WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL NUTRITION? Functional Nutrition is a science-based holistic approach to investigating and identifying the root cause of your health problems. Imbalances in your body can lead to symptoms such as digestive complaints, fatigue and weight issues. As a therapeutic partnership between client and practitioner, it is an evolution in the practice of nutrition that better addresses the health needs of our modern society. A functional nutrition approach addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. It uses individualized lab testing, completed in the comfort of your own home, to identify healing opportunities within the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier systems. In order to restore balance to the systems of the body, Functional Nutrition uses a combination of interventions including therapeutic diets, sleep hygiene, exercise recommendations, stress reduction strategies and supplementation protocols.
WHAT KIND OF CONDITIONS DO YOU HELP WITH? While many chronic and autoimmune conditions have their origins in the gut, our speciality is on working with those struggling with predominantly GI symptoms or conditions. Our goal is to restore balance to the systems of the body by assisting with a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions such as: > Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) > Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) > Food Intolerances > Parasite and Bacterial Infections > Candida > Other symptoms, including; constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, GERD, reflux, heartburn
WHAT TYPE OF TESTING DO YOU CONDUCT? The most common testing we order and interpret include: > GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus) > Lactulose and Glucose Breath Test for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) > Organic Acids Urine Test > Food Sensitivities Dry Blood Spot Test (IgG/IgA) > Dried Urine Hormone Profile Test
WHAT TYPE OF PROTOCOLS / REMEDIES DO YOU USE? We create protocols that address diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation. These include: > Nutrition recommendations and dietary plans to address imbalances > Natural supplements > Antimicrobial and herbal protocols > SIBO anti-microbial protocols > Anti-candida, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic protocols > Therapeutic diet plans such as low-FODMAP, Paleo, SCD, BiPhasic and others > Diet plans for specific food sensitivities, including gluten, dairy, egg, etc. > Personalized comprehensive gut healing protocols > Exercise recommendations > Sleep hygiene recommendations > Stress reduction techniques
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO SEE YOU? This varies from client to client and is dependent on things like; how acute your symptoms or condition is, your protocol recommendations, test results, etc. We will assess this on an individual basis and ensure that it suits your needs. Generally, we will see you for an initial consultation, then around a month later after testing to complete a results & recommendations session. From there, we typically catch-up monthly for a 4-12 month period of follow-up support.
HOW LONG IS TREATMENT FOR? Every client and every gut is different. However for most clients, their protocol falls into two distinct phases. The first is removing or addressing any antagonists or pathogens that are keeping your body out of balance – i.e. parasites, yeast and bacterial overgrowths, food sensitivities, dysbiosis, etc. The second often involves healing dysbiosis and restoring balance to the hormone, immune, digestion, detoxification and intestinal barrier (gut lining) systems. We normally aim to complete the first phase within 3 - 6 months. For longer term, chronic issues, healing the gut and restoring balance to these systems of the body can take anywhere from 4 – 12 months. For our chronically unwell clients, we tell them to allow 1 month of healing for every year that they have been unwell as a rough guide.
WHY ARE ALL YOUR CONSULTATIONS ONLINE? All consultations are completed by video or telephone conference, using Zoom, FaceTime or standard voice calls. This is the way we communicate with clients living throughout Australia and overseas, including the UK, USA, New Zealand and Canada. It means that clients who relocate or travel are able to maintain their momentum and a consistent approach to healing without having to find a new practitioner in another town. It also allows clients who aren’t feeling their best, to have their consultation in the comfort of their own home, without having to travel and wait in a clinic. And, if you aren’t feeling up to it, you don’t even need to turn on the video function. It also means that the money saved on real estate premises can be passed on to you to ensure the cost of consultations are as affordable as possible.
HOW DO VIDEO/TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WORK? Before your appointment, you will be required to complete an in-depth health intake questionnaire so that we can better understand your current health challenges and your health journey so far. At the time of your appointment, Todd will contact you via Zoom, FaceTime or phone using contact details you provide. Consultations last between 20 – 90 minutes. During your consultation, resources and visual aids will be made available to you via your personal online folder or email in real-time. You will need to have access to your computer/tablet or phone to view these. Most of our testing is able to be done at home and we will organize for ‘at home test kits’ to be sent to you. Once we receive your results from the pathology lab, we will arrange a follow-up appointment to discuss your results and recommendations. If supplements or other products are required, these can all be ordered online and sent to your address. As you can see, distance isn’t a barrier to identifying the root cause of health challenges and managing your healing if you choose to work with our clinic.
DO YOU OFFER IN-PERSON SESSIONS? No. All consultations are completed by video or telephone conference, using Zoom, FaceTime or standard voice calls.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT EACH APPOINTMENT? Initial Consultation: Prior to this consultation you will complete detailed intake documents. Please allow around 1-2 hours for this. During this session we will review your health history and the responses you have provided in your health intake questionnaires. This will allow your practitioner to get a greater understanding of why your health is the way it is today and to identify potential underlying causes. At this time, we will also discuss your health goals and listen to you and your needs to ensure you are 100% satisfied with your healing protocol. We will also identify any functional lab testing that is required and arrange for ‘at home test kits’ to be sent out to your home. Finally, we will cover any initial diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation recommendations. Following the session, you will receive a summary document from your call and a copy of any resources or visual aids that will be helpful for you and your healing journey. Report of Findings/Results and Recommendations Consultation: This consultation will be focussed on providing you with feedback on your functional lab test results and education about what these mean for you. Before the session you will receive your test results and a copy of any resources or visual aids that will be helpful for you and your healing journey. Your practitioner will present you with your full protocol. This protocol will address diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation recommendations focussed on addressing both your short-term and long-term health goals, as well as any symptomatic relief recommendations, if necessary. At this time, we may recommend nutritional and herbal supplements for you to purchase, typically done directly from third party suppliers. Monthly follow-up support consultation calls: These consultations are scheduled at 4-6 week intervals to review your protocol, ensure your health is progressing, and address any other symptoms or concerns as well as any challenges you face implementing your protocol – e.g. meal planning, supplement titration, etc.
CAN WE WORK TOGETHER IF I AM CURRENTLY UNDERGOING OTHER MEDICAL TREATMENT? Yes. The benefit of most natural therapies, when prescribed correctly by an experienced practitioner, is that they provide a safe and complementary addition to conventional medicine. In our experience, the two can work synergistically to enhance the effectiveness of conventional treatments. We will ask that you detail your current medications on your intake forms to ensure there are no contraindications between the nutritional and herbal supplements we recommend and your current medication. We may also request consent to communicate with your other Medical Practitioners. In my experience, working together as a part of a multi-disciplinary team ensures the best outcomes for my clients when they are seeing multiple practitioners.
DO YOU WORK WITH INTERSTATE AND OVERSEAS CLIENTS? Yes. All consultations are done by video or telephone conference, using Zoom, FaceTime or standard voice calls. This is the way we communicate with clients abroad.
WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS/CREDENTIALS? Each of our practitioners has a relevant nutrition qualification and years of experience as a practitioner. To learn more about each of our practitioners' individual qualifications and experience, please review the ‘About’ page of the website.
HOW DOES TESTING WORK? All of our testing is able to be done at home and we will organize for ‘at home test kits’ to be sent to you. All labs are organized by local providers, specific to your country. Lab fees are paid directly to the lab. Once you have completed your tests and sent them to the lab, we will be notified of your results once available. After receiving your results from the lab, we will arrange a results and recommendations appointment to discuss your results and treatment options.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FUNCTIONAL NUTRITIONIST AND A MEDICAL DOCTOR? Functional Nutritionists are trained to use only natural products, dietary interventions and lifestyle changes to bring balance to the systems of the body. Functional Nutritionists are trained in functional lab testing and use minimal invasive treatment plans. Functional Nutritionists do not replace the role of a medical doctor.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NUTRITIONIST, REGISTERED DIETITIAN AND A HEALTH COACH? These terms are often used interchangeably and their meaning can vary depending on what state you live in.In the state of CA, anyone can offer nutrition advice and use of the term “Nutritionist” is not a protected title. It’s up to the consumer to do their due diligence to determine the level of education, qualifications, board certifications, experience, etc. Todd Rutkin is a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist practitioner (CNS). The requirements include earning a Masters of Science in Nutrition, having at least 1,000 supervised clinical hours and passing a board exam. He is qualified to provide Medical Nutrition Therapy for health conditions. A Registered Dietitian is also qualified to provide Medical Nutrition Therapy for health conditions. They are required to have a nutrition-related Bachelor’s degree and complete an internship. They are not required to have a Masters degree, but many do. Health coaches can educate on healthy eating in general or educate on specific diets applicable to the general population. They can’t advise on dietary changes for specific medical conditions or provide individualized nutrition plans. It is not within their scope of practice.
HOW MUCH DO APPOINTMENTS, TESTING AND SUPPLEMENTS COST? Consultations: appointment types and current costs are listed on the Programs and Pricing page of the website. Testing: the required testing (if not already completed) is determined during your Initial Consultation. While requirements vary, for most clients testing costs typically range between $300-$600. Supplements: this will depend on the type and number of healing opportunities identified. It is recommended that clients budget between $300 – $600 over a 3 month period of treatment.
WHAT PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU ACCEPT? Payment for appointments is made at the time of booking using PayPal or Credit/Debit card via Square.
DO YOU OFFER ANY GOVERNMENT OR INSURANCE REBATES? No, government or insurance rebates are not available for the cost of consultations in any country. Some testing may be reimbursable in your country, if ordered through a medical doctor.
HOW DO I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT? Booking your appointment can be done very simply from our Programs and Pricing page.