Welcome to the Restoration Healthcare Blog

Here, you’ll find news from our office, insights and observations from trusted sources in health, profiles of Restoration Healthcare staffers, information about innovations in the effort to take back your own good health, testimonials from our clients, resources and recommendations of note, and more. Read a post or two and comment on anything that strikes a chord.

By: Restoration Healthcare 

What does one’s gut have to do with autism? Plenty.

Let’s start with a study published in 2014 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) entitled “The Familial Risk of Autism.” Prior to this study, doctors thought autism was about 80 to 90 percent genetic, with environmental factors contributing only 10 to 20 percent to the etiology (the cause or set of causes) of the disease. According to this study, genetic and environmental factors each contribute about 50 percent.

Exploring the Brain-Gut-Microbiome Axis

Published that same year (2014) in Bioessays, “Altered brain-gut axis in autism: comorbidity or causative mechanisms” points out that “The concept that altered communications between the gut microbiome and the brain may play an important role in human brain disorders has recently received considerable attention” and that probiotic treatment may benefit several of the abnormal behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

One year later (2015), the Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology published a review entitled “Autism and Our Intestinal Microbiota” concluding Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Over the past year, we’ve been following developments regarding attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act of 2010. On the day President Trump was inaugurated, we published “Making Sense of Health Insurance in the Trump Era,” in which we highlighted some of the successes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and explained Trump’s initial plans for repealing and replacing the ACA with a plan that provides for “great healthcare for much less money.”

Trumpcare ImageTwo months later, we posted “8 Ideas on Healthcare Legislation from a Functional Medicine Perspective,” in which we presented possible initiatives for reducing healthcare costs while improving results. Since then, the American Healthcare Act of 2017 (AHA) narrowly won passage in the House of Representatives, but that was only the first hurdle. It must also win passage in the Senate, which will probably be the bigger hurdle. The Senate will probably demand changes, and even with changes, the bill may not receive enough votes.

What do we think of the AHA at this point? Not much. President Trump made two promises — “great healthcare” and “for much less money.” Let’s take a look at those two promises.

Great Healthcare

Whenever anyone in government talks about quality healthcare, they’re usually referring to conventional medical tests and treatments. For most of them, great healthcare means free access to doctors, tests, and treatments. As functional medicine practitioners, our focus is on optimizing health, not merely eliminating illness or masking its symptoms. We envision a community, nation, and a world, in which people are healthy — free of  Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Starting immediately, we’re declaring all our spaces — from our waiting and consultation rooms, to the lounge where we offer IV therapies — “fragrance free,” and perhaps not for the reasons you suspect.

Most of us have been nasally assaulted by people wearing too much perfume or aftershave products. And if you’ve ever received such a sensory smacking by a passerby wearing a quart of faux French perfume, you might recall what usually occurs next.

Fragrance-free office

Such encounters often prompt a sneeze or two, or maybe a short-lived bout with dizziness or discomfort. But for other second-hand sufferers, the event is more impactful, with effects that can include a whopping headache or extreme nausea. Whatever the resultant symptom, none are pleasant — which, of course, was the thought of the offending person who slapped on the fragrance in the first place.

Why the new policy?

What we’re doing is responding to requests from our staff and patients alike that scented products not be brought into our offices. We ask that those visiting us refrain from Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Imagine filling your cup at the fountain of youth. No one would blame you if you envision a green smoothie — a frothy concoction of all-natural nutrients certain to restore your youthful energy and appearance.

So what’s with the headline here? How could a green smoothie possibly be toxic?

The concern swirls around organic chemical compounds that tend to be found in many of the ingredients used in green smoothies — oxalates.

Green-Smoothie-Danger

What are oxalates?

Oxalates are crystalline molecules absorbed in the diet and produced by yeasts and fungi in the body. They are best known when they accumulate to the point of Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

A couple months ago, we published “Making Sense of Health Insurance in the Trump Era” to offer some insight into the Trump administration’s repeal-and-replace solution for The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (i.e., Obamacare). Since then, we have come to realize that the problem with both the previous bill and the current legislation being discussed (the American Health Care Act) mirrors the underlying problem with conventional medicine.

Instead of diagnosing and addressing the cause of the problem, the American Health Care Act focuses merely on symptom relief. In the case of the medical industrial complex, the solution to healthcare is to spend gobs of taxpayer money on early detection and treatment of illness instead of focusing resources on keeping people healthy in the first place.

As a result, the medical industrial complex has become very skilled at treating illness but horrible at preventing some of the most costly chronic illnesses that afflict the population.

On a related note, the current administration is making the same mistake as the past administration by focusing efforts first on getting more coverage for more people and only secondarily, if at all, on reducing costs. The only attempt at cost-reduction we have heard much about is the notion of allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, which theoretically will increase competition and drive down the cost of health insurance premiums. But what about real cost reduction in healthcare?

What are the plans to reduce the actual costs of treating illnesses?

We have a few ideas: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

When your doctor or health practitioner suggests meticulous hand washing as a primary means of preventing illness and disease, it sounds like a no-brainer — something along the lines of your dentist telling you that frequent brushing will prevent tooth decay.

No doubt about it. When it comes to curtailing colds, eradicating drug-resistant infections and dispelling disease, warm soap and water remains the best Rx. Hands down.

Hand Washing Graphic

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest a thorough hand washing with soap and warm water is the most efficient means of reducing the number of germs on the hands. The CDC says that if soap and water aren’t readily available, an alcohol-based sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) is the next best measure.

When and how often

When and how often should you wash your hands? According to the Mayo Clinic, you should always wash your hands before preparing food — especially raw meat, fish or poultry. Other times include during cold and flu season, anytime you visit a health care facility, and prior to administering first aid, dispensing medicine or caring for a sick or injured person.

You should also wash your hands after: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

In the first five parts of this series (links for Parts I-V appear at the end of today’s post), you discovered just how toxic the world is and what you can do to avoid and eliminate toxins from your system. Unfortunately, self-help will get you only so far and not very quickly. A doctor trained to understand the interaction between the human body and the environment and is committed to optimizing your health instead of merely eliminating illness or, even worse, suppressing symptoms, can be a valuable guide.

Such a doctor can:

  • Carefully review your history.
  • Work with you to explore the underlying causes of your ailments.
  • Order tests and review test results to unravel the deeper mystery and find out what is preventing you from feeling your best.
  • Tailor a treatment plan that helps you avoid toxins and reduce your body’s toxic load while restoring the healthy function of all systems in your body: skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, circulatory, nervous, reproductive, urinary, integumentary (skin, hair, nails), and cellular.

Our highly toxic environment has been a game changer in the world of medicine. The traditional approach with a focus on illness and symptoms no longer applies. With such an approach, doctors chase symptoms with medication, which often triggers  Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Editor’s Note: Please see the end of today’s post for links to Parts I-IV in this series.

Living Healthy in a Toxic Environment

Part V: Exercising and Sweating

The human body has its own filtration systems for eliminating toxins. The two primary filters are the liver and kidneys. The liver is packed with enzymes that can break down many toxins, including alcohol and some medications, such as acetaminophen. Blood carries the toxins to the liver, where enzymes break down or neutralize the hazardous compounds so they can be excreted safely via the kidneys. The kidneys filter toxins and other waste products out of the blood and concentrate them into the urine, which is then excreted through the bladder and urethra.

While the liver and kidney are responsible for processing most toxins, some toxins can be eliminated from the body through the sweat glands. The primary purpose of sweating is to cool the body, but sweating provides and additional way for the body to excrete toxins.

RH_Blog_Image_022817

You can induce sweating in any number of ways — via exercise, sauna, a hot tub or hot bath, or simply wrapping yourself in several layers of clothing and blankets and cranking up the heat. However, we recommend exercise, specifically: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the fourth in our six-part series on living healthy in a toxic-filled environment. If you haven’t had a chance to read the previous posts in this series, please see: Part I — Recognizing the Problem, followed by Part II — Reducing Your Exposure to Environmental Toxins, and Part III — Food and Fasting.

Living Healthy in a Toxic Environment

Part IV: Mindfulness and Meditation

Stress is a major contributor to a host of health conditions, including heart disease, asthma, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, accelerated aging, and premature death. Worried? Don’t be. You just need to relax.

By “relax,” we do not mean curling up in bed with a good book or slumping into your recliner with a bowl of popcorn to watch the latest new release on DVD. What we mean is engaging regularly in yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or other practices that elicit and maintain the relaxation response — a psychological state of deep restorative rest.

Mindfulness Restoration Healthcare

The relaxation response was first described more than 40 years ago by Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Since then, many studies have been conducted on the relaxation response, and results show that it Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Editor’s Note: In this post, which is Part III in our six-part series focused on how thrive when living in a toxic environment, we offer information about the many benefits of moving away from processed foods and making intermittent fasting a part of your daily routine. If you haven’t had a chance to read Parts I & II, please see: Living Healthy in a Toxic Environment — Part I: Recognizing the Problem and Living Healthy in a Toxic Environment: Part II — Reducing Your Exposure to Environmental Toxins.

You hear a lot about air and water pollution, but our food supply is contaminated, as well. Given the fact that air and water pollution is so extensive, how could our food supply not be contaminated? The most common toxins are those that are intentionally added through the use of pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides on plant-based foods and the use of antibiotics and growth hormones in farm animals. Toxins such mercury also make their way into our oceans, lakes, and streams, resulting in seafood with high levels of this toxic heavy metal. Add to that the toxins from food processing and packaging, and the potential hazards of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and you begin to realize that the standard American diet (SAD) is anything but natural and healthy.

Standard American Diet

In addition to what is being added to foods, consider also what is being taken away as modern farming practices deplete the soil of healthy nutrients. Fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were more nutrient rich than those grown today. A study by researchers at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin found “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and vitamin C in 43 different vegetables and fruits based on US Department of Agriculture records from 1950 and 1999. Unfortunately, the goal of modern agriculture is focused more on quantity and appearance and less on nutritional value.

Short of buying a farm and growing your own food, you may be wondering what you can do to compensate for this compromised food supply. We recommend the following: Continue reading…