There are many things we can test properly through your doctor and regular blood work that may be covered by your insurance. At times, it is challenging to get the doctor to agree to test a specific marker we need for you, or it is expensive, e.g. RT3 for thyroid hormone. In these cases, I may have access to a functional lab (see below) that provides this service and will not break your bank.
I provide patients with access to some of the best functional labs available to us on the market. I do not charge any fees for these labs- your cost will be whatever the lab’s fees are. For some of these labs, I am able to sign and code for insurance. Here are the labs i currently work with: Genova Diagnostics, Cyrex, Commonwealth Labs, Spectracell, Cleveland Heart Lab (coming soon), Immunosciences, ZRT, Doctors’ Data, US Biotek, Elisa Act, and more are in the works.
Genova Diagnostics is the functional lab that provides the most markers we may need. Here is a list of medical insurance plans that are NOT participants with Genova, and therefore, in these cases,the labs will be an out of pocket expense, which is substantial : Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare, Aetna, Humana, Tufts, Principal, Federal BCBS, BCBS NC, Samaritan Ministries (not a billable plan). ANY other billable plan should allow you to get at least a partial coverage.
Gene SNPs (single nucleotide polypeptides) are changes in our genes, typically impairing an enzymatic activity. Some do not effect your health, like graying hair, but many do have a detrimental effect on your health, and if we do not amend them through foods, supplementation and lifestyle, we may expect a disease in future. Gene SNPs that are detrimental for health is what the genetic tests currently available on the market are testing. How is that relevant to you? From years of testing, I can share with you that many of us have impairments in methylation, ability to absorb Vitamin D, detoxification pathways, the ability to calm inflammation, or the ability to keep weight under control. Just one folate methylation SNP can lead to a long list of health challenges, including medication-resistant depression. This can be amended with a proper dosage of supplementation of a fully methylated folate, including the right B vitamin cofactors in the right amounts.
Nutrigenomics and Epigenetics are both a direction in medicine that has been growing in popularity among both clinicians and patients and is here to stay, and for a very good reason. Look out for some audios or videos on the website that I will be posting in near future for you with more details on what that is. In a nutshell, while genetics can play a part in our health or disease (between 1 and 10% only, depending on the source), we have much more influence on our health through our diet, lifestyle, environmental exposure, sleep, stress, and attitude. In a word, environment shapes our health. While your DNA is what you get when you are born, how it is expressed depends on environmental exposure (hence Epigenetics). And guess what aspect of your life has the biggest and most immediate impact on the way your DNA expresses? The food you eat! Whether we like it or not, we have to eat every day, so you can influence your DNA every single day. That is called Nutrigenomics.
Just 3 month of targeted and focused nutrition and lifestyle intervention can amend your Gene SNPs! That has been demonstrated in research by Dr Ornish. That is exactly why i have been a huge proponent of genetic testing. Is that relevant to your daily life? Absolutely. I have a number of bad Gene SNPs for sugar metabolism. No wonder I stole money from my father at the age of 6 to run to the store and get more candy and ate multiple bars of chocolates instead of meals in my early 20s. But I will never develop diabetes or other metabolic disorders because I have a healthy lifestyle!
Which Labs do I Use?
1. Gene SNP from Nutrametrix: only available through me (or some other health professionals)
2. I am happy to help you analyze the direct-to-consumer 23andme lab results.
How Can Virtual Patients Access the Functional Labs?
I drop ship the test kits to your home and you send the test completed at home (saliva, stool, or urine) back to the lab. Some labs may involve blood or will be combinations and you just need to find a local lab. Many functional labs have a list of participating labs according to zip code across the country.
Kasia has been an invaluable resource in helping to motivate me to get well.~ IJR