Meet Restore Health: the Loveland Functional Medicine Doctor You’ve Been Looking For!

Loveland functional medicine doctor

Taking control of your health is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. Functional Medicine involves healing the body as a whole – not just addressing your symptoms – to help you attain optimal wellness. Drs. James Howton and Rachel Fischer are Restore Health Center’s two top Functional Medicine physicians located in Loveland, CO. We’re conveniently located for individuals living in Loveland, Fort Collins, and Northern Colorado, however, we offer services to people living throughout Colorado and surrounding states. We provide a preventative approach to traditional medical practices. If you’re on the lookout for a Functional Medicine doctor, taking a look at Restore Health Center will be worth your time. 

Functional Medicine is relatively new. It is an area of medicine that still relies on the traditional medical practices you’re used to, including utilizing lab tests and studies, but Functional Medicine addresses the root cause of problems instead of just treating the presenting symptoms. Optimal health and wellness are our top priority. As Functional Medicine doctors in Loveland, we’re here to provide life-style based and natural solutions for your complete wellness.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is when doctors look into their patient’s histories, genetics, and environmental and lifestyle factors to see how they could influence long term health or lead to chronic disease. It focuses on treating the body as a whole organism, not just a collection of organs. It is more effective in the management and prevention of chronic diseases. 

When a patient-centered approach is used, physicians can support the healing process better. Health and illness are components that are affected by their environment. The goal of Functional Medicine is to change a person’s health from illness to overall well-being through shifting lifestyle and environmental factors.

What Do We Do At Restore Health – A Loveland Functional Medicine Doctor?

At Restore Health, we approach health challenges by addressing underlying issues first and focusing on disease prevention, not just treating symptoms with medication. We will take a close look at how your body interacts with food, environmental exposures, stress, and more. We serve patients living throughout Colorado and neighboring states, but we’re conveniently located for patients living in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Northern CO.

We offer treatments for autoimmune disease, thyroid dysfunction, gastrointestinal disorders, metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, and more. We also offer specialized services and treatment options specific to men, like GAINSWave, as well as specific treatments for women, like Geneveve.

As functional medicine physicians, we strive to offer the best that medicine has to offer, ranging from traditional medical interventions to innovative treatments like bio-identical hormone restoration, targeted nutritional supplementation, detoxing therapies, and more. 

How Do We Address Common Chronic Medical Conditions? 

We start by identifying and removing the things that push you toward disease. Then we help you fill your life with practices that create wellness to prevent disease and keep you healthy. When you work with us, we help you achieve optimal function.

At Restore Health, we believe in using food, nutritional supplements, exercise as well as meditation and stress reduction methods to address the underlying causes of your health problems. We work with you to find how best to help you achieve complete and lasting wellness. Restore Health Center is your destination for a Loveland Functional Medicine doctor. We are dedicated to helping you achieve overall wellness, identifying and removing the things that push you toward disease, and filling your life with practices that keep you healthy. Contact us today at 970-278-0900 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve the quality of life you’ve always wanted!

3 Things to Look for When Searching for a Functional Medicine Doctor Near Me

Functional Medicine doctor near me

If you’ve been searching for a “Functional Medicine doctor near me,” then you’ve come to the right place. At Restore Health Center, we are dedicated to a new model of health care that is focused on achieving optimal health rather than just treating disease. We focus on disease prevention, as well, to avoid any future health issues. We work with you to help get your body’s functions working properly to remove the things that are causing your symptoms. When choosing your Northern Colorado Functional Medicine doctor, it’s important to do your research. We’ve come up with three key things to look for when searching for a Functional Medicine doctor. 

1. What experience does the Functional Medicine doctor near me have?

Finding a Functional Medicine doctor with the appropriate experience and knowledge is important. Functional Medicine is a relatively new area of medicine, so it’s best if you can find a doctor who has been practicing it for a while. 

Our founder, Dr. James Howton, originally trained in family medicine. Over time, Dr. Howton transitioned his practice to a Functional Medicine/Regenerative Medicine model. His desire to address the root causes of problems, rather than covering up symptoms, has made him a leader and innovator in the field.

Dr. Rachel Fischer is a graduate of the University of Utah School of Medicine and is trained in both preventive and internal medicine. She received her fellowship training at the University of Washington in Seattle and is board-certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She completed her Functional Medicine training through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Prior to joining Restore Health, she practiced in Portland, Oregon, where she was named one of Portland’s “Top Docs” by the Portland Monthly.

Dr. Howton and Dr. Fischer are highly proficient in numerous forms of Functional Medicine and are dedicated to helping you live your best and healthiest life. 

2. What services does the Functional Medicine doctor near me offer?

When you are looking for the right Fort Collins Functional Medicine clinic, you should always look at the array of services they offer. In addition to lab tests and treatments, they should also offer an evaluation of your overall lifestyle. Rather than just making a diagnosis and determining which drugs will best treat a condition, Functional Medicine should look into the patient’s history and biochemistry to figure out the root cause of their condition. 

At Restore Health Center, we avail ourselves of the best that medicine has to offer, ranging from traditional medical interventions to innovative modalities, such as targeted nutritional supplementation through IV therapy, bioidentical hormone restoration, ultraviolet light therapies, detoxification, lifestyle consultations, and so much more. 

3. Is Functional Medicine right for you? 

You should also decide if Functional Medicine is right for you. There is tremendous value in modern medicine – particularly when it comes to acute injury and illness. Primary care doctors are perfect for acute illnesses and injuries. But for everything else, there is usually a lifestyle solution that can address inflammation, nutritional status, and hormonal balance. This is where Functional Medicine comes in. Functional Medicine can address the root cause of the problem rather than trying to prescribe more medications. Medications can help with issues like back pain, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and skin problems, but they cannot fix the root cause.

Functional Medicine doctors work to address the underlying causes of problems, with a wide range of treatments at their disposal. These treatments include everything that traditional medicine offers, as well as non-traditional remedies such as meditation, diet, stress reduction, exercise, and nutritional supplements. At Restore Health Center, we work intimately with you to find what works best for your body. We’re here to help provide you with natural solutions to achieve complete wellness.

Restore Health Center is your premier destination for advanced wellness services for a “Functional Medicine doctor near me.” Our team is dedicated to identifying and removing the things that push you toward disease, and to filling your life with the things that create wellness, so you can get healthy and stay healthy. Contact us today at 970-278-0900 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can improve your quality of life.

Food Allergies: Adverse Food Reactions and Allergy Evaluation with Restore Health Center

Restore Health Center

Have you ever experienced dizziness, recurrent headaches, hives, and/or a swollen or itchy tongue after eating a certain food? Do you have consistent joint pain or tummy troubles? Have you experienced bloating, constipation, gas, cramping, or nausea repeatedly after eating? These symptoms could mean that you have a food allergy sensitivity or an intolerance to certain foods.  Negative reactions to food are more common than you might think, and if you suspect that you have adverse food reactions, you might be right. Here at Restore Health Center, we offer food sensitivity and allergy testing to help you discover which foods your body reacts to poorly and help you find ways to avoid them to live a healthy, symptom-free life. Additionally, we offer guided Elimination Diets, which can often be just as — if not more — helpful.

Adverse food reactions can be broken down into three basic categories: allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. Food intolerances and sensitivities are more common than allergies. When you have a food allergy the reaction usually occurs within seconds to hours and symptoms result from your immune system increasing levels of a compound called IgE.  You might get hives, rash, or itchy feeling on your tongue or airways. This type of immune reaction has the potential to be quite severe, like with peanut allergies. When you have a food sensitivity, the reaction is still immune-mediated (by IgG and IgA) but can be slower than an IgE reaction and can occur within a few to 72 hours. That’s what makes identifying the source of these reactions so difficult! Unlike the potential danger of a food allergy, food sensitivities are not life-threatening but can lead to several uncomfortable or painful symptoms including belly pain, bloating, heartburn, headaches, joint pain, worsening skin issues like acne and eczema, as well as increased fatigue or sleep disturbances. Food intolerances are not an immune reaction and tend to result from poor digestion such as lactose intolerance because of the low production of the lactase enzyme that breaks down lactose.

Sometimes people don’t realize that they are experiencing adverse reactions to a specific food because of a delayed response and/or a reaction to multiple foods. Ongoing food reactions can also be a contributor to chronic health problems, such as digestive disturbances, chronic sinus congestion/drainage, mood swings, low energy, joint aches, and more. But this is often overlooked as a result of other health issues. Symptoms that have failed to respond to conventional medicine may often resolve by following an Elimination Diet, like the one used by the physicians at Restore Health.

Food Sensitivity Testing at Restore Health Center

Food allergy testing can be reliably helpful when you are trying to detect true food allergies. Food sensitivity testing is not always as dependable as allergy testing but it can definitely help reduce the guesswork in determining which foods your body may be struggling with. Doing a guided 21-30 day Elimination Diet is the gold standard for determining food sensitivities; however, testing takes less time and can be easier for some patients. 

At Restore Health Center, we prefer to use food sensitivity tests that examine your body’s reaction to the multiple peptides (the building blocks for protein) within specific foods that are common “offenders” such as eggs, dairy, wheat/gluten, corn, soy, and nuts. When you chew, digest and prepare/cook food many of the proteins are degraded or changed. General food sensitivity panels that test multiple foods are not examining how you react if the proteins change form. We have found that “peptide-level” tests better correlate clinically with the patient’s symptoms. 

As mentioned above, a great option for detecting food sensitivities, intolerances, or allergies is with the Institute for Functional Medicine Elimination Diet. An elimination diet removes certain foods that are known to cause uncomfortable symptoms. Then you reintroduce them one at a time no less than 21 days later while observing for symptoms. Once you have identified a food your body can’t tolerate, you can remove it from your diet to prevent any future uncomfortable symptoms. Unlike IgE allergies, foods you are only sensitive to can usually be reintroduced on a rotating basis after 9-12 months. 

During the three-week elimination diet, chronic symptoms should noticeably improve. After the three-week period, the food reintroduction process begins. You will add one food at a time back into your diet and observe if there are any negative symptoms associated with it. If a specific food continues to result in any negative symptoms, it is avoided for a longer period of time. Doing an elimination diet can seem daunting at first. At Restore Health Center, we provide patients with a comprehensive guide, weekly planner, and a shopping list to make it as easy as possible. Our health coach, Julie Michelson, can be a great resource to help patients through the whole process.

If you think you might have an adverse food reaction or sensitivity to a certain food, come to Restore Health Center for our food sensitivity testing. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with all of the tools and treatments to help you live your best and healthiest life. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about food sensitivity testing at Restore Health Center!

Top 3 Reasons to Visit Restore Health Center, Your Fort Collins Hormone Specialist

Fort Collins Hormone Specialist

Hormones are incredibly important for the overall function and health of our bodies. They are the messengers that tell other parts of our body when and how to work. When our hormones are out of balance, negative health symptoms can occur and impact:

  • Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
  • Sexual function – including libido, erectile function and vaginal dryness
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities – including heavy, painful periods
  • Perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms – including hot flashes, night sweats and weight gain
  • Reproduction
  • Energy and repair 
  • Mood

The physicians at Restore Health Center, your Fort Collins hormone specialist, can help with hormone imbalances through the use of bioidentical hormones.

Bioidentical hormones are man-made hormones but who’s chemical structure is exactly like the ones produced by our bodies, unlike synthetic hormones found in birth control pills and other hormone replacement drugs such as Premarin. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA are matched and used for the treatment of men and women who have hormones that are low or out of balance. If you are experiencing weight gain or bloating, depression or anxiety, low libido, or chronic fatigue, it might be time to get your hormones checked. Restore Health Center’s Fort Collins bioidentical hormones can help!

  1. Personalized treatment plan – Our complete hormone replacement therapy starts with a consultation with one of our medical professionals. Then we do specialized testing and analyze your hormone levels. From this testing, our physician can determine and implement a treatment plan that is personalized to you and your needs. Additionally, we take into account other factors that might be influencing your symptoms such as how you eat, exercise and sleep. We never look at your hormones in isolation and take into consideration other systems that both impact and are impacted by hormone health, including cardiovascular, metabolic, gastrointestinal and immune health. Among other recommendations, your treatment plan could include bioidentical hormone injections, subcutaneous pellets, or topical creams to help your body regain balance. 
  2. Expert doctors –  Both our doctors provide in-depth hormone evaluation and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Fischer is a 2006 graduate of the University of Utah School of Medicine and is trained in both internal medicine and preventive medicine. Dr. Howton completed his residency in Family Medicine in 1996 and practiced emergency medicine in Oklahoma until moving to Estes Park, Colorado. He has been using bioidentical hormones since the mid-1990s. With our Restore Health Center team, you are in the best hands. We have access to the latest technologies and devices, which allows us to meet the needs of our patients.
  3. Great results – We want to help you achieve your individual health goals to live your healthiest life. With everything we do, we strive to give you the best results possible. Restore Health Center, your Northern Colorado hormone replacement therapy clinic, uses only your body’s natural bioidentical hormones. We never replace hormones with synthetic chemicals. After the treatment, your hormones will be stabilized and your body will be better able to function at optimal health. 

If you are experiencing chronic fatigue, weight gain or bloating, depression or anxiety, or low libido, come see us at Restore Health Center, your Fort Collins hormone specialist. We can do a full hormone evaluation and help you bring your body back to optimal function. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how bioidentical hormone therapy can help!

Restore Health Center, Your Northern Colorado Optimal Health Center

Northern Colorado Optimal Health

Have you been looking for a way to achieve overall wellness in your life? Restore Health Center is your best option for Northern Colorado optimal health care. We use advanced Functional Medicine practices to identify what is holding you back from improving your quality of life. Finding optimal health is more than just treating symptoms. It involves identifying and treating the root causes of disease in order to correct problems but it also allows us to address areas that are functioning well in order to optimize performance. 

Restore Health Center is truly an optimal health clinic where we help you bring physiological systems back to optimal function. We think in terms of how your body works within its genetic predispositions and how it interacts with food, environmental toxins, and stress. When needed, we use conventional medications and testing. We also use food as medical therapy, combined with targeted clinical approaches. With our complete wellness approach, our goal is to identify the root causes of your symptoms and get you on a path to feeling your best. Restore Health Center is your Northern Colorado optimal health care provider, and we will work with you to identify the root causes of your health challenges to treat them at their core.

For your convenience, we are a one-stop-shop, Northern Colorado optimal health clinic that offers services for healing the mind and body.  Rather than fixating on a single group of symptoms, we look at improving the body as a whole. Our aim is to use comprehensive care that works towards one goal. As a result, our patients see better health outcomes.

At the Restore Health Center optimal health clinic, we want to help you with your thyroid dysfunction, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, and more. We also have treatments tailored specifically to men and women.

We offer total body services such as bioidentical hormone therapy, stem cell therapy, and IV nutrient therapies. We also look at adrenal issues, brain disorders, and chronic stress to see how they might be affecting your overall quality of life. People suffering from fatigue, anxiety, depression, and stress could all benefit from our services. We help you make simple changes to your lifestyle, provide your body with valuable nutrients, balance your hormones, and restore your energy levels back to normal to get you back to living your life to the fullest. Many of these issues can be improved and possibly even reversed if the underlying problems are addressed. At Restore Health Center, your Northern Colorado optimal health center, we will always look deeper than the surface symptoms to give you the best treatment possible.

Restore Health Center is your premier destination in Northern Colorado for optimal health. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with all of the tools and treatments to help you live your best life. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can get your mind and body to optimal health.

Fort Collins Female Wellness and Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Fort Collins Female Wellness

The fall colors are swirling around, and the weather is getting chilly, making October one of our favorite months of the year. This month is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And as your Fort Collins Functional Medicine providers specializing in female wellness, we are reminded of the importance of preventing, diagnosing and supporting women battling this disease. 

Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity? This is why Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so important. It’s an annual international health campaign that started in 1985 and is organized by major breast cancer charities. It takes place every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to people affected by breast cancer. It’s important to note that a significant aspect of breast cancer awareness and prevention hinges on regular visits to a physician that focuses on female wellness. 

At Restore Health, we’re proud to offer a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner to our lineup of Functional Medicine physicians. Jennifer Jones, FNP – C, joined our practice this year, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the services and expertise she provides for our patients. 

As a certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Jennifer has practiced in Colorado since 1993, focusing her work on obstetrics and gynecology. She brings to Restore Health a wealth of experience and a passion for women’s health. Her areas of interest include: menopause, bladder concerns, birth control, and health optimization over the course of a woman’s life. She and her husband Matt and four furry friends live in Windsor. She also has two adult children in Colorado. Jennifer’s practice at Restore Health focuses on well-woman exams and office-based gynecology in the context of a Functional Medicine model.

Not quite sure what a Functional Medicine model means? Let us elaborate. At Restore Health, we are dedicated to a new model of health care that is focused on achieving optimal health rather than treating disease. We approach health challenges in a systematic manner, addressing underlying issues instead of just chasing symptoms with medications. We are committed to helping you achieve your loftiest health goals through our in-depth laboratory evaluations and cutting-edge therapies – all designed to minimize medications and help your body restore itself. This remains true within the context of Fort Collins female wellness, as well. 

The Functional health practitioners at Restore Health, including Jennifer, avail themselves to the best that medicine has to offer, ranging from traditional medical interventions to innovative modalities, such as bio-identical hormone restoration (including sex hormones, thyroid, adrenals and more), targeted nutritional supplementation (including intravenous nutrients), detoxification, oxidative therapies, and overall female wellness. However, when it comes to your health, our success depends on your active participation. Among our innovative offerings related to Breast Cancer we offer the following: 

  1. Hormone and health optimization to decrease risk. 
  2. Cost-effective genetic screening. 
  3. Nutritional assessments and optimization to help decrease DNA damage. 
  4. Early diagnosis using tools such as 3-D mammography with lower radiation and compression, breast MRIs, and non-traditional imaging such as Thermography. 
  5. Physical exams by compassionate and open-minded providers that will respect your belief and work within your comfort levels.
  6. Integrative support for those battling Breast Cancer with tools such as IV vitamin C.

Let us provide you with the expertise and tools necessary to achieve your health goals by making an appointment with Jennifer at Restore Health, your Fort Collins female wellness center, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Schedule a consultation today by calling us at 970-278-0900 or by visiting us online at

Six Suggestions for Better Sleep From Your Top Functional Medicine Doctor in Fort Collins

Functional Medicine Doctor Fort Collins

We all know just how important a good night’s sleep is. Without proper rest, our bodies just can’t function the way they’re supposed to. And if you’ve ever had a poor night of rest, you know exactly what we’re talking about. From moodiness to fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, weight gain, and even depression, symptoms of ongoing sleep loss are not pleasant, nor are they sustainable. As your Functional Medicine doctor in Fort Collins, we want to make sure that you’re getting the rest your body needs to truly thrive. 

The amount and quality of sleep we get on a regular basis plays a crucial role in our overall health. According to one recent study outlined by The Chalkboard, one partial night’s sleep deprivation can be linked to insulin resistance in otherwise healthy people, which can pave the way for Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Another study by Harvard Medical School links lack of sleep to heart disease and hypertension. “Studies have found that a single night of inadequate sleep in people who have existing hypertension can cause elevated blood pressure throughout the following day. This effect may begin to explain the correlation between poor sleep and cardiovascular disease and stroke. For example, one study found that sleeping too little (less than six hours) or too much (more than nine hours) increased the risk of coronary heart disease in women.”

And what’s worse is that an estimated 40 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. So what should we do to make sure we’re getting enough quality sleep? We’re glad you asked. Here are five suggestions for better sleep, from your Northern Colorado Functional Medicine doctors of choice at Restore Health Center. 

  1. Stick to a set sleep schedule – Consistency is important when it comes to establishing healthy sleeping habits. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day creates a rhythm for your body and helps to regulate your body’s clock, so that you can fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.  

  2. Make your room a peaceful haven –  When it comes to getting optimal sleep, it’s important to set up your sleeping quarters carefully and intentionally, with restfulness in mind. Make the room a comfortable temperature for sleep, keep your bedroom dark or use eyeshades, keep it as quiet as possible, and make sure that your bedroom is only used for sleep or romance. It’s also advised to not keep a television in your room, as the bright, artificial light can disrupt brain activity and alter sleep hormones like melatonin.

  3. Get enough sunlight during the day – As Dr. Mark Hyman suggests in his blog, aim for at least 20 minutes of sunshine every day. This triggers your brain to release chemicals that regulate sleep cycles and is often why children who play outside during the day are more apt to fall asleep at night.  Morning sunlight is also preferred.

  4. Decrease your blue light exposure – the light emitted from your electronic devices — at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, exposure to any light in the evening and night time can suppress melatonin production — the hormone that helps you sleep. However, blue light suppresses melatonin production almost twice as long as other light wavelengths. To reduce blue light exposure, make sure your phone, computer or tablet are in night mode or download free software to reduce blue light, such as f.lux.

  5. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual – To make sure that your body is primed for bed, it’s important to create a relaxing bedtime ritual. This may consist of a bath, reading a book, journaling, meditating, stretching, or deep breathing. It’s also best to avoid activities such as watching TV, using the internet, or answering emails for two hours before bed.

  6. Other sleep tricks that we commonly use at Restore Health include the following: Optimizing progesterone and melatonin levels, lowering evening cortisol, optimizing levels of calming amino-acids such as taurine and glycine, balancing neuro-transmitters like serotonin and gaba, retraining circadian rhythms and more.

If you’ve tried everything and are still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to contact your top Functional Medicine doctors in Fort Collins at Restore Health Center. We will investigate the root causes of your sleep issues and will develop an individualized approach based on your biochemistry. Our team is dedicated to helping you develop an unparalleled and rejuvenating sleep experience. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can improve your quality of life. 

Traditional Medicine vs. Functional Medicine Colorado

Functional Medicine Colorado

At Restore Health Center, we are dedicated to a new model of health care that is focused on achieving optimal health rather than just treating disease. This is the crux of our Functional Medicine Colorado practice. We choose to approach health challenges in a systematic manner, addressing the underlying issues and looking at the body’s systems, rather than merely chasing symptoms with medications. And we are proactive – not just reactive – as we also focus on disease prevention. 

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is a relatively new area of medicine that relies on the traditional tenets of science-based medicine( including lab-based analysis, tests, and studies), but instead of just treating the presenting issue, Functional medical practitioners work to address the underlying causes of problems with a wide range of treatments at their disposal. These treatments include everything that traditional medicine offers, as well as non-traditional remedies such as diet, meditation, stress reduction, exercise, and oftentimes nutritional supplements and herbal treatments, all based on the studies doctors have come to rely on. We work intimately with you to find what works best for your body and needs. Health and wellness is your top priority, and as your Functional Medicine Colorado providers, we’re here to help provide you with natural solutions for your complete wellness.

Functional Medicine vs. Traditional Medicine

Functional Medicine differs from more traditional medicine in that traditional medicine often has a focus on the symptoms and “turning those symptoms off.” As explained by the Morrison Center, the conventional medicine model is exceptional at addressing acute and urgent medical conditions like heart attacks and broken bones. However, the philosophy that guides the Functional Medicine approach to health shines particularly in its approach to chronic symptoms. “When a patient has experienced long-lasting or recurring symptoms, conventional medicine does not tend to address the underlying cause. The focus is instead on the symptoms, and treatment is often geared toward turning those symptoms off.” 

As Functional Medicine doctors at Restore Health Loveland, we avail ourselves to the best that medicine has to offer, ranging from traditional medical interventions to innovative modalities such as bioidentical hormone restoration (including sex hormones, thyroid and more), targeted nutritional supplementation (including intravenous nutrients), detoxification, oxidative therapies, and so much more. Despite the fact that to many people, being healthy is defined as not being diagnosed with an ailment or other condition that compromises your ability to live your life, we believe in approaching your life and health in a more elevated sense. 

Your loftiest health goals and your loftiest life are there for the taking. Let us help you achieve it. Your Functional Medicine Colorado doctors, Dr. James Howton and Dr. Rachel Fischer, are highly proficient in numerous forms of Functional Medicine and are dedicated to helping you live your best life, happily. We encourage you to schedule a consultation at Restore Health Center today by calling us at 970-278-0900 or by visiting us online at

Functional Medicine Fort Collins Physicians Answer Your Questions About the Elimination Diet

Functional Medicine Fort Collins Elimination Diet

Have you been advised to start on an elimination diet? If so, this is most likely because you’ve noticed that your body does not properly tolerate some foods. Elimination diets can help identify food intolerances, sensitivities, and allergies. But before you jump headfirst into an elimination diet, your Functional Medicine Fort Collins physicians at Restore Health Center want to make sure that you’re approaching your elimination in a healthful way.

You may be dealing with a food intolerance if you’ve ever dealt with nausea, bloating, headache, or diarrhea after eating certain foods. This is a digestive problem that occurs after a certain food is eaten. More severe cases of food intolerance are food allergies. This is an unpleasant or even dangerous immune system reaction after a certain food is eaten. Symptoms of food allergies can include digestive problems, hives, or swollen airways. Severe reactions can even be life-threatening. 

According to, food intolerances and sensitivities are extremely common. In fact, it’s estimated that anywhere from 2% to 20% of people worldwide may suffer from food intolerance. 

An elimination diet is a short-term diet that helps identify foods that your body can’t tolerate very well so that you can eliminate them from your diet. This involves removing certain foods if they’re known to cause uncomfortable symptoms and then reintroducing them at a later time while testing for symptoms. There is an array of types of elimination diets, but they all revolve around eating and removing specific types of foods. However, it’s important to note that if you have a known or suspected food allergy, then it’s important to try an elimination diet only under the supervision of a medical professional. 

If you’ve been looking for relief from uncomfortable symptoms that you believe to be food-related, an elimination diet might be exactly what you’re looking for. As stated by the Cleveland Clinic, it’s important to identify whether you have a food intolerance and not just diagnose yourself. If you’re dealing with symptoms that can’t be explained, especially GI issues, that’s when it’s time to get evaluated.  Whether it’s an allergy test or elimination diet, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue. 

“You have to be very specific,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, emphasizes in the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials blog. “If you do have a food sensitivity, it’s about looking at which foods you have to limit, but it doesn’t mean you have to give them up completely.”

You may also be able to try digestive aids or alternatives to help with certain GI symptoms — such as lactose-free dairy products, milk alternatives like soy milk, or lactase supplements. It may take some time to figure out, but you’ll be so much happier and feel so much better when you know what foods your body can and cannot tolerate. 

There are a number of very common foods that cause food intolerance and food allergies, including:

  • Lactose
  • Gluten (wheat, rye, and barley)
  • Casein (protein in milk products)
  • Eggs
  • Soy products
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Peanuts or tree nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts)
  • Sulfites (compounds in red wine and beer)
  • Food additives like MSG

If you’re curious about potential food intolerances or food allergies that you may be suffering from, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with the Fort Collins Functional Medicine physicians at Restore Health Center today by calling us at 970-278-0900 or by visiting us online at Not only can we help establish an elimination diet that would be best for your particular symptoms, but we also have a wide variety of tests that might help pinpoint your exact allergies and intolerances. Contact us today. 

Why Are Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods Important? Your Questions Answered by Our Colorado Functional Medicine Specialists

Colorado Functional Medicine

At Restore Health Center Loveland, your Colorado Functional Medicine specialists, we are dedicated to a new model of health care that is focused on achieving optimal health, rather than treating disease. We look at the body’s systems rather than just symptoms. This largely includes what foods we’re putting into our body’s systems and the effects that those foods have on our health. 

When it comes to eating foods that are instrumental in creating health and wellness, one of the most important considerations is the inclusion of probiotic and prebiotic foods in your diet. According to Medical News Today, “Prebiotics and probiotics both support the body in building and maintaining a healthy colony of bacteria and other microorganisms, which supports the gut and aids in digestion. These food components help promote beneficial bacteria by providing food and creating an environment where microorganisms can flourish.” 

This environment where microorganisms can flourish is also called our microbiome. As the Mayo Clinic describes it, “the lining of your gut, like every surface of your body, is covered in microscopic creatures, mostly bacteria. These organisms create a micro-ecosystem called the microbiome. And though we don’t really notice it’s there, it plays an oversized role in your health and can even affect your mood and behavior.”

Check out our previous blog post talking to your Fort Collins GI Doctor about eating for your microbiome for tips on what foods to eat. But one of the most important ways to eat for your microbiome is by including prebiotic and probiotic foods in your diet. The key to a healthy microbiome is creating a balance between all the different species of beneficial bacteria found in the gut. To maintain this balance, we must help the microbes already living thereby giving them the food they need (prebiotics) and adding living microbes directly to your system (probiotics).  As a matter of fact, the better the ratio of beneficial bacteria present, the less likely the “non-beneficial” bacteria, fungi and yeast are to overgrow–potentially creating or contributing to poor health.

Prebiotics are mostly present in fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, and especially those that contain complex carbohydrates. As the Mayo Clinic explains, “These carbs aren’t digestible by your body, so they pass through the digestive system to become food for bacteria and other microbes.” 

Probiotics, on the other hand, contain live organisms that add directly to the population of healthy microbes already living in your microbiome. You can make sure you’re getting enough probiotics with foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, or kombucha, or with supplements. Keep in mind, that every food or spice creates its own unique probiotic when fermented, so variety is key. If you’re not sure what type of supplements to take or foods to eat to ensure you’re getting enough quality probiotics, you can ask the Functional Medicine specialists at Restore Health. 

All in all, the ecosystem in your gut must be healthy for you to be healthy. Normalizing gut function and flora through improved diet, increased fiber intake, daily probiotic supplementation, enzyme therapy, the use of nutrients that repair the gut lining, and the direct treatment of bad bugs in the gut with herbs or medications can be remarkable. Our patients find relief from allergies, acne, arthritis, headaches, autoimmune disease, depression, ADD/ADHD, and more – simply by restoring their delicate gut system.

Please call your Colorado Functional Medicine specialists at Restore Health at 970-278-0900 or visit us online at, so that we can help restore the symbiotic relationship between you and your gut.