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Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is functional nutrition?

Functional nutrition is an integrative method designed to identify and address nutritional problems such as insufficiencies, deficiencies, and possible overuse of certain nutritional components.  Among the areas that are evaluated are diet, lifestyle, family history, environment, and genetics.  Functional nutrition develops lifestyle recommendations (ex: food, supplements, meditation, hydrotherapy) for improving various health conditions.


2.  What is nutritional genomics?

Nutritional genomics is comprised of two sciences--nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics.  Nutrigenomics considers the influence of nutrients on the activities and behavior of genes in your body.  Nutrigenetics considers the genetic relation between the foods you eat and disease. The food we eat gives our genes the information, specifically vitamins and minerals, it needs to create the proteins our body needs to work properly.  For example, researchers know that a deficiency in vitamin B9 (also called folate), found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, can result from genetic variations in specific genes. These variants can result in a reduced conversion of folate into an active form that can be used immediately by the body. Reduction in folate production can lead to various health conditions such as Alzheimer’s, depression, colon cancer, stroke, and chronic fatigue. Learn more about genes and your health here.



3.  What is the difference between genetic tests and genomic tests?

Genomic tests, such as 23andme, offer a non-invasive way to process hundreds of thousands of variants in all your DNA.  Genetic tests involve examining DNA to detect and diagnose inherited and rare health conditions (such as the BRAC1 and BRAC2 associated with breast cancer, cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease).  



4.  What is genomics test interpretation?

Genomics test interpretation analyzes genomic test results, and develops individualized reports based on well-established scientific research.  GHN uses raw genomic data or DNA results provided by genomic testing companies to perform an analysis through a proprietary analytical software.  The type of report generated in this manner is more comprehensive than the genomic test health report generated by 23andMe or Ancestry.



5.  What does the GHN genomic test interpretation report include?

  • Risk of developing diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, autoimmune disorders (ex: hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis), Alzheimer’s and other diseases/conditions.

  • Specific nutritional needs (ex: folate and vitamin B12) and nutritional sensitivities (ex: lactose intolerance and caffeine sensitivity)

  • List of beneficial and problematic foods based on blood type

  • Therapeutic supplements to improve functioning of genes

  • Lifestyle interventions

6.  How do I get a genetic test?

Order a personal DNA test from 23andme or Ancestry. Your DNA test results will be provided in a data file and available via the provider’s website. 


7.  What are the primary conditions and diseases that GHN can help me with?

GHN focuses on diet- and lifestyle-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.  We also help with management of autoimmune disorders (hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) mental health, and other disorders. 



8.  What is the cost for GHN Functional Nutrition Counseling?

  • 3-Month Program - $265

  • 3-Month Program Installment Plan - $95/mo

  • Month-to-Month - $100/mo

9.  What is the cost for GHN genomic test interpretation and consultation?

  • Basic* - $150

  • Essential* - $200

  • Comprehensive* - $300

*Client is responsible for purchasing a DNA test from 23andme or Ancestry, and giving GHN access to the DNA test data file.


10.  Why do I need to fill out a 3-day food diary?

To provide GHN an accurate representation of your usual food and beverage intake.  This will help us gain a better understanding of your eating habits and problem areas, which gives a basis for creating an individualized nutritional and lifestyle plans.


11.  What qualifications does Kathleen Gooden have to provide functional nutrition counseling and genomic test interpretation?

Kathleen has a Master of Science degree in clinical nutrition and integrative health from the Maryland University of Integrative Health.  As a second-career functional nutritionist, she leverages 25 years of problem-solving, excellent communication skills and outstanding interpersonal skills to provide impactful nutrition and lifestyle coaching for her clients. Kathleen is a member of the American Nutrition Association. She is certified with Opus23 Explorer™ software, used for the analysis of genetics data, enabling her to interpret results from various nutrition-related genetic markers and to formulate individualized nutritional plans.


12.  Why might I need supplements?

Some reasons you may need nutritional supplements include:

  • Inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables  

  • Poor food quality   

  • Certain health conditions 

  • Following a specific diet 

  • Possible absorption issues  

  • Over 50 years of age

  • Taking multiple prescription medications


13.  Is my first consultation with GHN free?

Yes! The first 15-minute nutrition consultation is free.


14.  Does GHN accept medical insurance as payment?

All appointments with GHN are self-pay. GHN does not accept medical insurance and we will not file insurance paperwork on your behalf. However, we will provide a detailed receipt for services performed so that you can submit to your insurance carrier.


15.  Can I use my HSA account to pay for GHN services?

It is best to consult with the administrator of your HSA to determine what nutrition services can or cannot be reimbursed.  Some healthcare plans allow for reimbursement through a flexible spending account (FSA) when a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for nutrition services is provided.


16.  How can I pay for GHN services?

We are partnered with Authorize.Net, an online payment gateway that accepts credit, debit cards and electronic check payments safely and securely for our services.


17.  What are some of the GHN success stories?

Read testimonials about GHN here. GHN Reviews


18.  What is the American Nutrition Association?

This is a non-profit professional association that educates and certifies health professionals in the science and practice of personalized nutrition.  More information can be found here


19.  What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid certification is training to assist individuals experiencing a mental health challenge, or mental health crisis until appropriate professional help is received or resolved.  There is some evidence that food can contribute to the management and prevention of mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression disorders.

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