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.

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

Factors That Affect Thyroid Function: An Overview With the Top Functional Medicine Specialist Fort Collins Has to Offer

Thyroid Specialist Fort Collins

Have you ever noticed that you’re frequently tired, have cold hands, or have excess body fat? If so, you may be suffering from a thyroid disorder. If this is the case, then you’ll want to visit the top functional medicine specialist Fort Collins has to offer.  We suggest that you consider getting a functional medicine approach to a thyroid evaluation. And while these are only a few of the symptoms associated with thyroid disorder, they are some of the more common symptoms.

According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and one woman in eight will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime. Those statistics are fairly staggering.

Not even sure what or where your thyroid is? That’s okay. It’s our job to keep you informed on such things. The thyroid gland is located in the middle of the lower neck and is relatively small but crucial to a healthy and thriving body.

The thyroid is a hormone-producing gland that regulates the body’s metabolism. Thyroid hormones convert oxygen and calories into energy. This process is known as metabolism. Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for their metabolism. Essentially, hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Hyperthyroidism, another type of thyroid disease, is a condition causing the gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. So basically, when dysfunction occurs, people either produce too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroid) or too little (hypothyroid). Additional symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, fuzzy thinking, low blood pressure, fluid retention, depression, body pain, slow reflexes, and much more. Additional symptoms of hyperthyroidism tend to reflect the rapid metabolism that results from an oversupply of thyroid hormone. Common symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, rapid weight loss, diarrhea, high heart rate, high blood pressure, eye sensitivity/bulging and vision disturbances, and many other concerns.

Oftentimes, people who experience these symptoms will go to the doctor only to be told that their thyroid is normal, but then continue feeling lousy and completely at a loss for what to do next. This is why you may need further investigation than what is typically performed. Restore Health Center, your Functional Medicine Colorado provider, offers additional testing that can help you pinpoint exactly what thyroid complications you may be suffering from.

What sets us apart from other doctors or thyroid specialists in the area is our thyroid panels? The classic thyroid panel ordered by most physicians consists of only two tests: Total T4 and TSH. At Restore Health Center, we believe that these two tests alone do not give adequate insight into your current level of thyroid function. We prefer a more comprehensive panel, which includes: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, anti-Thyrioglobulin and anti-TPO. Many practitioners are simply not familiar with those parameters and will not test for them. Here are the labs that we offer:

  • Free Thyroxine (T4) – Evaluates the amount of unbound T4 available to the cells and tissues for use; this is distinct from total T4 which includes both bound (unavailable) and unbound hormone.
  • Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – This is secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid to make primarily T4.
  • Free Tri-iodothyronine (T3) – Measures the amount of T3 (the active form of the hormone) available to the cells and tissues.
  • Anti-thyroperoxidase (Anti-TPO) Measures the levels of antibodies against this thyroid enzyme
  • Anti-Thyroglobulin (Anti-TG) Measures the levels of antibodies against this thyroid protein
  • Reverse T3 – Reverse T3 is an inactive form of thyroid that locks energy out of the cells. If there is too much Reverse T3, it doesn’t matter if the rest of the thyroid panel appears to be normal: the patient will be suffering from a form of hypothyroid. In cases of chronic stress (acute illness, trauma, infection, physical stress) and starvation (yo-yo dieting) too much T4 is converted to Reverse T3.

Additionally, check out this graphic below via the Institute for Functional Medicine. It explains the different factors that affect thyroid function including which vitamins and nutrients contribute to the proper production of thyroid hormones, increase the conversion of T4 to T3, and improve cellular sensitivity to thyroid hormones.

If you or anyone you know may be suffering from thyroid disorder, contact us today at 970-278-0900 or visit us at our website at Your health and wellness, including your thyroid health, are our top priority. Ready to get started? Please click here to learn more about our services and contact us to set up a consultation.