Report: #243882

Complaint Review: Genova Diagnostics (Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories)

  • Submitted: Fri, April 13, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, May 20, 2012
  • Reported By: Veritas Other
  • Genova Diagnostics (Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratories)
    63 Zillicoa St.
    Asheville, North Carolina

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My osteopath suggested I send stool samples to Great Smokies Lab in North Carolina. He had me sign a contract with my credit card number on it He received the lab report from Great Smokies and told me over the phone that I had abnormal levels of proteus mirabilis.

He said that the bacteria is found in just 3 to 5% of the samples. I didn't know at that time that we all have proteus mirabilis in our GI tracts and it's completely normal at any level. I confirmed that fact with both a board certified gastroenterologist and a person from the American College of Pathologists, who explained there are loopholes in the law that allow these assholes to get away with this extremely cruel scam.

My "doctor" prescribed large doses of pills over the phone and was making money on them.

After spending thousands of dollars I found out I had been scammed. Fortunately, I ended the "consultations" with the "doctor" before he could recommend a ridiclous "intestinal permeablilty assessment," yet another creative money-making technique.

Having one's savings wiped out and also suffering the effects of taking toxic doses of pills one doesn't need makes one think these people are vicious psychopaths.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/13/2007 04:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Successful results from Genova Diagnostics lab test

AUTHOR: afreese - (United States of America)

I have a couple of comments on Genova diagnositics and the complaint above.

First of all I would like to say that I recently took a Genova Diagnostics detoxigenomics profile test.  This test was incredibly helpful for me.  It looks at some known genetic problems that can affect my ability to detoxify environmental toxins.  I have been sick for over 20 years following some kind of chemical exposure that occurred in a particular home that my husband and I purchased and lived in for 5 years.  My son was also became ill at the same time. 

We developed a large number of food allergy and hypoglycemic symptoms.  Over a period of years I became aware of the fact that I was extremely affected by the outgassing of petro-chemicals, i.e. certain plastics, fertilizers, oil-based paints and stains, gasoline, etc. 

Genova Diagnositics has provided the first real help that I have had in over 20 years.  The mainstream medical community is absolutely clueless in these cases.  Genova diagnosed that both my son and I were missing a gene that allows our livers to produce glutathione.  They were absolutely correct.  On glutathione supplements both my son and I are significantly improved.  This is a major breakthrough due to this lab's work. 

In my opinion the lab is a good one. 

What many people do not understand (including the person who posted this complaint) is that there are issues out there that mainstream medicine is not aware of.  When you go to your primary care physician you need to be aware that you are working with someone who has very limited knowledge of the differences between what is average in the population and what is optimal.  Many tests in the area of nutrition and issues such as in this complaint about what type of bacteria is ok and in what amounts are really difficult to interpret as there is not a good way to say what the difference is between what is average and what is optimal.

When you speak to a standard physician, you are generally getting information about what is average.  For instance, vitamin D can be measured.   Your vitamin D may be on the low side of average and a regular physician will tell you that's ok, because you're in the average range.  Another physician or naturopath, better trained in nutritional issues, will tell you that you need to supplement D because being on the low side is associated with feeling tired and joint pain and who know's what else longterm.  You're primary care physician will probably just not know that. 

It is really not known what the optimal value of vitamin D is.  It is then a matter of opinion and experience for you and the doctor to decide how important the supplement is and if you want to try raising your D levels. 

In the case of this stool test, it is really the same case.  I suspect that your mainstream doctor hasn't got a clue.  They can only say what is average in the population.  They don't have any miracle knowledge and quite frankly I could write for days and days about all the incorrect information I have received over the last 20 years from mainstream doctors.  They don't know what optimal is. 

The only real way to tell about a lot of these types of things is to try the treatment and see how you feel.  If the pills you were taking did not help you, you should have reported that to the doctor and tried some other treatment.  There are often connections between doctors and companies that are selling supplements and medications.  This connection exists with mainstream pharmaceutical companies also.  Most likely, the doctor felt that this treatment would be helpful to you. 

You should be suspicious when anyone tells you that the bacteria is "normal at any level".  What they are saying is that it is "average at any level".  These are not the same.  A mainstream physician is telling you that they see different levels in everyone and they don't have any clue what is optimal.  Anyone who says that anything is "normal at any level" has NO information.  

Also, I have had an intestinal permeability test.  This is not a scam, but does indicate the likelihood of food allergies... i.e. in order to have food allergies, food particles must somehow get into the bloodstream from the intestines.  You doctor was probably going to lead you into thinking about food allergies.  These can cause all kinds of issues... believe me I know.  This is not bogus in any way, yet once again a mainstream physician is largely clueless about these things.  

Keep in mind mainstream doctors focus primarily on the dispensing of medications and on surgery options.  They also focus mostly on serious conditions that are life-threatening and are good at labeling things but not knowing what to do about them.  For instance, I was having a lot of joint pain, my mainstream physician said "arthritis", reality is it's an allergic reaction to corn.  No corn, no joint pain.  The mainstream physician's solution was pain pills.  He was, of course, completely clueless, but still useful to test for the small amount of serious conditions that he might actually know something about.

You should get that intestinal permeability test done, think about food allergies.... I don't know what your original symptoms were, but food allergies are a very, very big deal.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Proteus Infections can be real overgrowths & Genova is OK

AUTHOR: Lou - (United States of America)

I searched on the internet under Proteus Bacteria Pathogen - apparently whiel it does normally reside in the Human Intestine it can overgrow in people with lower immune systems   (I got it overgrowth to +4 level in 2010  and was pretty sick - I am also chronically low immune system with IgA deficiency syndrome.)  It is a gram negative pathogen.  My MD prescribed Cipro which helped some but is rather strong for my system.  Golden Seal and other berberine herbal antibiotics help me with other infections now but I also take some of the prescription meds.   (In addition, My VA MD looked over my pathogen history and mentioned I get gram negative bacterial  infections.)  
Proteus does mainly infect the kidneys yet can apparently get into the rest of the body.  My MD is Family Medicine & anti Aging board certified and worked then in a large medical group.  We used Genova Diagnostics test and they are Medicare authorized.   Both patient and doctor are supplied from Genova with the two copies of the reports thru the doctor.   In their bacterial and candida fungal pathogen list, they specify degree of infection +1 to +4 which is standard medical.    I know I have been low on good gut flora and with a lot of multistrain probiotics over many days it does help combat infections.

 Here are pertinent excerpts from the websites I looked at.
Human Pathogen
Proteus mirabilis is part of the intestinal microbial community of humans and animals. It can also be found in decomposing meat and sewage. The organism possesses a powerful enzyme urease that breaks down urea (present in large quantities in urine) to form ammonia. This results in elevated urinary pH level and, therefore, urinary tract infections. High urinary pH can contribute directly to kidney toxicity and increased urinary stone formation. Urinary stones can result in further kidney damage by obstructing urine flow2,4
Proteus is often the cause of bacterial invasion of the bloodstream often associated with diabetes, heart and lung disease, or cancer.
Food Contaminant
Proteus are commonly isolated from freshwater and saltwater fish. Contaminated fish consumption leads to a disease known as s****.> Animal Pathogen
Urinary tract infections caused by Proteus mirabilis are frequent in dogs and cats
. In these animals, an infection with the organism can lead to formation of struvite stones in kidneys. Proteus species are occasionally involved in ear infections in dogs and cats and are thought to cause diarrhea in mink, lambs, calves, goats, and puppies.6
Proteus can cause urinary tract infections and hospital-acquired infections. Proteus is unique, however, because it is highly motile and does not form regular colonies. Instead, Proteus forms what are known as "swarming colonies" when plated on non-inhibitory media. The most important member of this genus is considered to be P.mirabilis, a cause of wound and urinary tract infections. Fortunately, most strains of P. mirabilis are sensitive to ampicillin and cephalosporins. Unlike its relative, P. vulgaris is not sensitive to these antibiotics. However, this organism is isolated less often in the laboratory and usually only targets immunosuppressed individuals. P. mirabilis and P. vulgaris can be differentiated by an indole test for which only P. vulgaris tests positive.
P. vulgaris occurs naturally in the intestines of humans and a wide variety of animals; also manure, soil and polluted waters.

More than 80% of human urinary tract infections (UTI) are due to the bacterium, Escherichia coli, but urinary infections due to Proteus mirabilis are also well documented. P. mirabilis once attached to urinary tract, infects the kidney more commonly than E. coli. P. mirabilis belongs to Enterobacteriaceae and is a gram-negative motile swarmer bacterium. P. mirabilis are often found as free living organisms in soil and water but they are also parasitic in the upper urinary tract of human beings
Proteus vulgaris is a rod-shaped, Gram negative bacterium that inhabits the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. It can be found in soil, water and fecal matter. It is grouped with the enterobacteriaceae
The Enterobacteriaceae are a large family of bacteria, including many of the more familiar pathogens, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli...  and is an opportunistic pathogen of humans. It is known to cause urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that affects any part of the urinary tract. Symptoms include frequent feeling and/or need to urinate, pain during urination, and cloudy urine. The main causal agent is Escherichia coli. Although urine contains a variety of fluids, salts, and waste...
Bovine infections

Prevention and control measures
Little information is known regarding the pathogenesis of Proteus spp. Control procedures effective against other Gram-negative bacteria appear to be effective against Proteus spp. Effective environmental sanitation practices include the use of inorganic bedding; avoiding overcrowding of cows; frequent removal of manure and urine; and preventing access to muddy lots or corrals, wet areas under shades, marshy areas, and pools of standing water. The use of an effective germicidal predip and thoroughly drying teas prior to milking may reduce infections during lactation. Immunization of cows with rough mutants such as E. coli J5 can reduce incidence and severity of clinical cases caused by many Gram-negative mastitis-causing organisms.
Miscellaneous information
Proteus spp. are not common mastitis pathogens in most herds. However, Proteus spp. can cause herd outbreaks. Infections tend to be chronic, and clinical cases are often severe. These infections respond poorly to antibiotic therapy.
Description and significance
Proteus mirabilis was first discovered by a German pathologist named Gustav Hauser (Williams and Schwarzhoff, 1978). Hauser named this genus Proteus, after the character in Homers The Odyssey that was good at changing shape and evading being questioned (Williams and Schwarzhoff, 1978), a name that seems apt given this organisms uncanny ability to avoid the hosts immune system. P. mirabilis is a gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that can be found as part of the micro flora in the human intestine. This organism is not usually a pathogen, but does become a problem when it comes into contact with urea in the urinary tract. From there, infection can spread to other parts of the body. It is one of the species within the Proteus genus responsible for causing urinary tract infections in thousands of people each year in hospitals. P. mirabilis accounts for most of the urinary tract infections that occur in hospital settings and for ninety percent of Proteus infections (Gonzalez, 2006). Its genome codes for at least 10 adhesion factors making this organism extremely sticky and motile. P. mirabilis tests indole-positive and it can be easily identifiable in a blood agar plate by the formation of concentric rings of its swarming movement (Lund et al., 1975).

Hope this helps clarify all the other comments.   And I have jad good info from Genova stool tests from 5 different MDs since 1995 - about 10 tests altogether.  Dr, Jacob Tietlebaum MD refers to them in his book From Fatigued to Fantastic published inthe 1990s and is a traditional with some holistic and naturopathic medically oriented -- a rather thoirough book on chronic fatigue detection and sokme remedies.  Dr. Tietlebaum cured himself of chronic fatigue and started the chronic fatigue medical field.

Also Genova - they dont find everything in bacteriam and fungal and their CDSA regula stool test and even pathogen add on do not find all I currently have.   Berberine herbs are helpful here because they kill a lot of things. My recent report showed the two major +4 bacterial infections that had been making me very sick for many months including very bad for 4 months.  Taking the culture determined remedies right away started helping me feel better.  And I had already been trying Garlic (only 1/2 effective on the candida +2 fungal addition only) and a lot of herbs and vits and even a lot of fresh aloe very gel.  

Their parasite tests never found the pinworms whoch I knew I had.
So they are a good tool I find.   Also helps to get electrodermal screening tests   sometimes MDs have them as well as naturopaths and OMDs (same as DOMs).  Vega, Intero andmore recent developed ones.

to reach me for more personal experience ok to email (((ROR redacted)))  However I dont know anything more abt proteus than I just reported.

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#3 Author of original report

Au Contraire

AUTHOR: Ted - (U.S.A.)

Let's get something straight. I had a physician account. That means all lab fees (grossly inflated) were paid to the 'doctor.' To say that the lab was innocent is ridiculous. I have no way have knowing how much the lab charged for the 'tests' without the apparent kickbacks.
My test results were always normal. A legitimate lab would say 'no pathogens noted.' Without the wording 'possible pathogen,' I never would have fallen for the consultation fees, further tests and pill scams.
So don't defend them.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Genova Diagnostics did not rip you off - your doctor did!

AUTHOR: Xenayes99 - (U.S.A.)

Genova is a reputable company that has many hepful tests. Do your research. Don't blame them for doing a test your sketchy doctor ordered. Blame the right person.
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#5 Author of original report

Response to Gerald

AUTHOR: Ted - (U.S.A.)

Hi Gerald,

I reported him to the osteopathic board and they didn't respond.

I didn't contact a malpractice attorney because it wouldn't have been worth the stress. Also, I'm not sure I had a case because the lab reports have disclaimers on them at the bottom:
"This statement has not been evaluated..." The doctor's contract signed by the patient may also be legally sound. There's no way to prove how many pills he prescribed because he did it exclusively on the phone.

It appears the colossal jerk will continue to "practice" for years to come. His lectures are used to tried to recruit new victims. I found him because a relative's friend had consulted with him but never found out the tests were fraudulent!

Others have fallen for this. I read a poor woman's story about her lab report that said she had high levels of proteus mirabilis in her GI tract.

Thanks for your letter.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

A second Opinion is ALWAYS suggested

AUTHOR: Gerald - (U.S.A.)

I worked in the insurance feild for 10 years, part of which required me to authorize or deny medical treatment or testing.
The questions you have raise the hair on the back of my neck. Something is not Kosher here.

When you see a Dr and they give you some weird diagnosis or want to have tests done off site for a rare disease, that is the warning signs that you need to seek a second opinion from another Dr.

1)Make sure that the Dr that you see has no affiliation with the primary physician or their medical practice group.
2) Get a copy of ALL your medical records and test results from the primary physician and have them sent to the other Dr for review prior to your meeting. Then review the records with the Dr after they complete the exam.
3) Ask any questions that you have. Write them down before you meet with them. This way all your concerns get answered and the Dr and you do not stray off track.
4) If it is impossible to find something like the above, get a 3rd opinion if need be. This is not considered "Dr shopping". It is trying to find the answers.

I looked at what you said was found in the diagnostic tests. It is a very odd and rare to find the bacteria actively attacking your body. Did you have some signs of food poisoning or food allergy prior to getting this diagnosis? How about an unexplainable and dramatic weight loss? How about unrinary tract infections?

The test that had done with your stool sample is quite puzzling since P. mirabilis is a URINARY problem, not a fecal issue.

The defenition of this condition, according to Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary , 18th edition :
Proteus: A genus of gram negative enteric bacilli, found in intestines and decaying material, causing protein decomposition. Named after a Greek god that could change his form at will.
P. marabilis: A species abundant in nature but only rearely a human pathogen.
P. Vulgaris is a saprophytic (organism living in decaying or dead organic matter causing putrification) species that may produce urinary tract infections.

I suggest that you report the Dr who treated you to the American Medical Association, any hospital that the Dr has rights to practice at.
I also suggest that you contact a malpractice lawyer.

Question the Dr again on the actual reason that he felt the need for such a rare test.

If as you state, the Dr received a kick back for the tests he is obligated to report that income. Also, doctors are not to have a business affiliation with any diagnostic testing center that they send their patients too.
I suggest looking into who is on the board of directors of the Genova since they recently changed names from great Smokies, see any names that look familiar?
A review of the web site for the diagnostic lab shows on their front page they test for both P. Vulgris AND Marabilis. They are 2 seperate tests however.

I also see that the diagnostic lab does not bill insurance companies. They require you to pay for the testing and leave it up to you to seek reimbursement from the insurance company.. ANOTHER red flag. This can mean that they may have had insurance companies leave a bad taste in their mouth in the past. Such as billing for testing not completed, having Dr's order testing that was not called for or there were cheaper diagnostic tests, insurance companies paid the below the price they charged and felt their work was worth more than what the insurance company is willing too pay them.

A Dr has a patient who has knee problems. Well, the Dr suggests that the patient go and get an MRI of the knee done. Well, dont ya know that the Dr. recently helped purchased one of the new MRI machines sitting in the office of the MRI Center that he refered his patient too?? AND gets paid by the diagnistic center for any patient that goes thru that machine? After so may people going thru that machine, the amount they both paid for the machine is paid in full and the diagnostic center AND the Dr are now recieving 100% profit from the tests run thru the machine!

Good Luck!!
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#7 Author of original report

Genova Diagnostics

AUTHOR: Ted - (U.S.A.)

They may have employees who aren't aware of their practices. I have a problem with just the ones who knowingly participate in trickery.
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