Greetings, I have been involved in the health and fitness arena for over 36 years and in clinical practice for over 20 years, helping thousands of clients attain optimal wellbeing and overcome complex health conditions. Now in my 60’s, by practicing what I preach, I walk between 65-100k every week and feel healthier and fitter than I did in my mid 20’s. I'm often asked to show 'proof of old age' when I display my senior train ticket, I would like you to experience the same when you pass your 6th decade.
From a young age I dreamt of becoming a doctor, however a traumatic head injury in my teens resulting in a 6-pint blood loss, my heart stopping and doctors telling me it was a miraculous survival, my dream of practicing medicine was put on hold. Over a couple of years, I slowly regained my health but was still suffering from sporadic debilitating migraines and cognition, concentration and balance issues which my consultant told me was due to the previous brain trauma. I was told it was highly unlikely I would be able to complete a degree. Instead I trained as a health and fitness practitioner teaching fitness, nutrition and well-being across schools, health centres and doctors’ surgeries for many years.
In my mid 20’s for a number of years I felt I was the epitome of health and fitness; however, this peak health did not last. After moving back into a severely water damaged house, I started to experience again debilitating migraines as well as nausea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, thyroid and severe digestive and hormonal issues, tingling and numbness in my extremities and debilitating brain fog and fatigue. My consultants again thought it was due to my past head trauma. After numerous investigations and brain scans, I was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and IBS. These diagnoses didn’t make sense to me, they were just a group of symptoms given names- CFS and IBS- but what caused these conditions? I still had days when I felt great and then suddenly seemingly out of nowhere would feel totally debilitated as if I had been drugged, this could last for hours or days. My doctors and consultants had no answers. One consultant put his hand on my knee and patronizingly asked me if I wanted to see a psychiatrist.
After some years further tests including an endoscopy which showed completely flattened intestinal villi, I was diagnosed with celiac disease, autoimmune atrophic gastritis, autoimmune thyroid disease - Hashimotos and pernicious anaemia with parietal antibodies which means one cannot absorb oral B12. After avoiding gluten, I felt 30% better but felt I needed to find my own answers to regain my optimal wellbeing. I embarked on a 4-year full time university degree in the only degree available in the U.K in 1994 in holistic healthcare - Phytotherapy/Medical Herbalism.
My herbal medicine degree taught me the same clinical diagnostic skills as western orthodox medical doctors, we had the same external examiners and over 500 hours of clinical training but we were taught to look for and treat the underlying cause/causes of the patients ill health as well as treating the symptoms rather than treating symptoms alone and utilising plant (herbal) medicines rather than orthodox synthetic drugs.
I graduated in 1998 with a 1st class honours and immediately started training with Dr Jean Claude Lepraz and later Dr Kamyar Hedyat in Endobiogenic medicine - a unique and precision form of functional medicine utilising herbal medicine and the internal use of essential oils; functional medicine with Dr Jeffrey Bland; human individuality and nutritional genomics with Dr Peter D’Adamo, author of Fundamentals of Generative Medicine and designer of the Opus 23, a sophisticated genetics analytical suite and allergy and environmental medicine with the British society of Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine, now the British Society of environmental medicine (BSEM).
Subsequently I embarked on further training in Nutrition and Immunology at Masters level; nutritional genetics; dark field microscopy; live blood analysis; phlebotomy; counselling in the health setting and coeliac and gluten sensitivity and its many health manifestations diagnosis and treatment.
I regularly attend conferences around the world, and continuously update myself to the latest research. I have lectured to clinicians on the diagnosis and treatment of complex digestive disorders; autoimmune recovery; nutritional genomics; epigenetics (above genetics) and anti-ageing/disease prevention medicine. In the past, I have often been in the media and on television discussing individualised nutrition, nutrigenomics and herbal medicine. However, I now prefer to focus on clinical practice, as that's where I can actively help people - on a direct and personal basis.
Carole Azra Symons
MSc Nutrition, BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
Medical Herbalist / Nutrition consultant / Celiac Specialist
Nutri-Genetic counsellor / Endobiogenic/Functional medicine clinician.
MIFFM, MNIMH, MISNN, MBSEM, FIFHI, MAONM, CGP.
- The Institute for Functional Medicine
- The National Institute of Medical Herbalists
- The British Society of Ecological Medicine
- The Academy of Nutritional Medicine
- The Endobiogenic medicine Society
- Fellow of the Institute for Human Individuality