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How an aspiring naturopath became interested in the vaginal microbiome

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Monday, 21 August 2023

Naturopathy natural health heroes nutrition

When Greta Hinder was 17, her GP diagnosed her with coeliac disease and said there wasn’t much she could do about it. Greta decided otherwise and started shopping and cooking for her family. The more she got into it, the more she wanted to study nutrition.

“To study nutrition without dietetics, I had to leave Canberra,” Greta explained. “So, when I was 21, I enrolled at Endeavour and moved to Melbourne with my partner. After six months of nutrition, I switched to naturopathy because I liked having more tools to help others. I never looked back.”

“Starting in a new city was hard at first, but I made so many new friends who became a huge support,” Greta said. “I started studying full-time, but it was stressful to combine work and study. After the first year, I went part-time and at some points, like when I was working more, I did one subject at a time, but I never took a break.”

Greta studied for nine years and worked simultaneously to support herself and set herself up for life after graduation.

“Soon after I arrived in Melbourne, I worked in health food stores and then managed stores for several years,” Greta said. “I was terrified of starting in the student clinic, so I decided to work at a prestigious, functional medical clinic and get some experience.”

While managing a Great Earth Health Food store, Greta worked with then Endeavour student Jacinta Barbagallo, and they struck up an enduring friendship. When Greta needed a new job, Jacinta asked her to manage her online clinic, Orenda Women’s Health.

“These roles made me more confident in practice. It was the best way to prepare for the student clinic and create future career opportunities,” Greta said. “My other tip for the student clinic is to prepare all your notes beforehand, so you have a database in your own words ready to go.”

During her studies, Greta became fascinated with vaginal health, particularly the vaginal microbiome and complex hormonal concerns. Since graduating, Greta has gone on to expand her role within the Orenda Women’s Health team. She is now a Clinical Naturopath, Practice Manager & Patient Advocate specialising in the realm of reproductive health.

“I was always interested in women’s reproductive health, but it’s a competitive field, so I looked for a niche. Naturopath Moira Bradfield inspired me to consider this often-misdiagnosed area of health. Ultimately, I’d like to educate others about it as she does.”

“Vaginal health is quite simple. Unlike the gut, only a few microbes should live there. So, through clinical assessment and pathology, we can identify what’s happening and prescribe little changes that make a big difference.”

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Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers higher education Diplomas in Health Science and Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine.

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