GENERAL QUESTIONS

What does RXN stand for?  

RXN is shorthand for "reaction" in medical terminology, so the company name is pronounced "Gut Reaction Nutrition."  The reason behind the term is instinct- you know food affects how you feel.  You know food is causing you an issue.  You know you need to do something about it.  If you're reading this, you've already taken the first step.  Keep going.   

Do you accept insurance? 

Unfortunately I do not accept insurance.  This is because insurance typically only covers visits for renal failure (dialysis) and diabetes.  With a lack of coverage for the services I provide, it does not make sense for me to do so.  That said, I can provide you with a Superbill, which is an itemized receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.  Before doing so, confirm with your insurance company that they will cover the service(s) you are seeking.  Please note that insurance does not cover metabolic, genetic or food sensitivity testing. 

Due to insurance regulations, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are not eligible for GUT RXN Nutrition's services, even if they offer to self-pay.  It is against the law! 

What are your prices?

Prices vary depending on the service you're interested in.  Schedule a free, 15-minute, no obligation call to discuss your needs and how I can help you.  I offer a 10% discount on all services to current and former service members and GenGold members. Proof of service is required.  

Where is your office located?  Can we work remotely?

All sessions are conducted virtually, eliminating the need for in-person visits (which is really convenient when the weather is bad).  We can work either via phone or telehealth (video), depending on your preference.  For telehealth, there are no programs to download, just click the link in your reminder e-mail, enter the access code and our session will begin.  Note that telehealth only works on Chrome and Firefox.  iPads and iPhones are not currently supported. 


FOOD SENSITIVITY QUESTIONS

How are reactive foods identified? 

A simple blood test referred to as the Mediator Release Test (MRT) identifies your reactive foods.  It tests 120 foods and 30 food chemicals.  When your blood is exposed to the food or chemical, the immune system either reacts or it doesn't.  If it reacts, it indicates a sensitivity to that food or chemical and it must be eliminated from the diet either temporarily or permanently. 

How do food sensitivities (also called delayed food allergies or hidden food allergies) develop?  

There are many factors involved when it comes to food sensitivities and research hasn't given us all the answers yet, but it appears that poor digestion, unbalanced gut flora, stress and a loss of oral tolerance all play a role.  A loss of oral tolerance occurs when the body no longer perceives certain foods as safe and attacks them when ingested, causing you great pain in the process.  Eating the same foods over and over again is one way to lose oral tolerance.  

Can food sensitivities be "outgrown?"

Yes, it is possible to "outgrow" food sensitivities.  Each white blood cell (of which there are many) has memory.  Depending on the cell or cells that are reacting and how long their memory lasts, it may be possible to outgrow the sensitivity by avoiding that food or foods until the cell or cells "forget" to react to it.  

Memory spans anywhere from two weeks to a lifetime, so some foods may need to be avoided for awhile in order to get them back, if ever.  

What is the difference between Mediator Release Testing (MRT) and IgG testing?  Many tests seem to use IgG as an indicator of food sensitivities.  Which is better? 

Hands down, MRT is the preferred method of detecting and identifying food sensitivities.  Though all tests have their limitations, MRT outperforms IgG testing in five key ways: 

  • IgG is not able to test for food chemicals- MRT is
  • IgG is limited to Type III Hypersensitivity reactions- MRT not only tests for Type III, but also Type IV Hypersensitivities (Food Sensitivities take both pathways, not just one)
  • High levels of IgG can either be protective of your immune system or destructive of it, the test has no way of differentiating- MRT doesn't have this problem because it is not an IgG based test
  • IgG only tests for IgG, even though IgM, Complement, T-cells and others can be involved in food sensitivity reactions- MRT tests for ALL released mediators regardless of which mechanism is triggered
  • There is no specific diet protocol to follow once your IgG results come in- MRT has the LEAP diet protocol

For more on why IgG is not useful, please read this article.

It is for these reasons I believe MRT is superior to IgG testing.  Let's not waste time- you have a life to live.      

It's been two weeks and I'm still not feeling any better.  Are you sure this works?

There are many reasons why you might not feel better after two weeks:

  • Not strictly following the diet protocol as written by the dietitian (i.e., just avoiding yellows and reds)
  • Eating hidden sources of reactive foods (i.e., eating hydrolyzed vegetable protein when reactive to soy- this is where the food diary comes in hand)
  • A non-reactive food may be causing your symptoms (MRT tests for immune mediated reactions but if a food is causing a NON-immune reaction, then we need to identify the offender(s) and remove them from the diet, hence the restricted diet in the beginning)
  • Your pathology is not caused by foods or food chemicals

How come only NYS residents must go out-of-state for the blood draw?

The state of New York has a law on the books that states that all specimens (like blood work) that are obtained within the state MUST be tested by a NYS approved lab.  Since the lab that analyzes the blood is located outside of NYS, you must have your blood drawn AND shipped from outside NYS.  New York is the only state to have such a law.  I apologize in advance for this inconvenience, but let's turn lemons into lemonade! 


NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY QUESTIONS

Most blood tests look at red blood cells but the test you use analyzes white blood cells. What is the benefit of doing so?  

Testing white blood cells is a better way to see your long-term nutritional status.  Red blood cells have an average lifespan of about 3 months whereas white blood cells have an average life span of about 6 months.  Think of your white blood cells as a full-length film and your red blood cells as a scene in that film.  Wouldn't you rather watch the whole movie...especially when you're the star? 

Does insurance cover the cost of the test? 

I can say YES on this one!  Insurance will cover a large percentage of the test (as long as an applicable diagnosis code can be submitted).  Though I do not accept insurance, all you need to do is make a copy of your insurance card (front and back) and mail that in with your kit and requisition form.  In the rare event insurance denies the claim, the lab will eat the cost of the balance.   

I noticed that iron isn't tested.  Why is that?

Iron attaches to the red blood cell (giving it that deep red color), so testing the white blood cell would be silly!  

How come only NYS residents must go out-of-state for the blood draw?

See my response under Food Sensitivities.


GENETIC TESTING QUESTIONS

Is genetic testing considered diagnostic?  

No, nutrigenomic testing is not considered diagnostic.  Though you may carry genes that affect how you metabolize and absorb nutrients, it does not necessarily mean that you currently have any condition.  

Nutrigenomic testing provides your risk of health complications based on any genetic mutations you have, compared to the general population without those mutations. 

If nutrigenomic testing isn't diagnostic, what's the point of it? 

The point of nutrigenomic testing is to identify mutations in your DNA that prevent you from fully metabolizing and/or absorbing nutrients, which increases your odds for disease. For instance, if it's discovered that you have a risk variant for caffeine (either the GA or AA genotype), your risk of cardiovascular disease is 53% higher when caffeine consumption is excessive (over 200 mg per day) as opposed to those without a risk variant.  If caffeine consumption is limited to 200 mg per day or less, your risk of cardiovascular disease is decreased by 53%.  Knowing this information can help you to make better dietary choices so you can lead a longer, more productive, healthier life. The test itself will not tell you whether or not you have cardiovascular disease.      

Does insurance cover the cost of the test?

Would be nice if they did...but they don't.


METABOLIC TESTING QUESTIONS

What determines metabolic rate?

Your metabolism is based on a number of factors.  The most common ones are:

  • Body size – Larger frames tend to have higher metabolisms
  • Body composition – Individuals with greater muscle mass burn more calories
  • Age – Metabolism slows down as we age
  • Sex – Men typically have a faster metabolism than women of the same age and weight
  • Health and medical conditions – Stress, medications, pregnancy and hormonal disorders (such as hypothyroidism) can change metabolic requirements
  • Genetics – Thank your parents

Can’t you estimate my metabolism?

Metabolic equations like Harris-Benedict, Mifflin-St. Jeor and kcals/kg are estimations only and do not take into consideration your genetic makeup and medical conditions.  Without this information, the results are inaccurate. 

How does the test work? 

The test measures your metabolism using indirect calorimetry. 

Indirect calorimetry is the gold standard when it comes to metabolic testing and is considered highly accurate.  It measures oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production, allowing us to determine how much energy your body requires.   

Is the test invasive?

No, the test is non-invasive and only takes 30 minutes to complete (subsequent tests take 15 minutes).  All you need to do is wear a nose clip while breathing into a tube that’s connected to a portable device- that’s it!      

Is fasting required? 

Yes, you must fast for at least 8 hours in order for the results to be accurate.  This must be done first thing in the morning around the time you normally wake up.  Arrive relaxed and well rested. 

Can my metabolism change?

Absolutely!  Your metabolism fluctuates depending on how active you are and how much weight you’ve lost or gained.  If your weight loss has plateaued, it’s likely that your metabolism how slowed down in response, so re-testing is a good idea. 

Does insurance cover the cost of the test?

Unfortunately they do not.


WORKPLACE WELLNESS QUESTIONS

What kind of workplace wellness services do you offer?

That depends on what you’re looking for.  Once you’ve determined your goals for a workplace wellness program, I’ll recommend the services that I feel align with those goals.  

How long do your workplace wellness programs last?

As long as you’d like them to.  There’s no minimum and there’s definitely no maximum.  Each company has different needs. 

What methods of payment do you accept?

Check is preferred but I also accept all major credit cards.