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 

No doubt about it, bone broth is trending. Bone broth carts (a.k.a. Brodo carts) and counters are popping up all across the country to serve it, and you can find plenty of websites touting its health benefits. If you listen to the dialogue, you might think bone broth could cure everything from the common cold to cancer. But how healthy is bone broth? And are all the claims true?

Bone broth photo

The short answers to these questions are that bone broth can be very healthy and most of the claims appear to be true but with important caveats. So, what is it about bone broth that makes it so curiously healthy?

Restoring and Maintaining a Healthy Gut

The primary health benefits of bone broth can be traced to the fact that it promotes gut health, and a healthy gut impacts the health of every system and cell in the human body. Even practitioners of conventional medicine are beginning to come around to the fact that a healthy gut is a key component of a healthy immune system and that it plays an important role in optimal brain function.

And because the immune system plays a key role in fighting both colds and cancer, yes, bone broth can play a role in help to cure everything from the common cold to cancer. It’s certainly not a cure-all, but it promotes healthy body composition and function.

The health benefits of bone broth come from the many nutrients it contains, especially nutrients that promote a healthy gut, including these: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Influenza (a.k.a., the “flu”) is a serious and sometimes deadly illness, as is evident in the recent deaths of a 10-year-old hockey player in New Canaan, Conn.; 21-year-old fitness enthusiast in Latrobe, Penn.; and a 40-year-old marathon-running mother of three in San Jose, Calif. (as well as 73 other people in California at the time of this write-up).

According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) influenza estimates, influenza-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of 12,000 (during the 2011-2012 flu season) to a high of 56,000 (2012-2013). Deaths from the flu are concentrated among the elderly, but mortality is often elevated among middle-aged adults with other health issues, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, compromised immune systems, or obesity; pregnant women; children under the age of five years; and children with asthma. Even healthy people face some risk,

Photo ©Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Photo © Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash | Used with permission.

As is typical every flu season, the media lead many people to believe that this flu season is the worst ever, but that’s not the case this year. According to the CDC website, the United States experiences epidemics of seasonal flu each year. Although the 2017-2018 season has outpaced other flu seasons from 2013-2017, it is currently considered moderately severe. In a mild season, about 2 percent of all Americans seeking medical care have flu-like symptoms. In a bad season, that percentage climbs to over 8 percent. The current number is about 6 percent. And while highly publicized cases of flu deaths may lead some people to believe that this year’s strains of flu virus are particularly deadly, the mortality rate for victims under the age of 18, a key indicator used by the CDC, is currently well below that of the 2014-2015 season.

That said, flu-related deaths in California are well above normal levels for this time of year, with 74 deaths since October among people under the age of 65 so far, this season, according to the Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Next time you’re at our office, you may notice a new face (the one on the right in today’s photo). New to the team here at Restoration Healthcare is physician assistant Blossom Aguirre, MS, PA-C — a healthcare professional who has a Master of Science and is a Certified Physician Assistant.

Restoration Healthcare  Physician Assistant Blossom Aguirre (r) with husband Jonathan (l)

Restoration Healthcare Physician Assistant Blossom Aguirre (r) with husband Jonathan (l)

Blossom graduated from Western University of Health Sciences (Pomona, Calif.) in 2012 with a master’s degree in physician assistant studies. She initially pursued neuropsychology and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from La Sierra University (Riverside, Calif.).

Blossom’s duties include evaluating patients, prescribing medications, ordering labs, interpreting lab result, ordering and setting up IV protocols and modifying IV protocols as patients respond to them. In addition, she will provide directions and hands-on assistance to our team of paramedics (they’re the ones who prepare our patients for their IV therapies).

We asked Blossom — a healthy living advocate if there ever was one — to sit down with us and offer up a little information about herself. Here’s what she had to say: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Melatonin is often referred to as the “Dracula of Hormones,” because it only comes out at night. It is a hormone that helps you sleep by synchronizing your sleep cycle with the rising and setting of the sun. As the sun begins to set, your pineal gland (a pea-sized gland just above the middle of the brain) starts ramping up its production of melatonin, which helps your mind and muscles relax. Peak production occurs sometime in the middle of the night, helping you stay asleep. Starting in the early morning (around 3 to 4 a.m.), your pineal gland ramps down its melatonin production, and over the course of several hours completely shuts down production.

People who have lower than normal levels of melatonin often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. As a result, they may wake up the next day feeling tired, and they may struggle to get through the day. They may also experience anxiety or mood changes. (Melatonin is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is often deficient in people with depression.) Women may experience worsening of menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, heart palpitations, morning depression, and irregular cycles.

Melatonin is also instrumental in converting thyroxine (T4) into its active form triiodothyronine (T3), which gives the body energy and helps it generate heat. A low level of melatonin may be related to certain symptoms of hypothyroidism.

As you age, your body may produce less melatonin, which can increase the risk and severity of Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Over the years, we have done an amazing job of combating infection in developed countries through sanitization, hygiene, vaccinations, and antibiotics. The problem is that the bacteria and viruses keep popping back up stronger and more resistant to our growing arsenal of vaccines and pharmaceutical medications.

Antibacterial and antiviral agents have numerous limitations, including the following:

  • Bacteria and viruses (especially) mutate rather quickly, which can often make them resistant to the medications used to combat them.
  • Antibiotics often kill beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria, which can cause long-term health issues and impair the immune system. Likewise, antiviral medications can harm the cells of the body that antiviral medications are designed to protect.
  • Viruses often lie dormant in the body waiting until the body’s immune system is compromised only to resurface again, often in a more virulent form. For example, people who have had chicken pox as babies can develop shingles decades later when the virus emerges from its dormant state.
  • Many antiviral vaccines are effective at preventing infection from only a select few strains of the virus. For example, if you get a flu shot, it protects you against infection from only three or four strains of flu virus that medical research predicts will be the most common in a particular season.
  • Vaccines may contain substances that can be toxic to the body, further impairing the body’s natural ability to maintain health and recover from illness.

It seems as though the Friedrich Nietzsche quote “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” is true for infectious agents. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics has made harmful bacteria more virulent and resilient. At the same time, due to numerous factors, including poor diet, a more sedentary lifestyle, and increasing levels of environmental toxins, our bodies’ ability to fight infection has been compromised. As a result, we are starting to lose ground in the war against infectious agents.

Mutating bacteria and viruses

Many of our most potent antibiotics are ineffective in treating the most serious bacterial infections. Many doctors fear a post-antibiotic era in which antibiotics no longer work. Doctors are also concerned that any viruses that survive certain treatments will emerge more virulent. Many patients infected with certain microbes are already experiencing the horrors of this era. Conventional medicine practitioners, having nothing left to try in their medical bags, are beginning to feel powerless to help their patients.

Enlisting Our Bodies in the Battle: A More Effective and Enduring Approach

As practitioners of functional medicine, we at Restoration Healthcare, know a better way to combat bacterial and viral infections —  Continue reading…

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…