In 2010, Susan went to her GP regarding a chronic cough and came away diagnosed with extremely high cholesterol. She was strongly advised to take statins or in the words of a cardiologist - "she would be dead in 10-15 years". There is a long history of heart disease in her family, along with early cardiac death. Initially she didn’t know what to do about it. Surely the cardiologist knew what they were talking about?
She even picked up the first prescription for statins. But never opened them.
While studying nutrition and exercise physiology Susan had come across conflicting information regarding cholesterol and heart disease and was aware of the controversy around statins, particularly the dangers for women using these drugs. Now she was in a position where her own health was at stake. She decided to do what she always does and hit the books. This ultimately lead down a pathway of studying nutritional biochemistry, with a special interest in understanding blood chemistry reports.
During this time Susan also discovered she has the APOE 4/4 gene. This gene is found in about .20% of the population and increases the risk for both Alzheimer’s and Heart Disease. Again, she hit the books to investigate the best way to manage this and whether nutritional recommendations for this vulnerable group should differ from other people without the gene.
Susan says "It is pretty scary when you learn these things about your body. It takes some getting your head around. But the human body is a remarkable machine and as much as possible it will work to keep you alive and as healthy as possible. There is a lot we can do to help it in this process."
Susan is fascinated with how the body responds to exercise and diet and has spent over 30 years studying these topics. With heart disease still the number one killer, she loves to help people understand this better. The reason that people with cholesterol levels (like her) die early from heart attacks, isn’t because of the cholesterol. In fact, once over the age of 65, the people with the highest cholesterol actually live the longest. They have far less cancers, infections and autoimmune disease.
There are an increasing number of doctors, cardiologists, lipidologist and other experts from all around the world who have reviewed decades of research and concluded that cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis that we all grew up believing is a myth. It is taking a long time to dispel this myth - but it is slowly happening because the public are educating their doctors.
Susan is specialises in helping people with high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes understand what is going on, so they can make better decisions for their health. It is important to be able to understand what your blood tests are actually telling you so you can have fully informed discussions with your doctor or specialist. Susan is passionate about her work and is able to break down the complex science in a way that is easy to understand.
- Master Health Sciences
- Post-Graduate Diploma Sports Medicine
- Post-Graduate Diploma Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
- Post-Graduate Diploma COP Musculoskeletal Medicine
- Post-Graduate Diploma COP Community Nutrition
FUNCTIONAL DIAGNOSTIC NUTRITION PRACTITIONER
- Member Institute of Functional Medicine (Washington, USA)
- Diplomate in Clinical Nutrition - in progress (American Board of Clinical Nutrition)
- Functional Physiology, Biochemistry, Nutrition (Washington, USA)
- ADAPT Practitioner (Kresser Institute, California, USA)
- Kalish Method Practitioner (Kalish Institute, California, USA)
- SIBO Practitioner (Melbourne, Australia)
- Gluten Society Practitioner (Gluten Society, Texas, USA)
- Blood Chemistry Analysis
- Saliva Hormone Testing
- DUTCH Testing
- Comprehensive Stool Testing
- SIBO Breath Testing
- Organic Acids Testing
I first met Susan (Sue) when we were part of the same support group for a continuing education programme we were both attending.
Sue caught my attention because she was saying something very different from the rest of the group. Not in a controversial way, but by giving a perspective to other ideas rather than the monolithic thought processes of the group.
Nutritional analysis was completely new to me and I quickly got hooked and wanted to learn more. Sue happily answered all my question and provided me with many resources. I thought that was a generous and rare attitude and was very appreciative. We remain close friends and regularly share ideas and challenge each other.
Sue not only helped with understanding nutritional analysis and how it pertains to performance and recovery, she has also been a guiding light for me in my own business, teaching me about her holistic approach to helping people. She helped me to extend my strength and conditioning clientele by teaching me new methods of training and how to incorporate these into a business model to reach a wider demographic. She generously provided many detailed resources to do this.
Her generosity, humbleness, mindset, compassion, patience and the ever pursuit of knowledge have been the pillars that Sue has bought to our relationship. Those are the same pillars she brings to her clients every day. Not being one of her clients has not stopped me from benefiting from her lessons. I am a better trainer because of her help.
Michael Thomas is a strength and conditioning coach in Tucson, Arizona and owns and manages Adaptive Performance. www.adaptiveperformancellc.com