid reflux and constipation.
Nutritional Support - unwanted weight loss, underweight, reduced appetite
Having worked for years in acute hospitals with sick patients I have extensive experience in providing nutritional support to patients who are struggling to meet their nutritional needs, and may have lost or are losing weight in an unwanted way or are underweight or at risk becoming underweight and malnourished. Unwanted weight loss, reduced appetite or reduced ability to eat can be the consequence of a wide range of conditions. Receiving adequate nutrition can be key to a faster and fuller recovery in many cases or to protect a person from being vulnerable to future illness. It is important to get proper advice from a Dietitian in such circumstances.
Working closely with nurses and doctors in a team approach is key to properly supporting a patient. In consulting with you I am happy and able to communicate with members of your current healthcare team to see any necessary changes are supported and that they are kept up-to-date with your care as needed.
Special Diets e.g. low potassium, anaemia, osteoporosis, cholesterol-lowering
Sometimes a diagnosis can be given where you need to control or improve your diet to keep healthy e.g. in Kidney disease, anaemia or osteoporosis. Having the right guidance can help ensure you achieve a balanced diet and stay within your targets.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Diabetes Specialist experience spanning 10 years
- 11 years experience practicing as a Dietitian in the NHS
- Fully qualified HCPC registered Dietitian
- PgDip Nutrition and Dietetics - University of Chester
- PgDip Human Nutrition - University of Ulster
- BSc Double Honours Biology and Chemistry - National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 14 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
If you have been diagnosed or suspect you may have this medical condition, you should consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment and always inform your health professional before starting any alternative or additional therapies, treatments or making any major changes in your diet or exercise programme.
Initial consultation, 1 hour: £65 - £75
Follow-up session, up to 1 hour: £45 - £55
Blackheath: Initial consultation, 1 hour: £95
Follow-up session, up to 1 hour: £75
*An additional £30 is charged per 30 minutes past the first hour. If you wish you can book a longer consultation time on this price basis e.g. where more time is preferred or seeing two people for diet advice at once
Telephone or Skype Consultation:
*Initial contact - 60 mins: £60-70
**Follow-up contact - 30 mins: £30
*plus £15 per 15 minutes past the first 60 minutes for an initial contact
**plus £15 per 15 minutes past the first 30 minutes for a follow-up contact
Tailored group educations and conference talks
For families, small private groups, schools, workplace and sporting teams
Carbohydrate Counting / Awareness
Cardiovascular Risk management
Food allergy / Intolerance diet management
Tailored topics on request
Pricing dependent on content, duration and number of participants and number of sessions.