Featured Member: Ryan Whitcomb, RD, CLT

September 1, 2017, 2017

We are delighted to shine the spotlight on former Executive Committee member, Ryan Whitcomb, as this month's Featured Member! Ryan is a registered dietitian and Certified LEAP Therapist specializing in digestive health.  He is the owner of GUT RXN Nutrition, a virtual private practice based in Jersey City, NJ.  Ryan previously served on the Executive Committee of DIFM as the Volunteer Chair and when he's not healing the masses, can be found recovering in child's pose.

Ryan Whitcomb

​What is your area of practice and how do you incorporate integrative and functional nutrition into your work?

My primary focus is in non-IgE food sensitivity reactions, which encompasses many common conditions like IBS, celiac disease, eczema and others.  I became certified in LEAP therapy in July 2014 and have been working with this population ever since.  LEAP is a great example of how I incorporate integrative and functional nutrition into my practice, since it uncovers the root cause of a patient's imbalance.  In fact, LEAP can be considered the first "R" in the 5R program - the removal of inflammatory triggers.  Conventional medicine barely recognizes the role of the diet in the pathogenesis of disease.  When it does, practitioners feel comfortable telling their patients to eat more fruits and vegetables, but in IFN, there's so much more to it than that.  Sometimes fruits and vegetables are either the cause or an underlying factor in someone's pain!  I also believe we are all biochemically individual and treat my clients accordingly with genetic testing, when appropriate.  This is a great way to see what's going on under the hood and initiate an intervention based on their genes and current signs and symptoms.  Why wait for disease to appear if we can prevent (or at least delay) it?

Why wait for disease to appear if we can prevent (or at least delay) it?

What ​are some of the results your clients have seen since integrating functional nutrition​ into your practice area?

Clients have had partial or complete remission of symptoms, better quality of life but most importantly, answers to their questions.  Oftentimes people have seen a number of other practitioners before they find me and are usually at their wits end.  Using functional nutrition as my go-to has yet to fail!

Where have you completed most of your training in integrative and functional nutrition?

I started with Susan Allen's IFMNT course when it was first offered based on a completely random conversation I had with her regarding the addictive properties of dairy.  Since I was a relatively new RD at the time, I had no idea what she was talking about but committed myself to learning more.  After I completed her course in August 2013, I then joined DIFM and listened to as many webinars as I could get my hands on.  I've also attended the Integrative Healthcare Symposium for the past few years and am currently enrolled in the MS program in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine at the University of Western States.  With all this training, you'd think I know it all...but there's still so much to know!

What advice would you give anyone interested in learning more about integrative and functional nutrition?

Go for it!  It'll open up a whole new world for you if you let it.  Consumers expect more from their practitioners nowadays, and we need to step up to the plate so that we are adequately prepared to help them.  Start slow though so you don't overwhelm yourself.  Joining DIFM is a great place to start. It has fantastic resources that will help you learn at your own pace.  As Rita so eloquently stated last month, "you can't afford not to."

Thank you for sharing with us, Ryan!