Restoration Healthcare Blog

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 

Toxins are everywhere — in the food we eat, the beverages we drink, the air we breathe, the homes we live in, the places we work, and many of the products we use and consume. There’s no escaping them. They come from all sectors of the economy — manufacturing, technology, agriculture, construction, transportation, energy — even Mother Nature contributes.

Modern development has certainly improved our quality of life in some ways, but this progress has come at a price. Our daily environments, where we live, work, and play, can become so toxic that they overwhelm our bodies’ natural ability to detox. And when that happens, we become ill, often in subtle ways that are difficult to diagnose and trace back to any specific cause.

When exposure to environmental toxins causes chronic health problems, we categorize these problems as Environmentally Acquired Illness (EAI). Unhealthy indoor air and persistent bacterial, viral, and fungal infections are believed to be the two primary causes of EAIs. They’re like a one-two punch — increasing our exposure to toxins and degrading our bodies’ ability to get rid of them.

Symptoms of Environmentally Acquired Illness

Long-term exposure to environmental toxins and irritants can interfere with normal bodily functions, negatively impacting everything from digestion and breathing to cognitive function. Some of the symptoms of EAIs include: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Now that Orange County has moved down and into “Red” territory on the Covid Tier Assignment Scale and most non-essential businesses are reopening with limited indoor capacity — with the less-restrictive “Orange” tier expected to be announced before the first of April — it’s time to consider if you’re on track with your Restoration Healthcare plan of care. If you haven’t had a chance to review your plan of care as of late, you’ll find a copy in your OnPatient Portal account.

Whether you’re a patient of our Southern California functional medicine practice or you see a physician connected with another healthcare practice, we offer this suggestion:

Make sure your plan of care considers the role of prescribed therapies, medicines, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can boost immune function, increase energy levels, and help manage a variety of chronic health conditions. And keep in mind that we can deliver these therapies and medicines faster and more effectively through an IV drip that is medically supervised and offered in the comfort of our clinic.

Three Ways to Schedule IV Appointments

Scheduling IV appointments is as easy as calling our front desk during business hours (949-535-2322) and asking for your preferred time. Better yet — asking for your next four to eight appointments ensures your spots are reserved, your medicine and drips are on hand, and that we’re properly staffed to serve you in the most supportive way possible.

Other ways to schedule IV appointments include: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the headlines, and for good reason — it has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, this single illness has drawn attention away from many other serious health issues, among them being colorectal (colon) cancer.

And, since March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we thought we’d pass on some information about the current status of the battle to curtail this disease. As might be expected, colon cancer diagnoses and treatments declined significantly over the past year. The number of colonoscopies alone dropped by 90 percent. At the same time, the number of people developing colon cancer before the age of 50 continues to rise, following a trend that started in the early 1990s.

As the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we need to resist the tendency to neglect other aspects of our health. In this post, we shift focus to gut health — specifically what colorectal cancer is, why screenings are important, and who should be screened and when.

What Colorectal Cancer Is

Colorectal cancer (commonly called colon cancer) is the abnormal and uncontrolled growth and spread of cells in the body’s large intestine (colon) and rectum, as shown below. Over time, polyps (small clumps of cells) commonly form on the inside lining of the colon. Most polyps are harmless, but some can become cancerous. Colorectal cancer is often fatal when discovered too late.

Common Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Symptoms of colorectal cancer include the following: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Dr. Walid Faraj is a board-certified family physician and a holistic medicine practitioner who specializes in Integrative Functional Medicine here at Restoration Healthcare. The journey that led to his embrace of functional medicine started back in 2001 during his family medicine residency at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Calif.

It was at that time that Dr. Faraj’s own father was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and once it was confirmed that he suffered a progressive neurodegenerative disease, specialists pretty much threw in the towel. Initiating no plan of treatment, doctors gave his father a walker, an appointment for physical therapy, an antidepressant, and a suggestion that he drink Ensure.

Upon questioning, his father’s specialists shrugged their shoulders and told his son that nothing else could be done.

Helplessness led to frustration, and soon Dr. Faraj set off on a 19-year quest to find more effective treatments for chronic and often debilitating medical conditions. Following his residency, he worked in a Native American health clinic in Northern California, experiencing the healing power of a sweat lodge and the healing wisdom described by tribal elders. He came to believe that a sense of community and spiritual faith could help in the treatment plans of many health conditions.

Further training allowed him to become board certified in integrative holistic medicine, and for the past nine years, he has applied these integrative modalities to help his patients optimize their well-being, practicing a wellness model of care.

As a physician at Restoration Healthcare, Dr. Faraj’s emphasis is on supporting the immune system, which we know to be linked to nearly all chronic health conditions. And, since 70 percent of our immune is in our digestive system, Dr. Faraj believes that many illnesses begin in the gut. As a result, he puts much of his emphasis on the choices we all get to make — particularly the power of food and as you’ll see below, the value of intermittent fasting.

We asked Dr. Faraj to elaborate on his career and share a few details of his life. Here is what he told us:

Restoration Healthcare: As a physician, what is it that you do at Restoration Healthcare?

Dr. Walid Faraj: In five words — provide integrative and holistic healthcare. But it’s much more than that. I suppose I pride myself in connecting with patients to build trust so that the doctor/patient relationship can thrive and become a two-way street. My area of emphasis is helping support the immune system because I believe there is an immune system component in all chronic conditions. Being a family medicine provider, I see patients spanning all age groups and varying levels of wellness. This ranges from patients who want to prevent illness and optimize wellness, to those who want to reverse illness and improve quality of life. Like all of us do at Restoration Healthcare, I work together with my patients to customize a sustainable plan of care.

RH: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

Dr. Faraj: I’ll tell you four things: 1. I’m  Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

The middle of winter may seem like an odd time to write about tick-borne Lyme disease, but here in Southern California, tick season is year-round. In fact, for those already infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, there is no off-season. Likewise, Lyme research continues unabated throughout the year, increasing our knowledge and insight into this elusive, tenacious, and often devastating disease.

In this post, we review the latest Lyme disease research, including key factors that determine treatment effectiveness, as well as genetic variations that make Lyme harder to treat. We’ll also bring you up to date on the identification of a protein that may protect against Lyme.

(Image by Erik Karits, used with permission via Unsplash)

Does a Certain Protein Protect Against Lyme Disease?

Why Lyme symptoms and symptom severity differ among patients remains a mystery, but one explanation could be variations in the amount of a certain protein the body produces. In a recent article published in PLOS Pathogens, Yale University researchers report the discovery of a protein that helps protect hosts from the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

When exposed to the bacterium, the protein, Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein 1 (PGLYRP1), triggers an immune system response against the bacterium. The researchers exposed mice with and without PGLYRP1 to the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. Mice without the protein showed signs of immune system dysfunction and had much higher levels of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.

Stimulating the ability of people to make more of this protein could help fight infection,” wrote Yale’s Erol Fikrig, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases) and of microbial pathogenesis and co-corresponding author of the study.

Fikrig and his colleagues are also investigating whether people with higher levels of  Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Have you ever shown up totally unprepared for a business meeting or a class? Perhaps the meeting coordinator failed to let you know what the meeting was going to be about, giving you no opportunity to prepare questions or come up with ideas. Or maybe you didn’t complete the assignment for a class and couldn’t answer the instructor’s questions or participate in the class discussion. The experience is agonizing, and you probably didn’t get as much out of it as you would have if you had known the benefits of preparing in advance.

Here at Restoration Healthcare, a functional medicine practice in Irvine, we collaborate closely with our patients to optimize the time we spend together. To get the most out of your healthcare appointments, we strongly encourage you to prepare for each one, so we can address all your questions and concerns as effectively and efficiently as possible. We also want you to be aware of our office policies regarding COVID, so we can protect you, our staff, and our other patients from infection.

In this post, we let you know specifically what you can do to help us make your telemedicine and clinic visits as helpful as possible.

Preparing for Your Appointment and Asking Questions

The best appointments start and end with your questions. To help us address all your health issues and concerns, please follow these tips to prepare for your appointment:

  • Sign into your OnPatient Portal account at least two business days prior to your appointment to do the following: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

The year 2021 is just around the corner — with little fond farewell for 2020 — and that means your health insurance provider is about to reset your deductible. And what, exactly, does “reset your deductible” mean? That’s just one of things we’re going to cover in this post.

Suppose you have a health insurance plan with a $3,500 deductible. You have to spend $3,500 out of pocket on medical expenses before your plan would start to help you cover any future medical expenses. If you already paid $3,500 in 2020, your deductible is zero ($0), and your health insurance provider has to pay up whenever you are charged for a medical expense covered by that plan. (Of course, how much of the bill your insurance company is required to pay varies according to the plan you have.)

However, on New Year’s Day 2021, or whenever your health insurance plan is set to renew, your deductible is reset to our arbitrary $3,500 figure, and you have to start from scratch to cover that deductible before your insurance company is required to pay any of your medical costs.

Resetting your deductible also means:

  • If you’ve already met your deductible for 2020, and you need any healthcare services or products that your insurance plan covers partially or in full (such as an expensive prescription), you’d be wise to buy it before midnight on Dec. 31.
  • You should start thinking about setting aside some money to cover your 2021 deductible, especially if you have a high-deductible health insurance plan combined with a health savings account (HSA).

Pro Tip: Speak with your accountant or financial advisor to learn how to use your HSA to maximize your tax savings. And if you’re unfamiliar with HSAs, read Offset Medical Costs with a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account here on the Restoration Healthcare blog.

Getting to Know Your Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance plans are generally structured as a cost-sharing model, meaning you and your health insurance company share the costs of your medical care. These cost-sharing models typically take one of the following forms: Continue reading…