DUTCH Provider Spotlight: Maria Claps
by Wynter Kaiser
Maria Claps is a health coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. She is trained in functional blood chemistry and hormone testing and helps women who want to have their best health in place so they can enjoy their perimenopause years. She coaches clients in person in NJ and around the country via Skype or phone.
As a mom to 4 grown children, Maria gets that life is busy but insists that in order to find out why you don’t feel well, you need to dig deeper than standard healthcare protocols dictate. She helps women build health from the inside out by focusing on diet, appropriate movement, supplementation and investigatory lab testing when indicated.
DUTCH: What inspired you to become a healthcare practitioner?
Maria Claps: When I went into perimenopause I gained weight, wasn’t sleeping and my mood was tanking. Of course, I now know that it was largely related to progesterone deficiency and likely too much estrogen. I visited a clinician in NYC but did not find relief as I was only offered drugs and supplements, but no coaching on understanding my changing body. It was then that I decided to become a health coach and train in functional medicine so I could help myself.
DUTCH: What is your training?
- Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Practitioner Training Program, Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD
- Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner Program
- 3rd Age Women’s Health Certification, Burrell Education
- Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy
- Nutritious Life Certification with Keri Glassman, RD
- Private Mentorship, Dr. Lindsey Berkson, Hormone Scholar
- Menopause Method Training for Physicians with Daved Rosensweet, MD
DUTCH: Describe your medical background/practice?
Maria Claps: My practice is almost entirely virtual although I do have an office at Riverwalk Chiropractic in Basking Ridge, NJ for local clients. My focus is on women who are going through the challenging changes, namely peri-menopause and menopause. I also educate women on BHRT (many are fearful of it) and if they decide they want to give it a try, I help them find an experienced prescriber.
DUTCH: What other functional testing do you use in your practice?
Maria Claps: I love using the GI-Map from Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory and almost every woman I serve gets a thorough thyroid panel, including antibodies.
DUTCH: How have you incorporated DUTCH Testing into your practice?
Maria Claps: I use the DUTCH test to educate about hormone changes and design lifestyle protocols. Women feel incredibly empowered when they understand how their hormones work in their bodies and are coached on how they can make their peri-menopause and menopause a little less tumultuous.
DUTCH: What are the changes you have seen in your patients and practice since incorporating the DUTCH Test
Maria Claps: I love having clients repeat the DUTCH test after they complete a protocol. I love seeing the changes in estrogen metabolism most of all! My goal is to have my clients do the test at least annually.
DUTCH: Where do you see functional/ integrative medicine 20 years from now?
Maria Claps: I see functional/integrative medicine as a household word. I think that word is getting out albeit slowly. 20 years is a long time, so we can be hopeful about this!
DUTCH: What do you like to do outside of work?
Maria Claps: Outside of work, I love to cook and do food styling. I also volunteer at an organic farm one day per week in the summer. I love anything food related!