“Common” is Not “Normal” – “I Feel Better and Lost Weight Without Trying”

For at least 40 years I suffered from a lot of gas and bloating particularly at night – I thought this was normal.belching
Several doctors said the same thing.  “Don’t eat this or that food”, and mainly related to “spicy” food that I did not eat anyway.
It became obvious that they had no idea what the cause of the problem was.

My kids definitely let me know I was STINKY! And my sisters loudly complained about the belching!

Last year as part of my annual physical I had a routine blood test.  The doctors’ office called back with the results and said that everything was normal.
My wife has been under Dr. Jacqui’s care for some time, so I sent the blood test results over to her to review.

Dr. Jacqui called and said she was concerned about a few items on the test and suggested that get some more detailed, specific laboratory testing.
I called my regular doctor said he said that as far as he was concerned my results were really good and wished that his own results were as good as mine.

I let Dr. Jacqui know what the doctor said, and she indicated that she felt that I had a low grade infection could be suffering from “Leaky Gut Syndrome”.
After a thorough evaluation of my history, symptoms and lab results she recommended that I stop eating bread, and other products containing Gluten, as well as take some supplements to help with digestion.  She explained that even though some of these symptoms are common – they are not “normal”, and are actually a sign of dysfunction.

Since November 2012, I have only eaten Gluten free bread and other Gluten free foods.

My bloating and gas problems are completely gone and I have also lost more than 20 lbs. – without even trying!

Thank you Dr. Jacqui for help identifying the cause of my problems and eliminating the discomfort I had for so many years.

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New Study: Antibiotics for Back Pain

recently in headline news there has been talk of a new study claiming antibiotics should / could be used for back pain.  This is not a new study as there was one presented several years ago with similar findings.  While some people in this study did seem to have improvements in their symptoms, we need to read the study more closely to understand the critical specifics.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Participants in the study had a specific type of back pain caused from disc herniation. (Anyone who had low back pain from any other source was not included in the study)shapeimage_1



  • Patients also demonstrated swelling in the area of the vertebra on MRI and had back-pain for more than 6 months
  • There were several types of bacteria* that were specifically associated with this type of INFECTION that CAUSED the back pain.
    When you have an infection, antibiotics are an appropriate course of treatment, however, MOST back pain is NOT caused by infection.
  • The two microbes are anaerobic meaning that they do well in an environment that does not have a rich blood supply, such as the intervertebral disc.
  • If the microbes like an environment that has a low oxygen content, perhaps exposing them to a rich oxygen environment would inhibit their proliferation.
    EXERCISE could bring oxygen rich blood to the area and potentially provide increased outcomes for both the infection and the low back pain!

Finally, the  patients receiving antibiotics as compared to the control group  experienced many side effects that were long lasting, and may have created additional conditions.
These include:  loose bowels, increased gas and burping, and vomiting (with blood).  Long term use of antibiotics have shown to lead to increased resistance of bacteria, leaky-gut
syndrome, immune dysfunction and several other digestive and immune related disorders.

* (Proprionibacterium Acnes and Cornebacterium Propinquum)


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What’s for Breakfast?

Breakfast can be a challenge for many people – a short list of what I often hear from patients includes “not enough time”, “not hungry yet”, “not awake enough to make something”, “I just need my coffee”, “I don’t like breakfast foods”, and many others.  Trying to eat a more “paleo / primal” plan also creates issues for people, as traditional things we think of for breakfast just aren’t included in the “paleo / primal” repertoire.  If you are eating for recovery or improving your health, such as those with an autoimmune disease or chronic disorder, your choices for foods may be even more limited, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have delicious options for breakfast – it just might take “thinking out of the box” (literally the cereal or pop-tart box) and trying new things in the kitchen.

I am often asked “What do YOU eat for breakfast?” – so here’s a little detail.  Due to my extensive food intolerance list, I eat what is often referred to as the AutoImmune Paleo diet.  I avoid all grains, all dairy, eggs and most nightshades.  Rather than focussing on what I avoid, I prefer to focus on what is INCLUDED – lots of vegetables; healthy fats (coconut oil, coconut milk from the can not the box, olive oil; nuts and nut butters and nut oils; as well as seeds); lean, organic or wild caught or grass fed protein including fish, chicken, beef, and lamb.  To be honest, for treats I do love 75-90% dark chocolate, and I sometimes experiment with almond flour and walnut meal baking. 

So, this is what breakfast looks like for me:
2013-05-01 08.08.16      2013-05-02 19.04.11       2012-09-15 11.56.11

We all know we need to do “chores” including things like laundry, vacuuming, dusting – but we don’t always realize we need to do chores for our bodies too!  Preparing chopped vegetables and easy to cook proteins can make cooking breakfast simple and fast.  I can make this hot, healthy and hearty breakfast in EIGHT MINUTES, if I have everything ready ahead of time.  Boiling the water to make coffee takes more time! There is no magic to the type of vegetables or protein you include in your breakfast sautee, just eat the foods you like.  Rotate them with the seasons or each time you go to the store to make sure you are getting variety in your diet and to help you from getting bored.

If you can eat eggs, you can use less vegetables and protein and make a delicious omelette or frittata.  Here is a simple recipe for a scrumptious frittata!

We know kids do better in school when they have breakfast – guess what – WE ARE JUST BIG KIDS!


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Another Success Story

We received this testimonial today about another happier and healthier 30 year old female patient.

I made my first appointment with Dr. Jacqui at the beginning of March, and by today I have already seen amazing results! I have been battling hormonal and glucose imbalances because of PCOS, as well as thyroid and inflammation issues for many years. All these problems caused me endless awful symptoms that were not easy to deal with, on a physical and emotional level. Some of them were embarrassing facial hair, acne, annoying dry skin, mood changes and low energy that affected my work and my relationship with my husband, and the absence of periods. We have tried for the past 3 years to conceive.  We have done 3 rounds of Clomid to try to get pregnant with no results at all.  Before meeting with Dr. Jacqui we went to a very expensive fertility clinic in Denver, where they said they didn’t know if they could help us.  Luckily the food plan that Dr.Jacqui gave me paired with a few supplements resulted to be perfect for me! I started seeing immediate results, and I am so excited about this new way of life. The facial hair decreased, my skin cleared and I don’t need to use make up everyday anymore! (I was wearing make up around the house on weekends as I was embarrassed for my husband to see my skin) my mood is more constant, and energy levels are high. I even lost a few pounds! Most importantly last month I had a period for the first time in years. I am so grateful that finally something works! and that is a natural, safe option that Dr. Jacqui is offering me. I am motivated to continue with my new habits and looking forward to keep feeling better every day. I highly recommend seeing Dr. Jacqui for any issue you may have, now I am a firm believer that food and lifestyle changes can heal us. Thanks Dr. Jacqui!

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Keeping Up with Cholesterol – Thanks Chris Kresser

Cholesterol and heart disease are often some of the most worrisome topics people discuss with their doctors and loved ones.
Accurate and appropriate information and recommendations however, are not always easy to find.

all you need is heart
During February – Heart Health Awareness Month – Functional Wellness participated in the “All You Need Is Heart” Event to bring this information about Lipoprotein Particle Size and not just Total Cholesterol, as a more comprehensive way to evaluate your cholesterol status and possible heart disease risk.


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In March the Vail Daily was supposed to include my article in the Tuesday Health Section, but instead hid it on a Monday without any images to help draw attention to this important concept – The Complexities of Cholesterol

lipoprotein car busOne way to help describe how particle size matters is to utilize the idea of passengers traveling in various types of vehicles – To illustrate, think of the large-sized molecules like a bus, the smaller-sized ones like a car, and cholesterol as a passenger.  As an example: if your LDL cholesterol measurement is 125mg/dL – you might have 5 large busses carrying 25 cholesterol-passengers each, or 125 cars carrying one cholesterol-passenger each.  The number and size of the vehicles on the road determines whether there is increased risk of a traffic jam, not the number of people traveling in the vehicles. The higher the count of small-sized lipoprotein particles (cars), the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Since each type of lipoprotein responds differently to various “treatments”, understanding your lipoprotein status is essential for determining both your risk as well as the most appropriate, targeted intervention for your body.

Chris Kresser explains this information very clearly in his article – The Diet-Heart Myth: Why Everyone Should Know Their LDL Particle Number

measuring partilce size LDL particle size spectracell image

At Functional Wellness we can help you identify your cardiovascular risk factors including inflammation, blood sugar, detoxification function, cholesterol particle size and count and help you create lifestyle and nutrition modifications that are meet you where are you today, and get you where you want go, comfortably, safely and with individualized programs and personalized attention.

Call us today. We can help you.

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How Much Vitamin D Should We Take?

Every day we are learning more about the benefits of adequate levels of Vitamin D, and this often raises concerns about how much
we should supplement on a daily basis, and what our goal for blood levels should be.  Monitoring of Vitamin D blood levels is
important when supplementing to support a metabolic process or disorder, and should not be done without the care of a trained

Vitamin D also behaves more like a hormone than a vitamin, and is often called a pro- or pre-hormone.  Research confirms that
Vitmain D functions as a unique hormone that can modulate pain and inflammation, support blood sugar regulation, cardiovascular
health, immune system function, as well as mood modulation.  While low to moderate levels of Vitamin D in the blood can help to
prevent the severe skeletal disorder Rickets, higher concentrations of this fat soluble molecule have been shown to be effective /
preventative for several types of cancers.  Serious disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, Autism, and Diabetes have also been associated
with Vitamin D deficiency.

The attached graph has a very useful, simple outline of blood levels that have been associated with preventative and therapeutic
outcomes from Vitamin D supplementation.

Since Vitamin D is one of the “fat soluble vitamins” (- remember that from biology class) – it can be important to take it along with the other fat soluble vitamins – A, E and K.
Specifically, Vitamin K2 has been shown to be necessary for maintaining calcium deposits in the tissues at a normal level.  Vitamin K is also known for it’s ability to improve
the utilization of Vitamin D.

(If you are on any blood thinning medications or agents; or if you have parathyroid disorder or elevated calcium levels in your blood– it is critical that you talk with your
doctor before adding any supplements or medications to your regimen – especially Vitamin D and Vitamin K.)

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