Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes Functional Nutrition Different?
Functional nutrition focuses on you as a human being, instead of simply looking at your disease state. I use the knowledge I have and draw on experiences I have had, but mostly I listen to you and develop a treatment plan not only based on your disease state, but also on your inflammation, stress level, nutritional deficiencies/diet shortcomings, overall toxic burden, health history, and lifestyle. Working together, we treat the whole body. Functional nutrition recognizes that the whole body is connected instead of being completely compartmentalized and separate – the brain and the gut communicate, the mouth and the gut have interplay, the whole body works together. That’s why we work together to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to get you well.
Lifestyle and nutrition changes can help you to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the medications you’re on- saving you money and preventing harmful side effects.
Why Choose Functional Nutrition?
Functional nutrition is all about personalization- you are the only you and I make sure everything is tailored to that with personalized nutrition assessments, interventions and monitoring to help get you to optimal health and reduce or prevent diet and lifestyle-related disease.
We’re living in a time where more of us are overweight or obese than ever, yet we’re chronically undernourished and almost half of the country suffers from chronic disease. Even if you’re not to a chronic disease state yet, many Americans still suffer from the consequences of increased inflammation, elevated autoimmune activity and gut dysbiosis. So much of that can be tied back to nutrition, evidence is emerging that the root cause of most chronic disease is realted to our diet and other lifestyle choices.
But, there is good news, making healthy dietary changes, improving your food quality, fixing your gut, and making appropriate lifestyle changes can stop that disease trajectory. I can help. I have tried and tested methods to expand your palate so that you not only eat health-boosting, nutrient-dense foods, but you actually enjoy them. I have simple techiques to help you reduce stress. I have tips and tricks to reduce toxins. And I have simple tests that will provide a variety of information to help you reduce inflammation and get your nutrition on track.
Does the MRT Test For Allergies?
No. MRT tests for food sensitivities which are a different pathway entirely. Allergies are a type one immune reaction, a completely different pathway than a sensitivity, which are considered type 3 or type four hypersensitivity reactions, so many of the players will not be the same.
Because they are different pathways, a food that you know you are allergic to may show up as green or low reactive. It’s important to let me know if you have known allergies.
Food Sensitivities vs. Food Allergies
Both are forms of an immune response. Your immune system senses these invaders, decides they are dangerous and triggers a response.
There are different pathways that the immune system uses to respond and depends on whether the food triggers an allergic response or a sensitivity.
Allergic responses are immediate and can be life threatening.
Sensitivities follow a different pathway and different cells are involved, they also get downright tricky because they can be dose dependant, meaning you have a threshold, if you have a little you’ll be fine, but go over that threshold and it’s lights out.
They can also be time delayed, meaning if you ate a food or chemical that your body is sensitive to for breakfast yesterday you may not feel lousy until tomorrow night. That makes it extremely hard to pin down the food that you react to!
Food sensitivities are also much more common, an estimated 30-40% of the population has food sensitivities. When you have food sensitivities your immune reacts to foods or chemicals it perceives are harmful, mounting an inflammatory attack to keep you safe from these “dangerous” foods or chemicals.
This inflammation, in turn, leads to symptoms- migraines, weight fluctuations, IBS, skin problems, fatigue, or a combination of symptoms.
Most of the time, when people start feeling these symptoms, they go to their doctors who then prescribe meds to cover up or mask the symptoms, instead of getting to the root of the problem- their food sensitivities.
That’s where MRT and LEAP come in, instead of covering up symptoms they get to the root of the problem to truly get you well again. Instead of spending thousands on prescriptions and doctor’s visits, MRT and LEAP help to get you well with real foods.
Read a more indepth review of food sensitivities here.
Do Food Sensitivities Go Away?
This is a complicated question, the short answer is sometimes. Once the inflammation in your body has been settled your body can begin to heal.
Once the inflammation in your body has been settled your body can begin to heal. Once it has healed it will be better equipped to deal with foods that it previously reacted to.
In many cases, once the inflammation has quieted many food sensitivities quiet down as well. For many people, avoiding highly reactive foods results in less inflammation and foods that they previously reacted to no longer cause distress.
What is the MRT?
MRT stands for Mediator Release Test. It’s a blood test and the only one of its kind on the market. It’s really like 170 blood tests in one, the MRT analyzes how your blood- and the mediators in your blood- reacts to 170 different foods and chemicals to see how your body reacts to them.
Your immune system is made up of all kinds of cells that do battle for your body. They defend against diseases and fight off invaders. You have probably heard of white blood cells and histamine.
White blood cells trigger the release of proinflammatory mediators, like histamine and many others. White blood cells are continuously making the rounds in your body through your blood looking to fight off any infections, invaders and diseases they find.
When these circulating immune cells find something that they identify as in invader, they send out signals to bring more of their buddies and attempt to destroy the invader.
This is known as the immune response. Usually, this is a great thing, it protects our bodies from all kinds of nasty things.
However, if our immune system is doing battle against the foods we eat it leads to physical symptoms and lots of discomfort.
The MRT measures the immune response to the 150 foods and chemicals to determine which ones trigger an immune response in your body.
MRT is truly one of a kind. Many other tests claim to measure the immune response, but none do so as accurately as the MRT.
Some test only one type of mediator, whereas MRT looks at the cumulative response, it does not care which mediator is reacting, it only wants to know whether a reaction occurred. Other tests use outdated technology, but Oxford Biomedical (the company behind the MRT) works constantly to improve their technology.
What is LEAP?
LEAP stands for Lifestyle Eating And Performance. It’s an oligoantigenic diet based on YOUR reactive foods.
It’s completely individualized based on the foods that you are least reactive to. Once you get your MRT results, you will work with a dietitian (that’s me!) trained in food sensitivities and the LEAP protocol to find the best diet for you to reduce inflammation in the body and get you back to feeling good and loving life!
This Sounds Restrictive… Does this Mean I Can Never Eat My Favorite Foods Again?
Not at all!
In many cases avoiding a few highly reactive foods is enough to keep you feeling well, and you can eat most of your favorite foods again.
Once we reduce the inflammation in your body we will work to expand your diet until you are eating as normally as possible.
In many cases, food sensitivities mellow out and foods that you had previously been reacting to will no longer bother you. Once the inflammation has quieted down you will be able to identify foods that cause distress and symptoms and avoid the ones that make you feel bad.
Dietitian vs. Nutritionist
Dietitians, or you may have heard them referred to as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), same thing really, just a different name, are food and nutrition experts who have met academic requirements and passed a nationwide exam.
They are required to continue to expand their nutrition knowledge and stay current by completing continuing education credits to keep their registration.
To become a Registered Dietitian one must first complete a bachelor’s degree at a school with curriculum approved by the Commision on Dietetic Registration, then complete an accredited internship of at least 1200 hours of supervision before sitting for the exam.
Although the terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” are often used interchangeably, they are not interchangeable. Registered Dietitian is a protected term recognized nationwide as someone who has completed the requirements and rigorous coursework.
Nutritionist is not a nationally protected term, almost anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, regardless of background, education or training.
Ok, Give It To Me Straight- What ELSE Will I Have to Buy?
Nothing- that’s the beauty of the MRT, once we have the blood test results that identify your best foods, we will use real foods to heal your body and get you back to feeling great.
IF I am worried about missing nutrients in some cases I will recommend a multivitamin or other vitamins, but never try to upsell you on expensive supplements or meal plans.