Provider Spotlight: Ritamarie Loscalzo, MS, DC, CCN, DACBN
by Wynter Kaiser
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is passionately committed to transforming our current broken disease-care system into a true health care system where each and every practitioner is skilled at finding the root cause of health challenges and using ancient healing wisdom married with modern scientific research to restore balance. She specializes in using the wisdom of nature to restore balance to hormones with a special emphasis on thyroid, adrenal, and insulin imbalances.
Dr. Ritamarie founded the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology to empower health and nutrition practitioners to get to the root cause of health concerns by using functional assessments and natural therapeutics to balance the endocrine system, the body’s master controller. She is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic with Certification in Acupuncture and is a Diplomat of the American Clinical Nutrition Board. Dr. Ritamarie is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist with a Master of Science in Human Nutrition, and has a master’s degree in Computer Science, which contributes to her skills as a master problem solver.
Dr. Ritamarie is trained and certified in the art of using whole, fresh plant foods in delicious ways to restore balance to hormones and body systems, and she’s trained and certified other health and wellness professionals – doctors, nurses, nutritionists, health coaches, and others — in the art of using palate-pleasing, whole fresh food as medicine. As a certified HeartMath® provider, Dr. Ritamarie is passionate about using stress transformation techniques to guide clients and reduce the negative impact of stress on their health.
Watch our interview with Ritamarie Loscalzo, MS, DC, CCN, DACBN:
Dr. Ritamarie: I’m from Austin, Texas, and I have a virtual practice where we do lots and lots and lots of DUTCH tests. And I absolutely love the DUTCH Test®, because it gives me insights into my clients, their hormones, and their stress systems. I also love to integrate it with looking at snips, looking at genetic reports, and I have found it a game-changer. I teach it; I have an institute where we train functional medicine practitioners, and I teach DUTCH to them. We do lots of case studies, and we use it a lot.
DUTCH: What inspired you to become a healthcare practitioner?
Dr. Ritamarie: Like a lot of people who go into more of an alternative functional space was the health challenges of my own that I was frustrated with and couldn’t get relief from conventional Western medicine. This was a long time ago, almost 40 years or 35 years ago, something like that. It was before the internet and before the availability of tests, like the DUTCH Test®, so I was struggling to find answers to my own health challenges. When I discovered them and figured out what to do for myself, I decided to quit my job and go back to school and become a health practitioner myself.
DUTCH: What is your training?
Dr. Ritamarie: I have a lot of training all over the place. So back in the day, I left my job, I went to chiropractic school, got my doctorate degree in chiropractic. Then, kind of along the same time, I was doing a master’s degree in nutrition through the University of Bridgeport. I did a lot of Jeffrey Bland seminars. He was back in the day before functional medicine was even called functional medicine. Any weekend that I could find a Jeffrey Bland seminar, I went to them. And then I also attended lots of other webinars, or not in the day of webinars, they were live events with Jonathan Wright and Alan Gaby, and a lot of the pioneers in the space of functional medicine. Then I got a master’s degree in nutrition, a certification in acupuncture, and I got certified through a system called HeartMath®, which I use extensively with the results of the DUTCH Test® in helping people to actually add mindfulness practices and get their sympathetic dominance down.
DUTCH: Tell us about your patients and your practice.
Dr. Ritamarie: When I started out, I went into practice for myself, right after school and I did a one-on-one, face-to-face practice which was a combination of hands-on and a lot of nutrition, lab testing, and things like that. And over the years, I started to say the same things over and over again. I thought the educational piece was so important, so about 12 years ago, I started to work online. I started to create educational pieces and programs and memberships and educate people one-on-one with the educational work. Now my practice has evolved to the point where I don’t do the one-on-one, face-to-face anymore, but I train other health practitioners to do that. We have the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology, and we have a full training program. It’s a two-year certification program for people who are either health coaches or doctors, nurses, chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc. And we train them to actually do the functional testing to teach people how to change their lifestyle and actually get to the root cause.
DUTCH: What other functional testing do you use in your practice?
Dr. Ritamarie: Well, I think the other kind of testing, in addition to the DUTCH Test® that I love are things like fatty acid tests. Genova Diagnostics has an easy one that is a fingerprint so people don’t have to go in and get blood drawn. I love that because it gives me an idea of the inflammatory pathways in the body and the fatty acids and the inbalances. We use an organic acids test, we do stool testing, and sometimes we’ll do more advanced testing, like Nutrival or micronutrient testing through other companies. And we get really in depth, but the ones I usually start with, there’s actually blood chemistry, DUTCH Test®, and fatty acids are the three that I usually start with.
DUTCH: How have you specifically incorporated DUTCH testing into your practice?
Dr. Ritamarie: If a new person comes in it depends on what program and what level of program they’re in; if they’re doing one-on-one with either me or one of my coaches. We run that early on in the process, if it seems, obviously, like it’s applicable, for people who are under stress or people who are hormonal imbalanced, which is what we specialize in. So we get a lot of that. We’ll run the test, and we’ll put plans in place, very personalized nutrition plans for people. Then we go back and retest depending on what’s going on in the test. It might be three months later, four months later, two months later, etc. But we definitely do the test, address what you find, address their diet, their lifestyle, their supplementation, hormones, and then go back and retest and tweak.
DUTCH: Would you say that you do follow-up testing with every single client?
Dr. Ritamarie: I would say maybe 90%.
DUTCH: What are the specific changes you’ve seen in your patients and practice since incorporating the DUTCH Test®?
Dr. Ritamarie: We get much more specific ability to help them get their hormones in balance. So look at the cortisol and the metabolites, and I look at the estrogens and progesterones and identify what kind of shifts we see. We see overall energy improvements, we see shifts in menopausal symptoms. In men, we see increased libido without them having to go on testosterone, because I will always recommend to men before they go buy a lab test or a straight blood test, if they want to go on testosterone. I’m always recommending that they do DUTCH and they see their estrogens and their metabolites, because we’ve seen people who were really at the potential of getting into big trouble if they didn’t do it that way.
DUTCH: Are you practicing 100% virtually? Can you can you see patients all over the country, all over the world?
Dr. Ritamarie: We call them clients when they’re not in our jurisdiction of my licensing. And yeah, we work with people all over the world.
DUTCH: Where do you see functional and integrative medicine heading 20 years from now?
Dr. Ritamarie: 20 years from now it’s mainstream. It’s got to be because it’s too dangerous for it not to be. It’s too dangerous to keep on with the broken disease management system that we have. We need a true healthcare system, where people are advised to make shifts in their diet, their lifestyle, their stress levels, their sleep levels, and their supplementation rather than random guessing, rather than just getting blood tests, which may not have what needs to be seen, like the metabolites in the DUTCH Test®, for example. So I see that it’s a mainstream practice. That’s my goal.
DUTCH: What do you like to do outside of work?
Dr. Ritamarie: I love to go to the beach, which we don’t have any in Texas. Well, we have them in Texas, but they’re not close by. I love to swim. I love to run. I love to hike. I love to be outdoors in nature. I like to write, I like to paint. I like to do pottery and get my hands dirty. And I love to be in the kitchen and make food.
DUTCH: And for some future clients out there who watch this, where can they find you? What’s the best way to reach you?
Dr. Ritamarie: Right now, www.drritamarie.com is my main website. We also have a website that’s under construction, but right now you can find out more about our health practitioner programs there at www.inemethod.com.