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Tag: Certified LEAP Therapist

I Was Infected with Listeria When I Was Pregnant

camel riding with my son who survived listeria in the womb
Here is my son today, a healthy survivor of listeria infection in the womb.

About eleven years ago, when I was nine months pregnant with my first child, I accidentally became infected with listeria, a bacteria that spreads through unhygienic food handling practices. Since listeriosis (listeria infection) can cause stillbirth, I was treated with massive doses of i.v. antibiotics over several days. Thankfully, my baby was born alive, but we have been dealing with the consequences ever since.

You can ready the whole story here as it has been posted on the Stop Foodborne Illness wall.

Listeria is the same bacteria that killed a bunch of people who ate unwashed cantaloupe a few summers ago. Here are some tips on how you can stay safe from foodborne illness.

Those life-saving antibiotics given to a developing fetus killed the listeria in the placenta but also destroyed my son’s digestive system before he even emerged from the womb. No one had mentioned the long-term effects this treatment might have on the baby that survived it.

The quest to heal his body led me on a direct path to the dietary management therapies I employ today as a naturopathic doctor (ND) and Certified LEAP Therapist. It’s fair to say that getting listeria irrevocably changed my life, my career, and my passions.

I’m thankful to have found a way to heal my son and turn him from a failure-to-thrive baby into a healthy and robust almost-11-year-old, and to be able to use the knowledge gained from my journey to help others heal and recover their health.

I could not have foreseen the path my life has taken, and I thank you all for reading and taking me along on your own journey toward health.


Can Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) Be Helped with Dietary Changes?

Recently I responded to a post on my neighborhood mom’s group listserve titled “Help! Does anyone know about Restless Leg Syndrome!”

My response: “Drinking coconut water can help alleviate cramps and spasms. Restless Leg Syndrome can also be caused by a sensitivity to something you are eating. Hypersensitivity reactions may manifest as long as 4 days after exposure, so it can be difficult to pinpoint the trigger without specialized testing.”

The questioner visited my website to learn more about the LEAP dietary therapy protocols I use, and wound his way along to the MRT food sensitivity testing laboratory’s website. He then came back to me and complained that there were no listings allowing him to find a local practitioner. I responded that my clientele was nation-wide, and you don’t necessarily need a local practitioner for this kind of therapy.

His response: “The reason I mentioned finding local practitioners is that, in our experience, it takes a bit of face-to-face time to build up a good patient-doctor relationship and rapport and empathy and understanding.  I really don’t think that a “virtual practice” done over the telephone with faceless patient & faceless practitioner can be worth much. Thank you for your response.”

My response:

I understand your concerns about face-to-face time, empathy, rapport, and all of that, and if the traditional kind of doctor-patient relationship has helped alleviate your RLS, then it is the right one for you.

My practice differs from a traditional clinic in that I focus in on creating a customized, anti-inflammatory diet based on cutting-edge, state-of-the-art blood and urine tests. These test results can give me a clear picture into what is triggering your body to have an inflammatory response that, in your case, is irritating the nerves in your legs and causing them to spasm. My work takes a scientific analysis of your own bodily fluids and interprets that information into therapeutic dietary protocols that are easy to follow and allow you to continue leading a satisfying life, albeit one without RLS.

No matter how much face-to-face time you might get with a doctor in a 15-minute appointment slot, it would be highly unusual to find one who would spend hours custom-designing eating plans, menus, and recipes that accommodate your body’s unique profile, even if they were inspired to order such testing that does not lead to a medicinal solution.  My typical clients have already seen all the doctors and are still suffering when they decide that maybe they need to try a different approach to find relief.

Most fortunately for my clients around the country and their various ailments that respond to dietary therapies, this does not require us to be in the same room together. I do, however, offer sessions over Skype for those who prefer having visual contact instead of a simple phone call. Isn’t modern technology wonderful?

You are welcome to listen to this recording about how food sensitivities can manifest to learn more about this approach, and I would be happy to set up a free consultation over Skype or phone lines to answer any other questions you might have about how this type of therapy works remotely, or why I believe it can be helpful in alleviating Restless Leg Syndrome and other mysterious conditions.

Like any good doctor who wants to help her patients feel better, if you choose to work with me I promise to be empathetic, sympathetic, approachable, and most of all, curious. I understand your pain because I’ve dealt with my own health issues and those of my family, friends, and clients. If inflammation is at the root of your problem, you will feel better by reducing inflammation through a custom-tailored anti-inflammatory diet.

I look forward to working with you.    ~ Elizabeth

Will insurance pay for food sensitivities testing?

Reader question: Any advice as to how  I ask my physician (MD) to do the MRT – for food allergies (so my insurance may pay for it?). Thanks.  ~ Lisa, Paradise, CA

Hi Lisa,

Here’s the situation:

Most physicians do not study nutrition in medical school or afterward. Additionally, they have limited time to meet with each patient. Hence, they do not have the time or knowledge to work with the tested patient to correctly design and manage a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet that is satisfying and sustainable enough to promise long-term results. Signet Diagnostic, the laboratory behind the MRT and the LEAP dietary management program, recognized that and instead of spending a lot of money hiring a sales force to visit physicians and educate them about the value of this test, they decided to work with Registered Dietitians, Nutritionists, and nutrition professionals to create Certified LEAP Therapists (CLT) who already understand the fundamentals and role of nutrition in overall health.

Some physicians are more holistic and understand the value of this testing and the efficacy of a customized dietary plan, but still don’t have the time needed to work together with a patient to customize a dietary plan. These physicians may authorize the blood draw (not all states require this) and the test, and then you can submit the bill to your insurance carrier and pay for the nutrition counseling separately.

Insurance carriers themselves are reluctant to pay for this test as it is not considered a standard medical procedure. As of now, there are only a couple carriers that will cover it at all. There is a form you can use for getting pre-authorization as the onus will be on you to work directly with your carrier before drawing your blood for the test. I’ve seen some carriers accept the MRT as an out-of-network laboratory test and then cover a small fraction of the $995 list price of the test only, leaving the patient with more out-of-pocket expenses than if they had simply signed up for the $795 package that includes the MRT and 3-5 nutritional counseling sessions as well as unlimited email support from a qualified nutrition expert. The first counseling session alone with a CLT like myself lasts 90 minutes — all devoted to helping you find the safest foods for your body. As a CLT, I get a discounted rate on the MRT, which allows me to pass the savings on to my clients.

If you have a flexible spending account, your CLT can submit a SuperBill that will allow you to deduct the funds from your account after you have fronted the payment.

In short, I only recommend pursuing payment by insurance if you feel it will be worth it as you will meet your deductible this calendar year, and then realize that you will still end up paying a significant portion out-of-pocket. The insurance companies will do everything in their power not to pay for this life-changing test because the the non-nutrition-educated medical establishment does not understand how effective it is for controlling inflammatory conditions when combined with a professionally designed dietary plan. They would prefer to cover a prescription for a pharmaceutical solution. If that worked for you, then I assume you wouldn’t have found your way to me.

I like to look at it this way: For less than $1,000 you could feel better for the rest of your life. Isn’t that worth it?

How Hidden Food Sensitivities May Be Affecting Your Health

Recently, I was interviewed by eHealth Radio about how food sensitivities relate to chronic health problems. I loved the opportunity to discuss the immunologic and inflammatory effects of food sensitivities, and how they can manifest in the body.eHealth Radio interviews Elizabeth Yarnell about food sensitivties

Listen to the 8-minute podcast and/or read the transcript! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Other places where I talk about food sensitivities and how they affect your health:

– Is Your Food Making You Sick?

– Fight MS with Food project (be sure to watch the video!)

– Food Sensitivity Testing and Dietary Management