First – what is genomic counseling? First genomic testing is not testing for what diseases that you might acquire like Parkinson’s. Instead, it tests for the those misspellings that can lead to metabolic imbalances like diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, migraines, obesity and even hormonal imbalances. This is the field of nutrigenomics which includes genomics and epigenetics.
There are also the genes that can impact your nutritional status and you inherit from your parents. These slight mutations affect our ability to absorb, metabolize and utilize nutrients from your food. They also impact your ability to make nutrients like vitamin D which has over 5 different mutations related it’s metabolism. Discovery these mutations can explain why you might be low in these nutrients or are having the symptoms of nutritional deficiencies. These nutrigenetics are also highly related to autoimmune conditions and usually you will find that those who have autoimmune conditions like psoriasis and Hashimoto’s, will have these slight mutations or SNP’s.
So what should you look for in a Genomic Counselor
Is this in English??
You finally took that step into the genomics and had a test done which came back with a lovely report and a table of letters with explanation of these SNP’s which look like Dutch to you. Most of the report will focus on the basics and emphasize nutrients or some will try to sell supplements to you. Be careful with testing companies that sell supplements with their reports as their reports do not take into consideration the complicated biochemical pathways that are involved and those supplements make actually make things worse for you.
Genomics and nutrigenomics is an extremely new science with just emerging educational and credentially for counseling. There are many different types of healthcare professionals including doctors, clinical nutritionists and others that are researching this new science and counseling people on their genomics. It is however a bit of the gold rush going on including many “counselors” and bloggers selling supplements and solutions to “heal your genes” without an educational background and using common misconceptions and misinformation on the internet as their training. Misinformation on MTHFR is probably the most widespread and most bloggers without a biochemical background are not versed in the complete methylation pathway.
What should you look for when hiring a genomic counselor especially for nutrigenomics? Start by making sure the counselor you hire has a background in biochemistry, nutrition (masters or higher), and has some educational background in genomics. In addition to my masters in human nutrition, I have been studying this field for the last 3 years, taken courses in genomics including culinary genomics and have just completed my certification in functional medicine nutrition which included course work in genomics most notably autism, GI Health, MTHFR, food intolerances, neurotransmitter balance, autoimmunity and metabolic health. I have also taken course work from Dr. Ben Lynch.
There is much to learn from this new science and how it can be applied to healthcare so make sure to do your homework when choosing a counselor. Without a comprehensive education in biochemistry and metabolic pathways, you could be greatly misinformed so make sure whomever you hire, you inquire about their education.
Make your Autoimmune Solutions through Nutrigenomics complimentary appointment today! See my website and book under Book Appointment.