Dr Nicky Keay
Whether you wish to improve general health and fitness, athletic performance, prevent injury, rehabilitate after injury or illness, whatever your age, my aim is to help you achieve your goals by bringing together my areas of expertise.
I am a medical doctor and offer advice on Exercise Endocrinology in a private setting for individuals and teams of athletes and dancers of all ages. I wrote the Health4Performance British Association Sport and Exercise Medicine educational resource on relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S). I conduct clinical research in exercise endocrinology, which have resulted a range of research publications and awards. I write regular reviews. I present at conferences giving presentations relating to Exercise Medicine. I also offer Pilates and Ballet classes. All of which are tailored to your specific requirements.
Dr. Nicky Keay
BA, MA, MB, BChir (Cantab), MRCP
Honorary Clinical Lecturer, Division of Medicine, University College London
Member British Association Sport and Exercise Medicine
Member British Menopause Society
National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science
“Overall, I found the session with Nicky extremely enlightening, as a way to join up the dots for myself and understand fully the implications from the patterns in the Female Hormone Mapping report. It was great to be able to draw on the wisdom of an expert to understand which steps might be most helpful to prioritise, and to be a bit more scientific in building up a picture as to what might help me best move forward. The session was also holistic, not just about looking directly for the medicalised solution and instead taking a broader view of overall wellbeing and the factors that might most impact overall hormonal health. A great session and I would highly recommend this as a way to build understanding whilst also coming away with a few practical steps to take forward. Thank you so much Nicky.” Perimenopausal athlete
“Nicky has worked with many of the female athletes I coach, and the results have been fantastic. Nicky has been very easy to work with and creates a plan in collaboration with me for the athletes. She is very approachable and open, an incredible doctor who has a vast level of experience and knowledge which has been invaluable to my team. I highly recommend working with Nicky for every female athlete and coach” High Performance Running Coach
“I am happy to report hormones have been healthy for 1.5 years now, completed IronMan 70.3 Dubai earlier this month and achieved 1st place in the Overall GCC Female category – I owe my recovery and this victory to you and so cannot thank you enough!” Female Ironman Athlete
“I was recommended to get in touch with Nicky by a Master competitive athlete, as well as an Olympic Coach. When I got in touch with Nicky, immediately I had someone who could relate and listened to where I was on my journey with menopause. Nicky was precise, informative, knowledgeable and so ready to help. Nicky responded to my endless emails and questions. It’s amazing to think that as women we are almost ready to accept that we must feel so awful through the menopause. I’m now happy to say that I have switched my hormone replacement, and I am holding more muscle again. My skin has improved too with the help of the Oestradiol gel, as well as now being on the Utrogestan. Crazy thing is my strength has come back too in the Gym…yay. Looking forwards to seeing how I am back on the athletic track in due time too. So super grateful for Nicky’s kind advice and help with my journey” Master Competitive Sprinter 2015 Women 45-50 100m Silver, 200m GB Gold
“It’s been difficult for me to believe eating more over time will result in greater energy without weight gain. If my experience of it working helps others do it then that would be great! I have been doing what you recommend this year and slowly increasing my energy intake and upping CHO. At times it’s been a nightmare with the anxiety of not wanting to gain fat. However the results seem to be more energy, better power (and power/weight) and better wellbeing overall. Managed my best season to date on the back of it as well! Just wanted to share my experience of how taking your advice has helped me out. Massive thanks!” UCI Continental Team Cyclist – fuelling for the work required
“I was desperate to get my period back after not having one for 2 years (possibly longer) And I had just finished 2 treatments in an IVF clinic due to not having a period and wanting to start a family. I worked with Nicky from October and within 2 months had got my period. I was so shocked and excited!! Now even more determined to see another period arrive but amazingly I didn’t: instead I got a positive pregnancy result!! I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Thanks to Nicky for her guidance, amazing support and incredible work she does to help others like me who had no idea it was myself that was in my own way. I am 22 weeks pregnant and I could burst with joy! Hopefully once our baby arrives and I am recovered, I will yet again work with Nicky to ease back doing what I love but in a much more balanced & healthy way that my hormones will thank me for.” A keen exerciser
“Dr Nicky Keay is the ‘go to’ doctor for RED-S. Her knowledge, authenticity and experience in this field is truly invaluable and she has been incredibly successful in helping countless athletes overcome RED-S. What sets Nicky apart however is her passion, patience, integrity and care for the athletes she works with to help them restore their health and get back to what they love doing most. My own experience has been a challenging one to say the least after a long battle with an eating disorder, trying to recovery from RED-S with a strong psychological barrier has been something I have been working on for a long time. Nicky has continued to provide me with support, reassurance, and understanding, whilst explaining very clearly what is happening physiologically. I would highly recommend any athlete/dancer (or recreational exercisers) who may be experiencing RED-S to reach out to Dr Nicky Keay, there is simple no one quite like her practicing in this space at present who will be able to put you on the right track to restoring your health.” Athlete and PhD candidate
“Coaches & athletes need a good team around them to ensure any problems outside the coaching arena can be sorted by a trusted professional. For this reason, I feel very reassured having Dr Nicky Keay in my corners, to speak to and send athletes to when it comes to things medical and more importantly energy deficiency” BTF L3 – High Performance and Olympian Triathlon Coach
“Having coached a number of female athletes who have struggled with various levels of RED-S, Nicky’s medical input has been invaluable in helping me to guide my athletes in the present with their long term health and athletic careers in mind. Our collaborative approach has been successful and immensely appreciated by the athletes and parents.” Running Coach for high performing athletes
“Nicky’s medical expertise and knowledge surrounding female athlete health is exceptional. As someone who has experienced many of these issues myself, I am extremely grateful to her. By shedding some much-needed light on topics that are not often discussed between athletes and coaches (e.g. the menstrual cycle) and covering some important mental and behavioural considerations too, this is a game changer for a lot of female athletes and their coaches. I would highly recommend Nicky to anyone involved in helping female athletes reach their long-term potential in sport.” High-Performing Female Scholarship Athlete
“I just wanted to drop you an email to say how much you’ve helped me to as an older runner. Your coverage of RED-S, fuelling and protein requirements have been enormously helpful as I plan my 12 marathons in 12 months challenge to celebrate my 60th birthday next month! I love the fact that I’m seeing more and more older runners lacing up and entering into the sport and we need all the advice we can get-it’s so different when you’re older!” Masters athlete
“Tennis was never meant to be. When I tried as a child, the coach suggested I try something else. As a parent of two boys learning to play, I had an idyllic vision of playing tennis with them, before they got too good. And so, foolhardy I started tennis lessons in the summer of 2014. That summer, I was on a ‘fitness high’. I was enjoying running again, and for the first time in 15 years, completed a half marathon in 2 hours. By spring 2015, my tennis coach worked his magic and I graduated to returning some rallies across the court. Then one evening, I tried to turn for a cross court shot, and my knee collapsed. It was sore, but not a disaster. I could still walk home from what was my last tennis lesson, ever.
The tenderness and swelling in my knee carried on for weeks. An MRI scan showed the joint was inflamed; and that surprisingly I no longer had an ACL, hence the knee collapsing during tennis. I then remembered a skiing injury in my early twenties, but had managed to recover and continue to run, cycle, hike and ski since. Sadly, injury recovery is slow in one’s 40s. I had physio rehab for 3-4 months and was able to start cycling and Bikram yoga. Then one day during yoga, I suddenly had a stabbing back pain, which had me bedridden for a few days. But, good things come from bad.
I saw a different, and amazing, physio. Nathan assured me it was not a slipped disc. He found various muscular problems aggravated by compensating for my injured knee, a badly set up bicycle, and a general weakening of muscles from no longer running 20-30 miles a week. Eventually the physio sessions ran out, and Nathan suggested that I should try Pilates as the next stage of rehab.
I never really got on with Pilates, but I was prepared to try anything to be able to run again. Desperation and curiosity about the Reformer and various machines kept me interested for a couple of months. Although my instructor Nicky tried to make the exercises interesting and increasingly challenging, I was struggling to stay motivated. One day, we tried an exercise Nicky adapted from an arabesque. This sparked a conversation about Ballet – which Nicky has loved since her childhood, and I have never considered learning being ever the tomboy.
One evening, by the magic hand of misaligned diaries, I had to miss my usual Pilates lesson. Nicky suggested trying a Ballet lesson at her home studio instead. Although I was intrigued because I had enjoyed the new exercises, I was also very apprehensive about demonstrating how uncoordinated I was and being a total embarrassment.
A few months in, Wednesday evening Ballet lessons is one of my week’s highlights. I come out of the lessons energised and smiling. Starting with balance and strength gained from yoga has helped, but within the first couple of lessons, I began to realise Ballet moves present a whole new kind of physical challenge. More surprisingly is how much I have come to enjoy the mental challenge of remembering the steps, while trying to stay coordinated and vaguely graceful. By the time we complete warm up, I have already had to push aside work and other stresses.
I am so grateful that under Nicky’s patient tutelage and encouragement, I have discovered the enjoyment of ballet, and rediscovered my core and glute muscles. Not only is this in itself rewarding, it has helped me slowly return to running. My aim was 3-4 miles on a sunny day. Last week, I ran 5 miles, and completed a 12 mile hike. Now, the next challenge is to be able to complete a full pirouette.” On discovering Ballet … and glutes