Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Explained By the Colorado Functional Medicine Doctors at Restore Health

Colorado Functional Medicine

Have you been having issues with gluten and you’re not sure whether you have celiac disease? The Colorado functional medicine doctors at Restore Health Center are here to help you figure it out Celiac disease is best diagnosed with an intestinal biopsy or blood test, however determining intolerances and sensitivities can be more complicated. Our approach is to obtain a thorough history, then guide you through an approach that will not only help you figure out food reactions, but put you on the path to overall improved gut health. Some of the tools we use include tests for food sensitivities and allergies, plus evidence-based elimination diets. A gluten sensitivity is not as serious as celiac disease, but it can lead to several uncomfortable or painful symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, skin issues and more.

What Is Gluten and What are Some of its Effects in the Digestive Tract? 

Glutens are proteins found in barley, wheat and rye. The proteins are like glue that helps food maintain their shape. Wheat, barley and rye contain proteins that are not efficiently broken down by digestive enzymes, which is one reason why some people are sensitive or allergic. For a number of reasons, gluten can negatively impact the lining of the gut, leading to “leaky gut,” in individuals with and without celiac disease. After digesting gluten your body will release a called zonulin. Zonulin modulates the permeability of tight junctions between cells of the wall of the digestive tract. Particles within the intestine (like incompletely broken down foods, bacteria and bacterial byproducts) will “leak” into the bloodstream. This results in an immune response that can create systemic inflammation. In genetically susceptible individuals, this may even induce autoimmunity. 

What Is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) occurs when symptoms in the intestines and extraintestinal areas are triggered by foods containing gluten. You might have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity if a wheat allergy or celiac disease have been ruled out. Doctors think that a gluten sensitivity could relate to components other than gluten. Symptoms of NCGS are similar to celiac disease, with gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms. The most common symptoms of NCGS are similar to irritable bowel syndrome, which is why it can be difficult to diagnose.

Elimination Diet Recommended By Colorado Functional Medicine Doctors

If you have noticed that you have a negative reaction after eating gluten, try an elimination diet and see how you feel without it. Additionally, when you remove gluten from your diet you make room for more nourishing foods like vegetables, protein and healthy fats. You might start noticing a difference in how your body feels, your mood, skin and digestion. After removing gluten from your diet for at least 21 days, you can reintroduce it and observe your symptoms. If you still notice that you can’t tolerate it, you can remove it for good and prevent any future symptoms. 

If you would like to get tested for gluten sensitivity or allergy or discuss any gastrointestinal symptoms that you can’t seem to figure out, contact us at Restore Health Center. We’re here to help you live your healthiest life!

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.

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.