What to Expect at Your Nutrigenetics Counseling Session

September 25th, 2023
By: Cara Everett, MS, RDN, LD

Nutrigenetics is an evolving field that combines the science of nutrition and genetics, helping us understand the impact our genes have on the way our body processes nutrients. A pregnancy nutritionist/dietitian trained in nutrigenetic counseling can help you understand the results of your Genate Test and make diet changes for improved health based on your genetic signature. 

Optimal nutrition can make all the difference as you plan for a healthy pregnancy. Whether you're trying to conceive, are facing issues with fertility, are currently pregnant, or you're breastfeeding, nutrition counseling by our registered dietitians can get you on the right track. After you purchase a counseling session, we will send you a link to schedule an appointment with one of our dietitians. 

Let’s take a look at what you can expect from your first nutrigenetics counseling session, how to get the most out of it, and some questions you may want to ask your dietitian.

How to Prepare for Your Nutrigenetics Appointment 

Before your first nutrigenetics session, you will receive a comprehensive intake form. It will ask a number of questions about your general health, your family and personal medical history, medications and supplements, your current diet intake, and what you hope to gain from nutrition counseling. 

Try to be as thorough as possible in your answers, as this helps the dietitian get a complete picture of where you are currently and where you’d like to go with your nutrition goals. 

Nutrigenetic Session Details

Every Registered Dietitian (RD or RDN) has the training and education necessary to provide nutrition guidance for overall health and a wide range of health conditions. But some dietitians have specialized training in certain areas associated with nutrition for pregnant women. 

During your session, the dietitian will conduct a comprehensive nutrition assessment, taking into account your medical history, nutrition needs, health goals, and personal preferences. They will then create an individualized diet plan for you with action steps to help you implement changes. Follow-up appointments are also available to review your progress and address any concerns.

Initial pregnancy nutrition sessions typically last about an hour and include a nutrition history, assessment of your needs and current state of health, and development of a plan to make positive diet changes for improved health.

Your first nutrigenetics session will look similar, with a few key differences. Your dietitian will do the following as part of your appointment:

  • Take a complete medical and nutrition history
  • Assess your current diet
  • Discuss your needs and preferences regarding food and supplements
  • Walk you through the results of your Genate Test, including any partial or complete SNPs (genetic misspellings) you have in nutrient pathways
  • Point out any increased nutrient needs based on your genetic makeup
  • Review your recommended daily intake levels of each nutrient
  • Develop a diet plan and specific recommendations to help you implement changes to your diet and/or supplement regimen 

Nutrigenetics Test Results

It can feel a bit overwhelming to get your test results and learn of genetic misspellings that may be impacting your health and that of your baby. But remember that you’re not alone: it appears that genetic mistakes may be quite common in nutrient pathways. For instance, almost 75% of women in one study had a misspelling in their PEMT gene, resulting in less production of the active form of choline. 

If your genetic test reveals one or more SNPs, it’s important to view that information as a powerful tool you can use to make changes in your diet for improvements in your and your baby’s health. By working with your dietitian to increase your intake of specific nutrients, and utilizing supplements if needed, you can give your baby the best start in life while protecting your health at the same time.

Why You Should Trust Genate’s Test & Pregnancy Nutritionist

It’s important to learn from a dietitian who is experienced in both nutrition and genetics to explain the results of your Genate Test. This test examines the functional genes responsible for helping your body metabolize a variety of nutrients that are critical for your health in pregnancy and your baby’s brain and nervous system development. SNP Therapeutics dietitians combine their knowledge and expertise in the areas of clinical nutrition and genetics to give you a comprehensive view of how your genetic makeup may be affecting your nutrient needs.

Our dietitians can serve as a comprehensive resource and a valuable member of your healthcare team. In developing your nutrition care plan, our dietitians take a holistic approach that incorporates your:

  • Calorie needs for healthy pregnancy weight gain and postpartum weight management
  • Other nutrition-related health issues, including (but not limited to) Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, hypertension, obesity, hypo-or hyperthyroidism, iron deficiency anemia, and hyperemesis gravidarum

Overall, our dietitians are committed to serving as a resource for you and your healthcare team before, during, and after pregnancy. They will communicate nutrition care plans as needed to referring providers and other healthcare professionals as part of an interdisciplinary approach, guiding you toward the goal of achieving optimal nutrition for you and your baby.

What Happens After Your Nutrigenetics Session?

Following your appointment, the pregnancy nutritionist/dietitian will create a document with your personalized recommendations and a master diet plan to refer to when grocery shopping and scheduling meals for the week. It may take time to get used to eating a different way, especially if there are a number of new foods to add to your regular diet. 

Be patient with yourself, and remember that you can text, email, or call your dietitian at any time with questions or concerns. You also have the option to schedule a follow-up appointment or a series of appointments. 

DHA supplements, such as fish oil or algae oil capsules, are available for those who may not consume enough DHA in their diet. These supplements can benefit individuals who don't eat fish or have specific dietary restrictions. Always consult with your healthcare provider beforehand for personalized recommendations on dosage and brand. Learn more about genetic pathways and nutrition to feel prepared for your counseling session.

Take the nutrition quiz to see how Genate can help tailor your prenatal nutrition to your unique genetic signature.

Sources

https://www.eatright.org/about-rdns-and-ndtrs

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3481686/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1574369/

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