Restoration Healthcare Blog

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 

To most, it’s no secret that we live in a toxic environment of our own creation. Toxins are in the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the homes we live in, the schools where we send our children, and our workplaces. There’s no escaping them.

Fortunately, our bodies have mechanisms in place to detox — to filter out and eliminate — these toxins. The bad news is, we may ingest such a high quantity of toxins that these mechanisms can’t keep up. In other words, we have more toxins coming in than going out. And if you’re wondering how this can happen, there are essentially three reasons:

  1. Overexposure to toxins
  2. Impaired ability to detox
  3. Combination of overexposure to toxins and an impaired ability to detox

Here at Restoration Healthcare, we have a number of diagnostic and treatment protocols in place to test for toxins and to enhance the body’s detox pathways. Although our detox protocol is individualized to each patient’s unique needs and plan of care, it almost always involves the use of one or more binders — chemical compounds to which toxins stick, making it easier for the body to eliminate them.

Understanding the Four Phases of Detox

To understand the role that binders play in the detox process, it helps to have a basic understanding of the four phases of detoxification: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Probiotics get a lot of press coverage — and rightfully so. We couldn’t live without the healthy bacteria, yeasts, and other microorganisms that inhabit our guts. They break down and extract nutrients from the food we eat; strengthen our immune system; and supply essential vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin K.

Probiotics also help us maintain a healthy weight; support brain and nervous system health and function; metabolize medications and other chemical substances; and keep populations of unhealthy (pathogenic) microorganisms in check.

Unfortunately, the delicate balance of microorganisms in the gut is disturbed by a variety of factors, including the Western diet (low in fiber and nutrients, high in sugar and processed foods), environmental toxins, and the overuse of antibiotics and certain hygiene products that kill off microbes (good and bad) indiscriminately. This imbalance of intestinal microbiota, technically referred to as dysbiosis, often triggers chronic inflammation and metabolic dysfunction.

What gets much less press coverage than probiotics are prebiotics — the fiber we consume but can’t digest — which promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in our gut. Beneficial bacteria in the colon ferment soluble prebiotic fibers to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which have been identified as powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. SCFAs, including acetate, butyrate, and propionate play an important role in maintaining a healthy gut by improving the integrity of the gut barrier, thereby preventing leaky gut. SCFAs, especially butyrate, also play an important role in modulating the immune response.

Thankfully, prebiotics are beginning to attract more attention. While the medical community has long recognized the health benefits of a high-fiber diet, it is just beginning to recognize the importance of fiber in restoring and maintaining a diverse and thriving community of healthy microorganisms.

As a result, our colleagues on the allopathic side of healthcare are starting to realize that taking probiotics isn’t enough. We need to feed those microorganisms, too, and fiber is their food of choice.

Feeding Microorganisms in Our Gut

You’ve probably heard the adage, “You are what you eat,” but in many ways you are what your microorganisms eat. If you’re feeding your microorganisms the Standard American Diet (SAD) — lots of fried and processed foods, sugar, and refined grains, and little in the way of veggies, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fruit — then you’re nurturing the microorganisms that make you sick.

In medical terms, you’re creating an environment that’s vulnerable to small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) — a population explosion of pathogenic microbes. SIBO can cause a host of symptoms, including: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Thinking for a moment about sweating out your toxins, what do Turkish baths, Aboriginal sweat lodges, Scandinavian saunas, and hot yoga all have in common? That’s right — they all make you hot and sweaty. But after you shower, you feel refreshed, calm, alert, and energized all at the same time. Why? Maybe because sweating is one way your body detoxifies.

It’s fact that your liver, kidneys, colon, and lymphatic system dedicate their entire existence to filtering and eliminating toxins from your system, but your skin plays an important role in your body’s internal clean-up operations, too.

For thousands of years, people from cultures around the world have been sweating for good health and fitness — most of them not even understanding why they felt so much better after a good sweat. Now, with our Spring ’21 Detox starting in just a few short weeks (specifically on June 1st), you have the opportunity to join in this healthy tradition and reap the benefits of sweating out your toxins. And, thanks to this post, you’ll have a better understanding and appreciation of the role that sweating plays in your health.

Photo © by Hans Reniers on Unsplash

Note that sweating is an option for Spring ’21 Detox participants. Our medically supervised detox program targets the health and function of all your body’s detox pathways. But you may want to work up a sweat a few times during your 14-day detox to eliminate toxins that sneak past your primary detox pathways.

Getting Your Skin in the Game

Skin has been described as the body’s single largest organ, and it is truly amazing. It helps to regulate our body temperature, defends us from dangerous bacteria and other pathogens, keeps our internal organs and bodily fluids from spilling out and causing a huge mess, cushions any blunt force, and, with the help of our sweat glands, plays a supporting role in eliminating toxins.

Unfortunately, and unjustifiably, sweat has gotten a bad rap — so bad that many of us use  Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

A lost ability to smell or a change in the way odors are perceived is called olfactory dysfunction (OD), which also significantly impacts the ability to taste. Reduction in the sense of smell is called hyposmia, and a total inability to smell is called anosmia. A complete inability to taste anything is called ageusia, which is rare.

Traditional treatment for olfactory dysfunction often focuses on receptors in the sinuses or on the tongue. In other cases, it involves olfactory retraining — which involves sniffing different scents daily to restore the pathways to the brain. You can think of olfactory retraining as physical therapy for restoring function to the nerves that carry signals from the olfactory receptors to the brain.

Unfortunately, these treatments don’t work for COVID-19-related olfactory dysfunction because the problem isn’t with the receptors themselves or the pathway that carries sensory information to the brain. The problem is found in the brain, so it makes sense that treatment needs to focus on diagnosing and treating issues associated with the brain.

(Above: Original image © Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator)

Bottom line? It’s not so much about treating taste and smell as it is about finding the underlying causes and treating them.

Tracking COVID-19’s Impact on Taste and Smell

The virus named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes, named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), affects everyone differently. At one extreme are patients who have no symptoms. In the middle, according to the Journal of Internal Medicine, about 80 percent of people infected with the virus have a mild reaction, and most recover within two weeks. At the other extreme are those who have a severe response and take about three to six weeks to recover. Some of these patients require hospitalization. Mortality rates vary greatly around the world, with the United States experiencing a case fatality rate of a little more than 2 percent, meaning two out of every 100 confirmed cases may result in death.

Approximately 10 percent of patients are long haulers, meaning their symptoms linger for months after they no longer test positive for the infection. The most common symptoms are cough, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, headaches, muscle aches, diarrhea, brain fog, and fatigue.

In addition, nearly 86 percent of COVID-19 patients lose their ability to smell and taste totally or to some degree, with nearly 95 percent of those patients recovering these senses within six months of having the illness.

Exploring the Causes of Olfactory Dysfunction

Olfactory dysfunction can usually be traced back to one of the following common causes: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

This year, as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, a spring detox may be just what you need to boost your Restoration Healthcare plan of care. And if that sounds appealing to you, you’re in luck, because our 14-day Spring 2021 Detox Program, which is open to all Restoration Healthcare patients, starts right after Memorial Day, on the first of June.

To survive and thrive in this post-COVID world, you need an immune system that’s performing better than ever. Our gentle, medically supervised detox eliminates many substances that can make the immune system overreactive. At the same time, when done properly, detoxing supports gut health, which plays a significant role in the body’s immune response.

Think of Our Spring 2021 Detox as Spring Cleaning for Your Body

Spring cleaning is an annual ritual that began centuries ago. Every year at this time, people from around the world declutter and deep-clean their entire homes from top to bottom, inside and out. We open our windows to greet the sunshine and fresh air and scour our homes to eliminate the dirt, dust, and cobwebs that have accumulated over the winter months.

Now is also a good time to treat your body to an annual spring cleaning. Just as your home gathers dust and becomes cluttered over the course of a year, toxins accumulate in your body over time. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), more than 80,000 known chemicals in our environment threaten our health. They’re in our food, water, and air and in seemingly harmless products — everything from cleaning products to medications and cosmetics.

Our bodies are equipped to filter out and eliminate most toxins. In fact, several internal organs are dedicated to performing this invaluable service — the kidneys, liver, and intestines, to name the key players. However, our environment has become so toxic, that our bodies often can’t keep up. As a result, toxins accumulate and start to degrade our health.

Symptoms of Chronic Toxicity

People who suffer from chronic toxicity are often totally unaware of it until they begin to experience symptoms, such as the following: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Functional medicine practitioners like those here at Restoration Healthcare often advise patients, “You can pay the farmer now or pay the pharmacy later.” That’s because the human body evolved over millions of years, primarily in an environment where safe, nutritious foods were plentiful, and the soil was rich in organic matter and biodiversity. Today however, industrial agriculture —also known as intensive farming — is killing us.

In an effort to maximize yields of both crop plants and animals, modern farming practices have depleted and poisoned the soil and reduced its ability to sequester carbon dioxide — one of the primary greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and climate change.

According to GRAIN.org, the current global food system “is responsible for around half of all human-produced greenhouse gas emissions,” after you factor in emissions from agricultural production; land use change and deforestation; processing, transportation, packing, and retail; waste; and non-food-related emissions. As if that isn’t bad enough, pesticides and other chemicals used in modern agriculture now make their way into our food supply, threatening our health. The most widely used pesticide, glyphosate, has been linked to cancer, liver and kidney damage, reproductive and developmental issues, and disruption of the gut microbiome, which alone can cause a wide range of serious and chronic illnesses.

And that’s not all. Due to poor agricultural practices, soil on most farmland isn’t as rich in nutrients as it once was. As a result, the foods we consume aren’t as nutritious as they once were. It gets worse. By some estimates, the depletion of nutrients and biodiversity in much of our existing farmland is becoming so bad that in 50 years we may not have enough arable soil to feed the world’s population.

Fortunately, we don’t need to dig very deep to find the solution — the solution is in the soil.

Regenerative Agriculture to the Rescue!

Regenerative agriculture is a term used to describe  Continue reading…

By: Rebecca Maas Restoration Healthcare’s Health Coach

What do beets, spinach, okra, tofu, raspberries, and navy beans all have in common? Two things — they’re all considered healthy foods, and they’re all high in oxalates (also known as oxalic acid).

Oxalic acid is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in plants. Consumed in small amounts, it’s harmless. But ingest too much and you may end up with a bad case of kidney stones, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, or any of a number of other ailments.

The problem is that oxalates bind to minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, forming crystals that can build up in organs and tissues throughout the body. Consumed in moderation, oxalates are flushed from the body as waste products. However, when intake exceeds the body’s ability to eliminate them, they become a threat to your health.

When you’re working toward addressing chronic health issues and adopting a healthy diet is part of your plan of care, keep in mind that even some healthy foods can be unhealthy when consumed in excess. Spinach and almonds are two prime examples. Each  have such a stellar reputation as healthy foods, you might think they hired the top PR firm in the country to mold and promote their reputations. What could possibly be unhealthy about a spinach salad or a glass of almond milk?

Sadly, neither of these health foods lives entirely up to the hype. Spinach is loaded with iron and even contains a decent amount of protein, but it’s high in oxalates. Almonds are packed with fiber, protein, healthy fat, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium, but like spinach, they’re high in oxalates.

In this post, we dig into the potential health issues related to oxalates and explain how to reduce your oxalate load.

Recognizing the Symptoms of High Oxalates

If you research oxalates, you’ll find many articles associating oxalic acid with kidney stones, but oxalic acid crystals can form in tissues and joints throughout the body and cause a wide range of health issues, including the following: Continue reading…