Integrative & Functional Medicine

Our physicians will help you search for underlying triggers contributing to your illness through cutting edge lab testing and tailor the intervention to your specific needs as an individual.

The 5-R Program

A properly functioning digestive system is critical to good health. In fact, problems with the gastrointestinal tract can cause more than just GI problems. GI issues may cause underlying chronic health problems that seem unrelated to digestive health, including autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, skin problems such as eczema and acne rosacea, and heart disease. In functional medicine we use a program that goes by the simple acronym of the ‘5Rs’: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair, and Rebalance. When applied to various chronic problems, the 5R program can cause dramatic improvement in symptoms, and sometime even complete resolution of the problem.

REMOVE: Remove stressors: get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract including allergic foods, parasites or other bad bugs such as bacteria or yeast. This might involve using an allergy “elimination diet” to find out what foods are causing GI symptoms or it may involve taking drugs or herbs to eradicate a particular bug.

REPLACE: Replace digestive secretions: add back things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids that are required for proper digestion and that may be compromised by diet, drugs, diseases, aging, or other factors.

REINOCULATE: Help beneficial bacteria flourish by taking in probiotic foods or supplements that contain the so-called “good” bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species, and by consuming the high soluble fiber foods that good bugs like to eat, called “prebiotics.”

  • Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms found in the gut that are also called “ friendly bacteria.” Use of antibiotics kills both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics in the form of supplements or food are often needed to help reestablish a balanced gut flora. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, miso and tempeh are food sources of probiotics.
  • Prebiotics are food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial microorganisms already in the colon. In other words, prebiotics feed probiotics. Prebiotics are available in many foods that contain a fiber called inulin, including artichokes, garlic, leeks, onion, chicory, tofu and other soy products. Grains such as barley, flax, oats, and wheat are also good sources of prebiotics. Another good prebiotics source is a supplement called “fructo-oligosaccharide” or FOS.

REPAIR: Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients that can often be in short supply in a disease state, such as zinc, antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C, and E), fish oil, and the amino acid glutamine.

REBALANCE: Pay attention to lifestyle choices – sleep, exercise and stress can all affect the GI tract.

The Functions of the Gastrointestinal Tract

You have heard it said “you are what you eat.” In Functional Medicine, we take it a step further in our belief that “you are what you eat, and then absorb, and then what you do or do not detoxify.”

DIGESTION: This is the process whereby our food is broken down into smaller portions that are more easily absorbed by the intestines.

ABSORPTION: This is the process whereby the digested food is taken up by the intestine and delivered to the body for utilization as energy, nutrition, and other cellular functions.

EXCLUSION: This refers to the barrier function performed by the GI tract as it appropriately excludes substances from entering the body.

DETOXIFICATION: This is the complex process involving the liver and GI tract whereby toxins are metabolized for elimination from the body. Toxins include such things as medication we take that must be metabolized, to pesticides, preservatives, dyes, and flavor-enhancers we ingest knowingly in our food, as well as the over 4 million chemicals present in our environment not intended for use in our bodies.

ELIMINATION: After digestion has occurred, and the metabolic phase of detoxification is complete, the GI tract must then eliminate the digestive and metabolic wastes of these processes. Some refer to this as excretion.

Hormone Imbalance

Hormone balance is essential for the health of men and women. We offer a range of balancing options by treating the factors that led your hormones to become imbalanced.

Bio-identical hormone (Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, DHEA)

More information coming soon.

REFERENCE:
The Institute for Functional Medicine
Cleveland Clinic

Office Hours

By appointment only
 
Mon, Wed to Fri9am – 5pm
Tues:Closed
Sat:9:30am – 12:30pm (biweekly)
Please call regarding acupuncture availability.
 
Phone:(425) 326-1668
Fax:(425) 502-7169
Email:info@raphafamilyclinic.com
Our Address:1603 116th Ave. NE, Ste. 111
Bellevue WA 98004

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