When Sheri, 63, first walked into J. Gruber Health Solutions, she had never heard of a leaky gut. For almost two years, Sheri had sought resolution from her abdominal discomfort, which ranged from bloating and discomfort to debilitating pain. Her first stop was a gastrointestinal specialist who ran imaging studies and found no structural issues, but was willing to do more expensive tests. Sheri decided instead to try over-the-counter remedies, like probiotics. These only lessened the discomfort but nothing eliminated her symptoms entirely. Sheri was discouraged. She knew there was no way she could thrive with the stomach bubbles and pain she felt every time she ate.
Dr. Gruber worked to find the root cause of her gastrointestinal issues. She received testing for food sensitivities, and a dietary antigen test. Here, she discovered a long list of foods that were part of her regular diet were causing or worsening her gut symptoms. Happily, though not without a lot of careful planning, Sheri went on a rotational diet, altogether eliminating the foods that were found to be highly problematic for her, and alternating other foods found to be moderately or mildly problematic. During this time, she also worked closely with Dr. Gruber to ensure she was taking the right nutraceutical supplements to support the gut healing process.
For several months, Sheri exercised discipline in her supplement regimen and strict rotational diet. Though the healing process did not happen overnight, now, Sheri only takes a daily probiotic and occasionally, a digestive enzyme (especially if she knows she is going to eat spicy food). Otherwise, she lives a happy and healthy gut life by eating to her stomach’s desire. And she says it is all thanks to Dr. Gruber’s amazing insight, advice and patience.
Sheri most appreciated the evolution of her treatment plan, which included the addition and subtraction of different supplements based on how her healing was progressing. She calls herself “living proof” that leaky gut can be healed, especially with the guidance of a qualified functional medicine doctor.
Sheri’s advice for others that may be resigned to live with the stomach upset, fatigue, headaches, confusion, joint pain, skin problems, inflammation caused by leaky gut? There is hope. The work up you receive will be tailored to your specific symptoms. It could range from food antigen testing to SIBO testing to a comprehensive stool analysis or food sensitivity testing. Working with a thorough and committed functional medicine specialist, like Dr. Gruber, can heal your gut and put you back on the path to good health.
If you have additional questions, or you would like to setup an appointment, please contact us today:
Human. Nature. Health.
The human body has the ability to regenerate cells, as that is how we grow, develop, and heal. As we age, the body’s ability to heal itself becomes progressively impaired. At J. Gruber Health Solutions, the main goal in regenerative health & nutrition is to find natural sources/methodologies to assist the body’s self-healing abilities. Nutrition plays a monumental role in our overall health, as food choices function much like building materials. The quality of your health depends on the quality of the fuel you supply it with, along with the building materials available for cellular regeneration.
- A customized physical exercise routine boosts the immune system, prevents disease, tones the body, and can reinvigorate your sex life.
- High-quality sleeping patterns are key to maintain a healthy mental status, good memory, metabolism, mood, cardiovascular health, and more.
How does inflammation affect the body?
A: Inflammation is at the root of many diseases including dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, Parkinson’s and arthritis.
What health conditions can regenerative health & nutrition approach benefit most?
Through years of research and practice, we find this regenerative health approach effective in treating the following diseases/symptoms: sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, decreased energy levels, brain fog, joint pain, weight gain, insomnia, thyroid issues and loss of libido.
How does it work?
In assisting you to improve your diet, exercise habits, stress management techniques, balancing your hormones, and often adding nutraceutical supplements, you can decrease the overall level of inflammation in your body and prevent or reverse many disease processes before they become problematic.
Where do I begin?
The first step is to get scheduled for baseline labs and salivary testing. We will also request you fill out a comprehensive questionnaire designed to obtain key health information vital to Dr. Gruber as he designs your individualized treatment plan.
After we receive your lab tests you will schedule an evaluation appointment with Dr. Gruber.
The foundation to functional medicine is living a healthy lifestyle. Starting and sticking to a new diet or exercise plan can be tough and motivation tends to fade after a few weeks. Meal prepping and finding the time and energy to exercise aren’t easy; however, there are numerous apps out there than can help you stay on track. Below are some of our favorites that we would recommend as part of a functional medicine approach to health and wellness.
This app is one of our favorites. It helps you easily keep track of your diet by counting calories. For those that are super serious, you can also keep track of nutrients and macros. Tons of foods are already accounted for in the app but if it’s not, you can enter it manually or scan in a barcode. There is also a good selection of easy to make recipes, including low-calorie desserts. You can track your progress by putting in your weight with corresponding pictures so you have a visual of how far you have come. Overall, the app is very user-friendly and is a useful tool in helping you stay on track in adopting a healthy diet!
You don’t have to spend a fortune on personal training. Instead, try this app that will change the way you train. Our favorite thing about the app is that you can tailor your workout to meet your needs. You pick your goal from a list of options (get lean, get toned, get strong, or get focused) and then choose from a long list of exercises based on that goal. You can also specify which level of training you’re at (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) so that each workout is designed just for you!
This app is designed to get non-runners/beginners from couch potatoes to 5K runners in only 9 weeks! The app is very user-friendly and the exercise plan provides motivation with easily attainable goals. The plan consists of increasing intervals of running interspersed with fast walking. Before you know it, you will love to run for exercise!
This free app tracks and analyzes sleeping patterns. The phone’s microphone actually picks up your sleep movements using sound and vibration analysis and analyzes the data to determine which state of sleep you are in. It will pinpoint the optimal time for you to wake up and it will gently stir you awake during your lightest phase of sleep to help you wake up rested and refreshed. The app also keeps track of sleep quality, such as sleep and wake up times and can even track and measure snoring.
There are tons of apps out there to help you with every aspect of health and wellness and its worth taking a look around the App Store to see what you can find. There are even apps specifically designed for those with specific dietary restrictions, such as those with celiac disease or GI issues like IBS. Many of the apps are free and they are a great way to stay on track and take charge of your health.
Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions is a functional medicine practitioner in Denver, Colorado, though he treats patients throughout the United States. As a functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Gruber focuses on helping patients achieve optimal physical well-being through the adoption of a holistic and healthy lifestyle. He works to restore and balance bodily functions by creating an individualized health plan that may include lifestyle changes, supplements, and hormones. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 for your consultation!
The functional medicine approach to high blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in the United States and blood pressure medications are among the most commonly prescribed drug. While sometimes necessary, a prescription may not always be the best option. Blood pressure medications can have side effects that negatively impact your health and it is possible to lower and maintain low blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle.
Why is blood pressure important
Maintaining a good blood pressure is important. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and failure, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral vascular disease, a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. Approximately one-third of the population has high blood pressure and another one-third suffer from some form of hypertension, or somewhat elevated blood pressure. Blood pressure tends to increase with age and hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular death in the U.S.
How functional medicine can help
When blood pressure medications first hit the market, only true hypertensive patients were prescribed medicine. Today, conventional doctors will often prescribe drugs to those with only slightly elevated blood pressure despite research showing that treating mild hypertension with drugs does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Side effects of blood pressure medication include diarrhea or constipation, dizziness, erectile dysfunction, feeling tired, weak, or drowsy, and nausea or vomiting.
In functional medicine, we look for why someone has high blood pressure rather than simply what can done to lower it. It’s a patient-centered approach rather than a disease-centered approach. A functional medicine doctor will consider genetics, including thyroid problems and other autoimmune disorders, nutrition, environment, and lifestyle in an attempt to lower blood pressure levels.
Appropriate management of thyroid conditions, autoimmune disorders, and hormone levels can help lower and maintain healthy blood pressure levels so that medication is not required. When it comes to lowering blood pressure, the importance of lifestyle can’t be overstated. Lifestyle interventions influence the fundamental biological mechanisms leading to all chronic diseases and studies have shown that lifestyle, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, can drastically decrease the chances of heart disease.
Certain nutritional deficiencies, such a biotin, vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium, CoQ-10, and potassium can contribute to high blood pressure levels. Unfortunately, most Americans have vitamin D and magnesium deficiencies; however, taking supplements and eating certain foods to restore nutritional deficiencies can lower and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Bananas, avocados, sweet and white potatoes, halibut, and spinach are all good sources of potassium. It is important to note that foods rich in potassium do tend to be high in carbs, so a Paleo diet may be recommended. Sugar should also be avoided. Sugar-sweetened beverages in particular, like soda, contain an excessive amount of hidden sugar and can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and obesity, both of which can contribute to high blood pressure.
Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and yoga can bring blood pressure levels down to safer levels and can help you lose weight.
Contact a Denver Functional Medicine Doctor
If you are suffering from high blood pressure, contact us, J. Gruber Health Solutions, today at 303-746-1964 to see how Dr. Gruber’s patient-centered plan management can benefit you. At J. Gruber Health Solutions, each patient is provided with a health plan specifically tailored to fit their exact needs, including dietary recommendations and applicable supplements, to help lower and control blood pressure levels.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a substance present in wheat that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. It is a mixture of 2 proteins – glutenin and gliadin. Gluten is a staple of the American diet and most of us unknowingly love it because it gives our favorite foods that special touch. It makes pizza dough stretchy, gives bread its spongy texture, and is used to thicken sauces. Cereals, breads, crackers, beers, desserts, and processed foods all contain gluten. Gluten can cause illness in people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease, but even those without celiac disease should consider avoiding it as it can cause serious health complications.
The Danger of Gluten
A large percentage of people with either celiac disease or gluten intolerance are never even diagnosed and are unaware that their body even has a problem with eating gluten. While celiac disease is the extreme end of the broader gluten-intolerance spectrum, millions of Americans suffer from what is known as nonceliac gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the entire body and can have wide-ranging effects on all organ systems, including your brain, heart, joints, and digestive tract. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, and fatigue soon after eating gluten. Acne or other skin rashes may also appear. Extra skin on the back of your arms (caused by malabsoption because of gluten’s damage to the gut), autoimmune disorders such as thyroid conditions, neurologic symptoms, and hormone imbalances are also signs of a gluten intolerance.
One of the most common conditions caused by gluten sensitivity is the “leaky gut.” The proteins in gluten are gut irritants like a papercut or splinter digging in to the lining of your gut that lead to inflammation. Inflammation is the natural response of your immune system to injury. This inflammation is dangerous because it can lead to intestinal permeability. The gut has a complex system of “border control” that lets digested food into the bloodstream while keeping everything else out. Inflammation from gluten loosens the junctions between cells in the gut wall so too much stuff passes through into your blood stream, resulting in a “leaky gut.”
Other diseases linked to gluten include osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all autoimmune disorders. Gluten has also been linked to neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, and epilepsy.
How Functional Medicine Can Help
Most of the wheat that is consumed today has been milled into white flour that is full of gluten. While dietary patterns have changed drastically in the past century, our genes have not and the human body has not evolved to consume a modern Western diet full of sugary substances and refined, high-calorie carbohydrates.
To determine whether a gluten sensitivity exists, a functional medicine doctor will consider lifestyle, including dietary habits, and will conduct a series of blood tests to determine whether antibody levels reveal any form of gluten allergies or sensitivity. Heath problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with medication. Rather, they are resolved by making healthy eating choices and eliminating gluten from your diet. Supplements, such as probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, certain amino acids, and other netraceutical (food containing health additives with medicinal benefits) products may also be recommended to help heal the gut. Cleansing your body of gluten can result in weight loss, increased energy level and mental focus, and overall better health.
Contact a Denver, CO Gluten Doctor
J. Gruber Health Solutions is a functional medicine practice in Denver, Colorado with extensive experience in testing and treating various levels of gluten insensitivity, including celiac disease. Dr. Gruber offers a patient-centered approach to medicine and his ultimate goal is to increase the overall health of the patient. If you think you may have gluten sensitivity, contact us today at 303-746-1964.
Hormones are messengers between body systems that help regulate physiology and behavior, including digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sleep, stress, growth, movement, reproduction, and mood and play an integral role in overall health. Millions of women suffer from hormonal imbalances that interfere with their health and quality of life. A healthy and well-balanced body manufactures all of the hormones it needs to function. However, when you have a hormone imbalance, you have too much or too little of a certain hormone and it can have a serious effect throughout the whole body. Think of hormones like a cake recipe. Too much or too little of any one ingredient affects the final product.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Signs of hormonal imbalance in women include breast tenderness, weight gain in the abdomen, hips, and thighs, decreased libido, irregular cycles, thyroid dysfunction, constipation, muscle weakness, muscle and joint stiffness, increased hunger, thinning hair, and night sweats.
Causes of Hormone Imbalances
Hormone fluctuations occur naturally as we age. However, hormonal imbalances can also be caused by our lifestyle. Hormone balance is tied to the food we eat, the exercise we get, the toxins we absorb, and the stress we carry. Your lifestyle should work with your hormones, not against them.
The wrong food can actually harm your body. An unhealthy diet consisting of refined carbohydrates, sugar, fat, soy, and processed foods can lead to inflammation and weight gain that can easily contribute to hormonal imbalances. Certain foods, like gluten and dairy, can actually burden the liver so that the liver is unable to properly detoxify leading to an excess of hormones. Exercise also has a direct impact on hormones, including insulin, estrogen, and testosterone. It also helps increase serotonin and dopamine levels which can help with mood and relieve stress. Stress relief is important because when the body is stressed, more cortisol, a hormone, is released at the expense of other hormones. Risk factors that may contribute to hormonal imbalance include smoking, hormonal birth control, and polycystic ovaries and/or breasts.
How a Functional Medicine Doctor can Help Restore Your Hormones
Unfortunately, a majority of women are living life with some level of hormone imbalance as they have come to accept the symptoms as normal signs of aging. Furthermore, traditional medicine does not offer much in the way of solutions. Conventional treatments for hormone imbalances usually leave people dependent on prescription drugs that mask the symptoms rather than addressing and treating the root cause. A functional medicine doctor will ask why the body is failing to produce and regulate proper hormone levels. Often times, the answer lies in a related system, such as the thyroid, showing just how important functional medicine is becoming in today’s healthcare system.
While there is no single test for doctors to diagnose a hormone imbalance, a functional medicine doctor may conduct both blood and saliva tests to determine different hormone levels, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, and cortisol. A detailed health history will also be conducted to determine whether there are any conditions that may be contributing to a hormonal imbalance, such as adrenal fatigue, a common cause of hormonal imbalance.
Treatment is dependent on the type of hormonal imbalance, but can include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the form of a cream or injected pellets, including estrogen and/or testosterone, and thyroid therapy. In addition, a good diet and exercise regimen, as well as certain supplements can help to naturally restore and balance hormones.
CONTACT A DENVER HORMONE DOCTOR
J. Gruber Health Solutions in Denver, Colorado is a functional medicine practice focusing specifically on hormone health. Hormone health is about living better and Dr. Gruber can help you achieve that goal. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 to set up your consultation today!
Functional Medicine & Lipid Profile
Lipids are groups of fats and fat-like substances, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, that are important for cell health and help provide energy. A lipid profile is a panel of blood tests that screens for abnormalities in lipids and is an overall assessment of your cardiac health. Monitoring and maintaining healthy levels of lipids is important. If certain levels are too high, plaque can develop on the walls of blood vessels. These plaques can narrow or even block the opening of the blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Causes of Unhealthy Lipid Levels
Causes of unhealthy lipid levels include diet, metabolic function, poor thyroid function, environmental toxins, other causes of inflammation, lack of proper exercise, and genetics. Risk factors for high lipid levels include high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight, smoking, lack of exercise, and a diet comprised of unhealthy food. Having unhealthy lipid levels can be dangerous because typically, there aren’t any symptoms until the plaque has already formed and caused a heart attack or stroke.
How Functional Medicine Can Help
Standard cholesterol testing is often misleading and only provides part of the picture. In fact, standard testing can indicate “normal” levels but still leave you at risk for a heart attack as conventional medicine typically only tests total and LDL cholesterol. In addition, in a conventional setting, it’s about symptom suppression. In traditional Western medicine, if your cholesterol is high, you take a drug to lower it.
When it comes to functional medicine, an effort is made to identify underlying factors that are contributing to abnormal lipid profiles. Frequently, these are treatable issues contributing to abnormal lipid levels. Dealing with these issues can often help restore lipid profiles back to the optimal range without the use of prescription medications such as “statin” drugs.
A lipid panel is conducted that will include total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In some patients, a more detailed lipid assessment may be beneficial. You will also be tested for inflammation, thyroid issues, or other hormone imbalances that can affect and/or cause unhealthy lipid levels.
Making lifestyle changes accordingly to either decrease or increase certain levels can help lower your cardiac risk and increase your health. Avoid high-sugar, processed, and refined foods as they tend to be high in saturated and trans fat, both of which can increase your bad cholesterol levels. Regular exercise can also help improve your lipid levels by lowering low-density cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and raising high-density cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
CONTACT A DENVER FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DOCTOR
As a functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions helps you attain optimal physical well-being by providing a patient-centered and holistic approach to medicine. Contact us today at 303-746-1964 to have a complete lipid profile done to help ensure your health and vitality.
Leaky gut, also known as “intestinal permeability” is a condition in which the small intestine becomes damaged and as a result, undigested food particles and toxic waste products and bacteria leak though the intestines and flood the blood stream. The prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions as more and more people are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload, and bacterial imbalance. In fact, most people who eat the standard American diet consisting of processed foods likely have some degree of gut damage.
Causes of Leaky Gut
As is the case with most underlying chronic diseases, diet and lifestyle play a large role. In most cases, a leaky gut is caused by diet. Certain foods like gluten, soy, and dairy can trigger an immune response, including diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, and joint pain. In some cases, a leaky gut can be caused by medications, including antibiotics, steroids, or over-the-counter pain relievers which can irritate the intestinal lining and lead to inflammation.
Signs of Leaky Gut
Signs of a leaky gut include food sensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems, nutrient malabsorption, inflammatory skin conditions, and mood disorders. With a leaky gut, the damaged cells in your intestines don’t produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion and your body cannot absorb essential nutrients. This can lead to a host of problems that affect the whole body, including hormone imbalance and a weakened immune system. Other conditions associated with a leaky gut include asthma, infertility, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. A leaky gut has also been linked to over 140 autoimmune conditions.
How a Functional Medicine Doctor Can Help with Leaky Gut
Diagnosing a leaky gut can be tough because it can masquerade as other conditions and there is not a specific and reliable test for it. A functional medicine doctor will conduct various tests that are not normally conducted by conventional medicine doctors to determine whether you have a leaky gut.
The key to healing a leaky gut is changing your diet and eliminating the foods that your body treats as toxic. Elimination of gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, caffeine, and alcohol may be recommended. Eating healthy fats to help restore healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract can also help rejuvenate the lining of the intestinal wall. Certain supplements, like probiotics, fiber, and glutamine may also be recommended to promote a healthy gut.
Contact a Denver, CO Leaky Gut Doctor
Dr. Gruber at J. Gruber Health Solutions in Denver is a functional medicine doctor with extensive experience in diagnosing and treating patients with a leaky gut. A leaky gut can lead to numerous other medical conditions and if you think you may be suffering from a leaky gut, contact us today at 303-746-1964 to see how we can help.
What is Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is known as the energy vitamin and plays a key role in how your body creates energy. It keeps your cells fed, happy, and healthy. If you do not have enough, your cells get hungry and you feel weak and tired. It also helps makes DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain, heart, and immune system. The human body does not produce B12 and it must be obtained though animal proteins or supplements. B12 can be found in large quantities in meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy.
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
Common signs of a deficiency include weakness, fatigue, low energy, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, loss of appetite, digestive issues, frequent bruising or bleeding, anemia, and numbness and tingling in the hands or feet. If ignored, a deficiency can affect the entire body and may lead to permanent brain or nerve damage. Lack of B12 is one of the most common reasons that people suffer from fatigue.
Causes of B12 Deficiency
The main causes of a deficiency include inadequate dietary intake and malabsorption issues. Vegetarians and vegans are at a high risk for deficiency since their diet largely consists of plant-based foods rather than animals products that tend to be full of B12. Though most people will get a good amount of B12 in their diet, as people age, they tend to absorb less and the less amount of B12 they ingest. As a result, B12 deficiency is extremely common in people over the age of 40. Certain conditions, such as celiac disease, alcohol use, autoimmune conditions, and long term use of medications, including heartburn pills and oral contraceptives, may also affect levels.
How Functional Medicine Can Help
B12 deficiency is very common and it is estimated that nearly 40% of people suffer from B12 levels that are too low. In fact, it may even be more common than what is reported. Because conventional medicine tends to use a cut-off range that is far too low, the number of people with a deficiency may actually be underestimated. Most people are told their levels are normal when it fact, they are not even close, much less optimal.
A functional medicine doctor will test your blood for B12, homocysteine, and complete blood counts to determine whether you have a deficiency. B12 helps protect the heart by removing a dangerous protein from your blood called homocysteine. If homocysteine levels are too high, it can damage your arteries leading to inflammation and heart disease. Because a functional medicine doctor performs more in-depth and complete tests than a conventional medicine doctor, they are more likely to provide an accurate diagnosis. This is important considering that sometimes B12 deficiencies can actually be overlooked and misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, autism, and some cancers. If you do have a deficiency, luckily, B12 is very easy to replace. Most often, a B12 liquid will be recommended, though in some cases an intramuscular or subcutaneous injection may be necessary. Changes in dietary intake to include foods rich in B12 may also be recommended.
Contact a Denver, CO Vitamin B12 Specialist
As a functional medicine doctor in Denver, Dr. Gruber with J. Gruber Health Solutions has extensive experience in testing for, identifying, and treating patients with a vitamin B12 deficiency. Do not underestimate the importance of B12 in your overall health. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with a b12 deficiency, call or text us today at 303-746-1964 to see how we can help!