Sharon Erdrich is one of New Zealand’s leading natural healthcare professionals. With a Master of Health Science (Hons) and over 40 years experience in the health sector, she offers lifestyle, health and nutritional expertise to health professionals as well as to private clients.
Over the last decade she has specialised in digestive disorders, focusing on supporting people to normalise their diet and gut function and reduce food intolerances. Her extensive training and experience across a range of health modalities means she is well placed to support you to achieve your health goals.
Sharon has a busy clinical practice in Auckland. She has long had an interest in research, achieving the “Best Research Paper” award at the completion of her naturopathic studies for her dissertation on natural therapy options for management of high cholesterol. Her Master’s thesis at the University of Auckland was a dietary study, investigating the role of nutrition in men with prostate cancer, from which two papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals (see below).
Sharon is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney; her project is examining relationships between the oral and gastrointestinal microbiome and symptoms in people living with fibromyalgia.
Sharon Erdrich has developed a strong interest in digestive health over the years, which ultimately resulted in intense exploration of the causes and consequences of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and the subsequent establishment of SiBOtest.NZ. This is the only breath testing service in New Zealand to offer at-home breath testing for functional bowel disorders and sugar malabsorption syndromes such as lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption. She is actively researching in this field to improve the accuracy of breath testing.
In addition to her busy clinic in Mt Albert, she presents at conferences and runs workshops and webinars, educating and up-skilling a range of health-focused practitioners.
With an abundance of health-related knowledge, accumulated over years of working with an inquiring mind in both complementary and conventional medical systems, Sharon is able to provide support and guidance for an extremely wide range of health conditions. This includes gut imbalances, stress, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, problems associated with mood and sleep, as well as weight management – particularly for the benefit in preventing diabetes and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and much more.
A personalised approach to your health concern is an outstanding attribute. Her preferred modes of working with clients to support the return to good health, and the maintenance thereof, are Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Therapy. Where necessary, she may recommend advanced pathology or functional medicine testing to identify abnormal metabolism and imbalances. These aid in ensuring things move in the right direction for your treatment.
Tools used include functional nutritional screening, DNA testing, hydrogen-methane breath testing, salivary/urinary hormones, mineral and/or toxin testing. These are all examples of Functional Testing; using science to aid addressing health challenges by establishing underlying predispositions or imbalances. This enables more accurate targeting of appropriate therapies for each individual.
Sharon’s journey into natural medicine began in 1979, when as a student nurse she realised that sick people, treated with conventional medicine, didn’t really get better. What she saw was medical care that was great for managing acute health crises, and got people well enough to function, or be discharged from hospital. But only until the next health crisis. She realised that without the detailed evaluation an appropriate education to empower people to make positive changes in diet and lifestyle, they would either be back in hospital or become chronically unwell.
A driving desire to help people correct the underlying cause or causes of their ill-health fuelled her quest for an in-depth understanding of many aspects of lifestyle and health care.
Training to become a NZ Registered Nurse at Greenlane Hospital in Auckland, a specialist Cardiac hospital at the time, Sharon was exposed to a wide range of specialities. Subsequently, her career as a Registered Nurse was very broad with experience in Cardiology, Intensive Care, Paediatrics, Oncology, District Nursing, General Practice, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Medicine, Orthopaedics, Geriatrics and Surgery.
This variety gave her a diverse and deep understanding of a wide range of health challenges that people face. Sharon has held nursing positions in Australia, the Middle East and the United Kingdom, as well as in New Zealand.
In an interval between health-orientated pursuits, Sharon studied with the Royal NZ Horticultural Society – achieving papers (with distinction) in the National Diploma in Horticulture, testimony to her love of plants and a great introduction to herbal medicine.
An experienced lecturer and accomplished presenter with a number of public speaking engagements, Sharon taught at Wellpark College of Natural Therapies in Auckland from 2003 until 2017, developing nutrition programmes, teaching diagnostics, aromatherapy, herbal studies, and got great satisfaction from inspiring students. She also taught on the Bachelor of Nursing at Unitec for 3 years, and in 2009 the New Zealand College of Massage engaged her to develop and deliver courses for the Bachelor of Health Studies program.
Rich Earth is Sharon’s own range of carefully selected organic and wild Essential Oils and hand-made Natural Skin Care Products. Sharon offers a crafting workshop for those interested in learning to make their own natural skin care products – simply get at least six like-minded people together and a workshop will be arranged for your group. Contact us here to request a booking.
Sharon Erdrich is a full Professional member of the Nutrition Society of NZ and Naturopaths & Medical Herbalists of NZ, an organisation which she has worked for, having spent 5 years on the committee (including 4 years as vice-president) dedicated to promoting higher levels of professionalism amongst naturopaths, and working on strategies aimed at supporting regulation of naturopaths under the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act (2003). She maintains a current nursing practising certificate. Shar
2021: Research Presenter, ESPEN Congress Budapest (Virtual Congress)
2021: Research Presenter, IHMC Congress Barcelona (Virtual Congress)
2019: Guest speaker, AIMA Auckland: “Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Is it Still in Their Heads?”
2019: Research Presenter, ICCMR (Brisbane) & NHMNZ (Wellington) Annual Conference: “Case report: A gut-focused approach to Mod-Severe Eczema”
2019: Guest speaker, The Pharmacy Co-op, Hamilton: “Gut Bacterial Overgrowth. Too much of a good thing?”
2018: Gastroenterology Masterclass, Auckland
2018: Research Presenter, ICNM London
2018: SIBO Update (Webinar)
2017: Research Presenter, APCCN, Adelaide
2017: Research Presenter, ICNM London
2017: Presenter, nationwide seminar series (Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Napier, NZ): IBS, or is is SIBO?
2016: Keynote speaker, Combined Naturopathic Conference, Auckland NZ.
2015: Guest speaker, NZ Society of Naturopaths
2014: Poster presentation NZ Society for Oncology Conference
2010: NZ National Hepatitis Conference: “Complementary Therapies for Hepatitis C”
2009: NZ AIMA Conference: “The Metabolic Syndrome”
2008: NZ Register of Aromatherapists Annual Conference 2008, “Stress & Aromatherapy“
2009: (Sept) Breakfast TV, discussing The Science of Smell.
2008: Invited speaker at The Gluten Free Food & Allergy Expo – ” The implications of food allergies for long-term health “
2008: Nutrition advisor to the TV Program “What’s Really in our Food”
Sharon loves researching and writing about health. In addition to the above publications in peer-reviewed journals, other articles available include:
Her research is increasingly cited, including in the following books: Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Health and Disease (Journal of Clinical Medicin) edited by Lindsay Brown & Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet (Nutrients) edited by Giuseppe Grosso & Daniela Martini
In the course of her Master’s research, Sharon developed a collection of recipes for promoting dietary change for men with prostate cancer, which is a FREE resource and available here: Modified Mediterranean Diet Recipe Collection and from the University of Auckland’s website. A link to a “getting started” Mediterranean diet guide is below.