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MY PERSONAL JOURNEY TO LIFESTYLE MEDICINE, HEALTH COACHING & ADHD COACHING

VERA ALTMEYER

After finishing my Master's degree my passion for science initially led me to do university-based research and teaching as well as to pursue a PhD degree. While on this path I became seriously ill and spent many years without ever obtaining a diagnose, let alone medical treatment. Eventually I was labelled with a whole host of chronic conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, severe food intolerances, insulin resistance, cognitive decline, chronic pain and fatigue, depression, thyroid dysfunction, and more. The only help I was offered in the public healthcare system was symptom management, as well as support to apply for occupational disability at age 30. At that point I had to first go on sick leave, then quit my job and eventually resign from my PhD enrolment. It was only then, when I had nothing left to loose, that I started to prioritise and seriously investigate my own health.

This has quickly lead me onto the path of functional medicine and lifestyle medicine and by implementing these principles I immediately began to improve. I took a deep dive and started to learn everything I could about this approach to health care and changed just about everything in my life. Only three years and many science papers later - and with the support of many wonderful people that crossed my path on this new journey - I had come from being labelled as "disabled for the rest of my life" to being largely symptom free and more happy and vibrant than ever before.

From here on it became my passion to share with others what I have learned on my healing journey. After supporting many friends and family with their own personal health challenges I decided to work in this field professionally.

 

Over the years I felt very drawn to work with ADHD, I had a huge fascination for the subject and kept reading books, doing lectures and even professional seminars. I also started to naturally attract more and more clients with ADHD and absolutely loved working with them. However, it wasn't until my son was born and the perfect storm of sleep deprivation and post-partum hormones hit me, that I realised I myself have ADHD. Today I take this as the perfect example not only of how complex the condition is but also of how poorly understood it still is and how little the true diversity of how it plays out in people's lives is adequately represented in the public and professional discourse. Therefore it is now my passion to support adult women with ADHD to unravel the impact the unrecognised condition has had on their lives, learn how to move forward from here and marry this with improving their overall health and wellbeing.

Today, I am 39 and share my passion for health and nature with my husband Thomas. Together with our 3-year-old son we live in the beautiful area of Hay-on-Wye at the foothills of the Black Mountains and enjoy good food, our local bookshops, gardening and the gorgeous Welsh outdoors.

You can read about my professional background below.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

VERA ALTMEYER

After several years of explaining to numerous people what has helped me to recover, sharing what I have learned along the way and supporting them in undertaking steps for their own health I decided it was time to formalise my education in those areas by undergoing training in both Health Coaching, Lifestyle Medicine and Functional Medicine. I studied at the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA) which ended with the certification as Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach.

 

FMCA is approved by the UK & International Health Coaching Association (UKIHCA) as one of the most reputable health coach training programmes available today.

Further, it is also approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching in collaboration with the National Board of Medical Examiners in the US.

FMCA is also an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Accredited Education Provider.

 

The education at FMCA was developed in collaboration with the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), which is the global leader in Functional Medicine education and clinical practice. The programme comprises a wide range of subjects including various coaching methods, positive psychology & behaviour change, psychology of eating, mind-body medicine, stress medicine, functional nutrition and functional medicine. The curriculum is taught by highly accomplished experts in these subjects, such as​ Mark Hyman, Terry Wahls, David Perlmutter, Thomas O'Bryan, Jeffrey Bland, Kristi Hughes, Kara Fitzgerald, Deanna Minich and other distinguished medical doctors, professors and researchers. If you would like to learn more about this programme, please take a look here.​

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Since I started to work with ADHD in 2020 I have undergone extensive continuing education in this area. Besides countless seminars and lectures I have completed the clinical course on Neurodevelopmental Disorders by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, which covers Functional Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine and Functional Neurology approaches for ADHD (among other conditions), as well as the comprehensive ADHD Practitioner training by Kim Raine, which to date forms the highest CPD-accredited course on ADHD in the UK and covers all aspects of ADHD from brain science over genetics, hormones, neurotransmitters, diagnostic pathways and co-morbidities, emotions and mindset to holistic management strategies and more.

In my previous academic career, after finishing my Master's degree, I spent several years as a researcher and lecturer at various universities and research institutes in Germany, Denmark and Indonesia. This is where my lifelong passion for science was sharpened with a mindset to always be curious, open to the unexpected and critical towards my own and others' pre-conceived ideas. It has taught me how to read and understand scientific publications and translate those findings into real-life situations and vice-versa. All of these skills have proven to be enormously helpful to sift through thousands of medical publications and understand the elegant and sophisticated physiological processes, which are involved in making our bodies function optimally.

It is all of this experience and education that I bring into my current profession as a health coach, ADHD coach and lifestyle medicine specialist, to make sure I can provide you with state-of-the-art support for how you can recover from your health problems and improve your brain function - even with ADHD.

I am a member of the UK & International Health Coaching Association, a professional association dedicated to developing standards and ensuring quality within this new profession in the UK as well as globally.

 

I offer coaching in English and German, globally online or in-person in the UK.

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