Has anyone consulted with Chris Kresser/Wolf/other guru in the flesh?

by 1197 · September 29, 2013 at 02:41 PM

Related to this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/33857. Has anyone here consulted with a guru or other paleo-inclined naturopath/health coach? If so, why? Did it resolve your issue? How far into paleo were you when you decided to seek help?

I'm considering seeing Chris Kresser, as I live in San Francisco, though it'd compete with paying timely rent. He doesn't take insurance, but he can provide forms for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement (i.e. fat chance), so it's pretty much out-of-pocket.

I wonder if his approach is suited for those who have been eating right but still have lingering symptoms and meager benefits (like me, 6 months in), or for those who have never heard of paleo and need a guided introduction. He seems to market to a more general population as a practitioner of "investigative medicine" rather than a fine tuner of my maddening n=1 failures. The main allure is getting extensive blood tests (pain in the ass with my normal Dr) and their interpretation by someone who knows what to look for. Still, I really fear paying $500+ for a consultation where I'm told to eat paleo, take fermented cod liver oil, and drink plenty of water.

I know a lot of this information is out there, online and in the books, so is there a real benefit to consulting with a real person when strict paleo and online forum retina-melting doesn't do the trick and leaves one just as confused? Do I spend my money on sage advice or half a cow?

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103 · September 21, 2011 at 03:18 PM

I started consulting with Chris Kresser in July of this year. My main reason is that I lost a lot of weight on a paleo diet, but not all the weight, and was hoping he could help. I had been eating paleo about 2 years, with no real weight loss after the first few months.

Like you, I was also interested in the blood test analysis. This was really valuable as he identified a B12 defiency, and ordered a further test to try to determine the cause. The cause for me seems to be an autoimmune condition called pernicious anemia. AFAIK, there's no way to reverse the underlying condition, but there's an easy treatment - B12 injections.

I was also pretty low-carb leading up to that point, and so my fasting blood sugar was a little high. He suspected, like I did, that it was probably physiological insulin resistance, but had me do post-meal blood sugar testing for 3 days to confirm. Everything seemed ok based on the readings.

He advised me to up my carb intake from starches, rice, some fruit (a trend you've probably seen in the paleo world lately), and I've done that - I feel the same or better and haven't gained any weight because of it.

In terms of my original concern, we haven't solved that just yet, but I don't really blame Chris for that. He has put me on a cortisol management protocol, and at the same time we were digging into the B12 issue. For now, meeting with a regular doctor and getting the injections has been a priority, and I'll continue to work with him on the weight loss issue.

I think Chris is a great person to go to if you seem to have lingering symptoms or sub-optimal results. He has a lot of knowledge and experience in looking at labs and symptoms and coming up with underlying conditions. There's a lot of upside to consulting with him or another guru.

1059 · November 03, 2011 at 03:54 PM

I saw Dr. Kruse through The Back Door at his office in Nashville for advice on degenerative disc issues and osteoarthritis in general. He zeroed in on hormonal and nutritional issues while specifically stating very early on that I did not have a leptin issue (despite having 15 stubborn pounds that do not want to come off).


Smart, it was clear he coukd glance at a stack of test results and see the big picture immediately. I felt like he was standing in my Krebs Cycle. Personable. Not an asshole. Very willing to take the time with me, spent more than an hour. Did not have all of the answers, recommended additional tests. Referred me to a local doctor in Atlanta for hormonal followup. Identified some very key issues that had been overlooked by 3 GPs, 1 sports medicine doc, 2 orthopedic surgeons, 1 neurosurgeon, 1 rheumatologist and 1 functional medicine doc. Is serious about wanting to prevent surgery, a pretty radical concept for a surgeon. Has been very responsive with emails and follow-up phone calls after the office visit. He is an MD so he can write prescriptions and order tests, something other non-MD gurus cannnot do.


He is every bit as passionate and intense in person as he is online.


Appointment process is a bit complicated and confusing, especially if you want metabolic consult. Absolutely requires a physician's referral regardless of your insurance requirements. He only books 2 slots a week at his regular office for metabolic issues at the end of the day, but if you don't know this you could easily be booked incorrectly and not have the right amount of time. If you had driven 4 hours to get there and did not have sufficient time, it could be a problem. Not clear what he will do under insurance and what he won't, it appears optimization is 100% out of pocket, not sure about metabolic? Before becoming a patient, not particularly good at answering emails sent from his own web site, I suggest you CALL his office to request an appointment. Rattled off supplements and treatment recommendations verbally, I had to ask him to write it down for me. I suggest he structure his recommendations in a written treatment plan. Locating all of the supplements - I suggest a written handout for patients. Locating recommended tests was also diffcult, if possible get them done in Nashville, or walk out the door with a written prescription or have the exact name of the test and lab that performs it. In my case, bone density of the wrist was surprisingly difficult to obtain, as was the Omega 3:6 index as the local doc in Atlanta did not know where to send me for them.

Have my issues been improved? Yes, my daily need for NSAIDs has been eliminated. I still have occasional back pain but it is nowhere near as intense or frequent as before and I rarely resort to NSAIDs. H. Pylori that was identified has been resolved. It has been less than 6 months and I will be talking to him this week to review follow-up tests and revise the approach to address remaining cholesterol, gut issues, blood glucose and stubborn weight issues. For now, nobody needs to cut into my spine and I am very happy about that.

Would I go back again? Yes. Would I do a paid phone consultation if I was not within driving distance? Absolutely.

30 · March 31, 2012 at 09:22 PM

I have used Kresser and am very disappointed with his service, well lack of service is more like it. He will charge for labs that should have been included in the first fee. Office staff is not the friendliest. He talks a big talk of being an investigative health detective and the truth is he shows no interest in getting you better just in getting your money so he can concentrate on his blog..

4067 · September 21, 2011 at 05:39 PM

I have consulted with Ray Peat via email for a nutritional consultation (and paid him, apparently most people don't). He isn't paleo per se -but is high protein, no grains. First time I have seen results for my health issue's (tummy, thyroid, adrenal) in 3 years of trying everything and everyone under the sun. His analysis is pretty basic, and he doesn't do any prescribing, testing, or digging. That is fine with me -I have a giant binder of medical tests. His recommendations were a 180 from past doctors, so I was worried about it at first. He always emails back with answers to my many questions. He does talk in scientist, so if you are not up for that, it can be a challenge. He isn't a medical doctor, but I am always willing to try most things once. As I said before -first time for improvement results, and its only been about 40 days!!

260 · July 21, 2012 at 08:13 PM

I just started seeing a functional-medicine doctor in Massachusetts (where I live). She has an M.D. from a top medical school; not a degree in acupuncture or Chinese herbs. Most functional med MD's (including Paleo practioners) don't take insurance. They are basically concierge-based medicine, so, it's quite expensive.

My first visit (which lasted 90 minutes) was $750 and that did not include labs. The reason I use this kind of doctor is to be able to get blood, urine, saliva tests done that I cannot order myself (I live in Massachusetts, one of a handful of states that makes it ILLEGAL to order your own blood tests). And, to get compounded pharmacy prescriptions (thyroid, hormones).

The labs cost me an additional $1,200 at least. She uses Metamtrix (as I believe Kresser does) as well as others.

Soon, there will be a number of new solutions for people who want to get tests done periodically. For instance, the San Francisco based WellnessFX offers a new service that I'm on the waiting list for as soon as they open a branch in Massachusetts. You might want to check them out as they are in your area.

I do a lot of my own health research and really just want a doctor willing to test me and possibly tweak some prescription hormone supplements.

10 · April 03, 2012 at 07:58 PM

My husband and I had our first appointment with Dr. Lane Sebring after meeting him at Paleofx last month. We are scheduled to go back next week for our lab results/analysis. So far the experience has been good and bad.

Good: He is brilliant and confirmed a lot of things that I thought were were going on with myself and my husband. He took a lot of time with us and tried to relay as much information as possible. He also referred us to other doctors right away that he felt like could help us with some of our issues.

Bad: His office staff is very disorganized and didn't prepare us at all for what to expect during the visit or who much it would cost. (He doesn't take insurance, so it is out of pocket). My husband's appt. was at 2:15 and mine was at 3:00 and we did not get into an exam room until almost 4:00 and did not see the doctor until about 4:30. Then, the nurse who was supposed to take our blood didn't realize he was finished with us and left us in the room for an additional 30min, so I had to go ask her to take our blood. Also, we left kind of unsure of what the treatment plan was and we had lots of supplements, but no written instructions on how to take them.

I am looking forward to the next visit. Hopefully it will be more streamlined since we will have our lab results. I will keep you updated

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2314 · March 31, 2012 at 09:56 PM

unless you have some sort of disease or condition that requires a specific protocol, i'd say your money's better spent on a cow or something else that will help your well being

10 · February 27, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Im very interested in seeing Chris Kresser. I lost weight but since gained it back, and have upped my starches. I was working with Laurent Bannock and he had two masters degrees and he may have success with athletes and teams but when it comes to complex health issues he has no idea what he is doing, he also has two masters degrees. I was highly recommended by someone off of Marks Daily Apple forum and the same person recommended Chris Kresser.

9796 · September 20, 2011 at 05:11 PM

Not in-the-flesh, but I did a virtual workshop with Melissa & Dallas of Whole9- I do think talking to an expert can be a useful tool for troubleshooting & fine-tuning; I didn't learn any earth-shaking new info but had a couple good "a-ha!" moments. I believe they do 1 on 1 phone sessions for $100 an hr.

1495 · September 29, 2013 at 02:41 PM

Not a guru, but I did consult with someone who holds one of the same certifications that Sean Croxton holds - a FDN specialist. She didn't think Paleo was the be-all, end-all, but that's how she ate. She gave me this stupid metabolic typing test and shocker, I came out the type that should be eating a diet that looks a lot like a Paleo diet! So, if I should be eating Paleo and I have for two years, why do I feel like suck shit all the time? She put me on a very low carb paleo. I mean I had to count carbs in coconut cream. I was ok for 2 weeks, then crashed hard in the middle of the night. She allowed a little more carb and I hung with it for 2 more weeks and my symptoms were now worse than ever. I stopped using her. I had to pay for 2 months even though we only completed one month. There were some "back-end" charges that I wasn't happy about, but I just gave her the money so that I could move on. I'm half tempted to contact the FDN main company to tell them that it didn't help, I wasted my money, I got worse and it may have been what caused me to get worse.

If I could, I would probably work with Chris Kresser. He's one of the few holistic professionals that I think I trust. However, my experience has soured my trying to work with anyone else in holistic medicine. I'm back to seeing a MD who practices integrative medicine. I just happened to have some blood tests in April and she ran some recent blood tests and my thyroid has started failing in that amount of time. I suspect this super low carb diet was a really bad idea.

98 · July 21, 2012 at 04:35 PM

My husband and I both consult with Chris Kresser. We are both grateful for his help. I have had sleep issues all of my life and right now I am sleeping better than I ever have before. I feel fantastic. His staff is efficient, pleasant and helpful.

77340 · July 21, 2012 at 01:40 PM

They are ALL SCAMMING JERKS who prey on the scientifically illiterate and gullible.

NONE of them are experts.

0 · July 21, 2012 at 06:37 AM

I would not use Chris Kresser. I cannot stand him. He sounds like an ass h**e. Selfish, uncaring. Whenever someone on his blogs writes something different to what his opinion is he will write some snarky response. It is quite pathetic actually. I think he suffers from low self esteem. Just google “Chris Kresser reviews”. Vast majority of them are negative.

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