This is a very distressing story, and in the most tragic way, highlights many failings of the advice given by some sectors of the nutrition world.Drinking four to six pints of water a day without any salt in the diet, forcing the cells to swell as the kidneys were unable to cope with the level of water being drunk leading to brain damage.
I don’t know the nutrition therapist in question, Barbra Nash, but the consequences of this extreme diet would have been obvious to anyone who knew what they were doing.Many consultants work alone, in a vacuum, and have few if any ways of having their work supervised. If they read about a method of doing something, they have a willing and paying group of guinea pigs available and off they go.
If their new method works for one person they can easily become convinced that they are on to something, and on they go, full of vigour, to try this on someone else. When the individual complains of feeling unwell, the therapist sees this as a good sign (I have heard it called ‘a healing crisis’) and urge their client to press on. It seems that Dawn Page did exactly that, trusting Ms Nash, and the results were tragic.
At we do not and have never practised anything extreme. We don’t hold with it, and the people that work with me in the are balanced, practical and monitored by their colleagues, including me. Our foods are mainstream healthy products, and at the clinic we do not recommend any individual foods, including ours. The advice is independent from all food companies, including The Food Doctor.
We are, of course, aware that we have a high profile, and use that profile to as a voice of authority. Our advice is never extreme, in fact some may find it mundane compared to the fad advice handed out by others in the same field.
The best I can do is to advise anyone going to see ato make sure that the advice is practical, and applicable to your life. If the regime seems too extreme, then question the therapist and get them to explain, in writing, why they are doing this, and feel free to get a second opinion, Follow your instinct too, as if something feels faddish, then it usually is.