Author Archive

Balance Your Thyroid Now

Three Things You Can do NOW to Help Balance Your Thyroid

 By Gia McCloskey-Jurevich, NP

When I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, I was shocked.  I was 30-years old, and otherwise very healthy.  I wanted to know WHY I got this disease.  And more importantly, WHAT should I be doing to help my body heal.   My doctors did not have an acceptable answer, I was simply told that it “just happens”.   

I was prescribed thyroid replacement medication and sent on my way.  I had my thyroid labs checked a couple of times a year and my dose was adjusted accordingly.  Many years later, after I had learned about Functional Medicine, I realized that I may not get the answer to why I developed hypothyroidism but there were so many things I could be doing to support my body and help my thyroid.  I was eventually diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an auto-immune thyroid disease, which makes the lifestyle interventions even more important.  

Through my degree in nursing, training in Functional Medicine AND a whole lot of personal experience I have learned that traditional medicine does not dig deep enough to really understand and address the issues of Hypothyroidism.  I hope that my training and experience can help you find solutions for your situation. 

Here  are three factors within your control that affect thyroid health:

  1. Food
  2. Chronic Stress
  3. Toxins

Thyroid Factor  #1. Food:

Nutrition is the cornerstone of health.  We are all told to “eat healthy” but what does that mean?  There is a lot of conflicting advice about nutrition.  The options are endless, low carb, low fat, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto.  Each camp touts its health benefits.  However, there is not ONE diet that is good for EVERY person. Science and medicine have confirmed some general rules that apply to all of us including avoidance of: sugar, processed foods, fast food, and “bad” oils. 

For people who have hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s, there are other factors that can make a big difference.  We have our thyroid patients follow an elimination diet for a minimum of 6 weeks.  In addition to the getting rid of the above foods, we also recommend they remove gluten, dairy, corn, and, in many cases other foods such as soy, lectins, nuts, seeds, eggs, and some spices.

We recommend this because these are common foods people are sensitive to and can contribute to inflammation, gut dysbiosis and permeability, aka “leaky gut” and immune dysfunction.  In addition to removing these potentially harmful foods, we focus on getting all the good stuff in.  This includes a variety of vegetables, healthy proteins, and good fats to give our bodies the nutrients it needs to function properly and heal.

Thyroid Factor #2. Chronic Stress:

Chronic stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and fatigue.  Cortisol, our stress hormone, becomes elevated with chronic stress.  Stress may exacerbate an underlying thyroid condition. Under stress, your body releases cortisol. Excess cortisol can interfere with thyroid hormone production, leading to low levels of T4 and T3 and an elevated TSH. And, of course, when you’re not feeling well, your stress goes up and this cycle can make things even worse. 

“Also, when stressed, you’re more vulnerable to autoimmune thyroid conditions (eg, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). A 2004 study in the journal Thyroid found that stress is one of the environmental factors for thyroid autoimmunity.1”

One of the benefits you will find in working with the team at Omnia Health is that in addition to our medical team we have health coaches that can work with you to design customized stress-reducing programs to help you to break these cycles.

Here are Three Ways to Combat Stress:

  1. Develop a consistent exercise routine that includes cardiovascular activity and resistance training. 
  2. Find a stress-reduction practice that works for you.  This may include yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or an activity such as gardening, knitting, or hiking that requires presence and focus.
  3. Get adequate sleep.  The goal is at least 7-8 hours a night. 

Thyroid Factor #3. Toxins:

Finally, take a look at what toxins you may be exposed to.  Most of us don’t realize how many toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis that can impact our health over time. Toxins can interfere with proper function of our entire endocrine system. The endocrine system consists of the glands and the various hormones they produce.  These include our stress hormones such as cortisol, our sex hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and our thyroid hormones.   

These hormones are in constant communication with each other.  An imbalance in one, can trigger abnormalities in the others.  Unfortunately, toxins are abundantly present in our lives. However, there is a lot we can do to minimize our exposure. 

Here are a few ways you can reduce your exposure to toxins: 

  1. Buy organic produce and avoid processed foods. 
  2. Check your home and personal care products and avoid those that contain substances such as triclosans, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde, and fluoride.    For more comprehensive information, visit the to find the cleanest household and personal care products.
  3. Avoid hot drinks or food from paper, plastic, or styrofoam containers since these can all leach toxins. 
  4. Drink plenty of water.  The goal is at least half of your body weight in ounces.
  5. Consume foods that act as antioxidants including berries, broccoli, spinach, kale, beets, and green tea.

Functional medicine addresses the underlying triggers of disease.  Lifestyle factors including nutrition, stress, sleep, and toxins play a vital role in health.  If you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s it is important that you see your doctor regularly to make sure your thyroid levels are optimal.  Yet, there Is so much more you can do to optimize your health.  The above recommendations will benefit you whether you have a chronic illness or just want to optimize your health.

We have a team of people to help you through the challenges of Hypothyroidism. You can see our physician, nurse practitioner and/or our health coaches to get the support you need. Whatever struggles you are facing, it’s important to know that you are not alone. 

I have a lot of personal experience on this topic and I would love to assist you in addressing this complex illness. Feel free to schedule a 15-minute complimentary phone call with me at your convenience. Click here to schedule a call. 



  1. Mizokami, T., Wu Li, A., El-Kaissi, S., & Wall, J. R. (2004). Stress and Thyroid Autoimmunity. Thyroid, 14(12), 1047–1055.
  2. Vojdani, A., Pollard, K. M., & Campbell, A. W. (2014). Environmental Triggers and Autoimmunity. Autoimmune Diseases, 2014, 1–2.
  3. Schnedi W, Lackner S, Enko D, Schenk M, Mangge H, Holasek S. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: people without celiac disease avoiding gluten-is it due to histamine intolerance?. Inflammation Research. 2017. doi:10.1007/s00011-017-1117-4.
  4. Leccioli V, Oliveri M, Romeo M, Berretta M, Rossi P. A New Proposal for the Pathogenic Mechanism of Non-Coeliac/Non-Allergic Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity: Piecing Together the Puzzle of Recent Scientific Evidence. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1203. doi:10.3390/nu9111203.


Primary Care Plus Introduction

Watch this brief Primary Care Plus overview video with Denver’s Omnia Health Founder, Dr. Jacqui Pariset.

Functional Medicine Meets Primary Care – Watch her Story…

Denver patient, Bethy M. describes how her symptoms have reduced and in some cases faded away as a result of a functional medicine approach she discovered at Omnia Health in Denver, Co.

The benefits of removing gluten from your diet

(The results may surprise you!)

By Gia McCloskey-Jurevich, Functional Medicine Nurse Practitioner, Omnia Health

Patients come to our practice seeking answers to their issues – and resolution. Wide-ranging symptoms include GI distress, headaches, migraines, joint pain, brain fog, and fatigue. Despite these very different symptoms, there often is a common thread. A surprising number of people have food sensitivities, which can be the underlying cause of these ailments.

The first place to start? Remove gluten from your diet.

We ask every patient to take gluten out of their diet, because it can be such a problem food. It’s that inflammatory! We have seen so much benefit when people eliminate gluten – and in just a few short weeks. (Our rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to benefit most.)

Here are some of the biggest benefits reported by our patients:

  1. Improved gut health / improved digestion – After removing gluten from their diet, our patients report less bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. They have more consistent bowel movements and quit using over-the-counter digestive health products.
  2. Decreased joint pain – Gluten sensitivity causes intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut). The gluten proteins can pass through our gut and enter our circulatory system. Our body recognizes these as foreign and – POW! – the immune system attacks. This can cause pain in muscles and joints. After eliminating gluten, our patients report less joint pain and stiffness.
  3. Improved skin issues – Surprisingly, skin issues such as acne, hives, psoriasis, and eczema are often connected to gut dysbiosis. Omnia Health patients frequently report that their skin conditions clear up after replacing gluten with other foods.
  4. Improved energy, mood, cognition, and sleep – GI distress is incredibly disruptive to your life and your sleep! After removing gluten and achieving digestive balance, our patients report sleeping better, being happier, and having more energy. It’s true! We hear that a lot!
  5. Fewer headaches and migraines – Gluten sensitivity can cause inflammation, which triggers an immune response. While it’s great that our immune system defends our body against bacteria, viruses, and foreign bodies, it can also wreak havoc in any part of our body, including the brain.
  6. Weight loss – This is a wonderful side effect of removing gluten from your diet. A key reason weight loss occurs is because our patients take processed foods out of their diet. Processed foods often sneak in gluten as filler, plus they pack a lot of calories.

Tips to remove and replace gluten …

  • Eat more whole foods, especially vegetables – Aim for making ¾ of your plate vegetables, every meal, every day.  One of my favorite ideas is to swap out traditional pasta with noodles made of kohlrabi, beets, spaghetti squash, zucchini, or sweet potatoes. You can buy a spiralizer to make these fun noodles yourself, or purchase them at Whole Foods and Sprouts.
  • Take a hard look at “all the usual suspects” – For many people, bread, crackers, wheat cereal, and pasta creep into nearly every week’s menu. But you can say goodbye to these culprits! For example, easily convert a burger or taco into a lettuce wrap by swapping the bun or taco shell with a large lettuce leaf. (Use any type of lettuce except iceberg.)
  • Eat the colors of the rainbow – If you think about it, vegetables really can be creative and exciting. When you eat a variety of colors – bright-red tomatoes, orange carrots, green avocados, and so forth – you’re taking in a wide variety of nutrients.
  • Watch for hidden gluten ingredients – Gluten can lurk in soups, sauces, salad dressings, seasoning mixes, and soy sauce. Carefully read labels and be alert when dining out.

Eliminate gluten for just 4 weeks to start seeing benefits.

In just a few short weeks, eliminating gluten can really make a big difference in your life. (To be truly effective, your diet needs to be 100% gluten free.) I encourage you to try this, and see if your symptoms improve. It’s not difficult, however, you may need to dedicate a bit more time and creativity to meal planning. Give it a whirl – I think you’ll feel more vibrant and energized!

Stress Less and Stay in the Moment This Holiday Season

Stress Less This Holiday Season

As the holiday decorations start to pop-up so do your stress levels, right?

Your to-do list is insane, whether you realize it or not!

Holiday To-Do List

Every year it’s the same…you feel like you need a month long zen retreat in Bali in January (I wish!) to fully recover from the holiday season!

However, the “most wonderful time of the year” doesn’t have to make you want to lock yourself in a closet until after the holidays pass.

It can be relaxing, inspiring, grounding connecting…

Sounds to good to be true and you don’t believe me? Read on to find tips and tricks I use to reduce my stress so I can experience a heart-warming holiday season.

Tip #1 – Simplify!

When you simplify the holiday season, you set realistic expectations (no more attending multiple holiday parties in one night!) and free up time and energy for the things that bring you the feelings you really crave.

The objective is to apply the rule of minimum goals.

What are minimum goals? A minimum goal is where you identify what’s the least that you can do to make yourself happy. It means releasing perfection of having to do EVERYTHING to feel happy. Anything extra you do above the minimum is an added bonus.

When you simplify and set these types of goals, it makes life a lot easier (which we need this time of year!). It removes the stress and guilt associated with always reaching and failing to achieve that “perfect” day or holiday that doesn’t exist.

Minimum goals help you find AND keep a balance between simple and sophisticated, time consuming and heart lifting, stress and joy during the holidays.

Create your own minimum goals:

Step 1: Make a list of all the activities and traditions you usually do or are “committed to”

Step 2: Answer the following questions about the list of holiday commitments:

  • Which traditions provide the most bonding time?
  • Does it bring me joy?
  • Does it bring my family joy?
  • Is it fun?
  • Will an event function without me? Do I play a crucial role?
  • Am I doing it because I want to or because society expects me to?
  • If I don’t find it enjoyable or fun, what are the alternatives?
  • Still not sure about an activity? Make a pros and cons list with weighted points (ex. spending time w/family is more important than having a massive light display).

Step 3: Cross off activities that don’t bring you joy and focus on the ones that will bring the most happiness.


Holiday Cards

Do you feel the need to send cards to everyone you know, with the perfect picture, and with the perfect message but you secretly dread doing it?

Don’t spend hours searching for the “perfect” holiday card that outdoes last year’s. Instead, send a simple, yet heartwarming FB message, email or text to the people you are closest to.


Do you feel obligated to display outside lights even though it just stirs up a big fight every year between you and your spouse?

Don’t spend hours on elaborate outside light decorations unless it truly brings you joy. Instead, do an activity that the whole family enjoys; decorating gingerbread houses, looking at other people’s light displays, ice skating, etc.


Do you have to prepare snacks for your kid’s party, hors d’oeuvres for an office potluck and a gourmet salad for your best friend’s holiday party (and they ALL happen al on the same day)?

If the thought of spending hours in the kitchen when you need to be gift shopping makes your head spin, simplify by outsourcing it. Find a caterer or call and place an order with your local grocery store (i.e. Whole Foods).

Simplifying is liberating, you do what truly matters for you, not what society expects from you. PLUS it will give you time and energy to really enjoy the holidays.

Tip #2 – Be Grateful

Being grateful doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time. The benefits, however, are enormous!

Multiple benefits proven by science include:

  • Increased positive emotions
  • Enhanced empathy
  • Better sleep
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Increased mental strength
  • Improved physical and mental wellness
  • Increased resilience in the face of challenges

PLUS, saying thanks strengthens relationships, which is what the holiday season is all about!

Any of those things this holiday season would be helpful, right?! I know that by practicing gratitude it helps me overcome any challenges I come across (which I know there’s bound to be at least a few!).

So, be grateful for all the people, possessions, gifts, talents, moments, smells and parties your experience! Cherish the moments that only happen this time of year; it will be another full year before you get to experience them again.



Implement gratitude in less than 5 min a day:

Keep a gratitude journal

Step 1: Choose a specific time of day to make it a  habit. OR “tie” it to a habit that you already have, such as reading before bed.

Step 2: Everyday write 3-5 things you are grateful for. Make them specific rather than broad (i.e. family vs. my kids were so happy and loving today with each other).

Practice gratitude in the moment

Step 1: Did something happen that made your heart burst with joy? Take a moment to appreciate what happened and savor the joy.

Step 2: Rinse, lather and repeat all throughout the holiday season and into next year!

Keep yourself immunized from greed, jealousy and dissatisfaction this holiday by simply focusing on the abundance you already enjoy.

Tip #3 – Breathe

Sounds obvious, right? You breathe all day without thinking, however, most people don’t know the real power of breathing.

Breathing is the spark of life, and the main tool to manage stress!

Your stress levels can easily spiral out of control with a never-ending to-do list.

When you are stressed, tired or feeling anxious you tend to take fast, shallow breaths. On the other hand, when you are relaxed you take slow and deep breaths.

Deepening and slowing your breath triggers the parasympathetic nervous system and tells the brain to release calming hormones.

Therefore, if you consciously breath slow, calm breaths, the stress melts away.

Take advantage of this connection by channeling your attention to the breath whenever you start to feel stressed and anxious.

Reduce holiday stress by breathing:

1 minute breath

Step 1: Set a timer for 1 minute or just take a moment to “be”

Step 2: Place your hands on your abdomen

Step 3: Inhale and exhale slowly; the slower the better!

Step 4: Keep track of the number of inhales you take.

Take a Breath

One minute can change how you feel in your body and in your mind…

  • It gives you the space you need to shift your thinking, your approach, or your expectations to a situation.
  • It allows you to listen more and react less.
  • It opens the door to possibilities and leads to better outcomes.

Whenever someone or something tests your patience this holiday season, take one minute to just breathe; it will do wonders for your mood!

So stress less and stay in  the moment this holiday season by simplifying, practicing gratitude and breathing.

What’s one thing that helps you beat the holiday stress? Let us know on Facebook!

Need help to reduce stress and bring joy and vitality for your holiday and life in general? Let’s talk. Schedule a free 15 minute consultation with us.

The Autoimmune – GUT Connection

Have you ever gone to multiple doctors and done extensive lab testing only to be told, “Everything looks fine Your results are normal.”

AND finally, after hours and hours of research, numerous doctor’s visits and countless tears you figure out you have an autoimmune disease.

Perhaps along the way you experienced:

  • Fatigue that made it difficult to even leave the house
  • Debilitating joint pain that made everyday movements unbearable
  • Guilt for wanting to rest, while your kids and spouse needed your attention
  • Numbness and tingling in your hands and feet
  • Skin rashes that seemed to appear from nowhere

Perhaps, you haven’t experienced these exact things (not everyone does; for others it’s better, for others it’s worse).

And while experiencing this…the doubt crept in that you could never get better, only worse.

I’m here to tell you that addressing one of the main root causes of autoimmune disease can potentially halt the progression and even reverse symptoms of your autoimmune disease.

Why is your body attacking you?

Sometimes your immune defense cells lose the ability to tell the difference between the mean guys (i.e. bad bacteria, viruses, etc) and your healthy body cells and identifies all the cells as foreign invaders. When this occurs, your body can start attacking itself.

Some autoimmune diseases target only one organ, (e.x. type 1 diabetes damages the pancreas). Other autoimmune conditions may affect the whole body (e.x. lupus).

The most common autoimmune conditions are:

  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Celiacs Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Psoriasis/Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Graves’ Disease

There are more than 80 types of autoimmune conditions and symptoms can be vague, overlap with other conditions and in some cases the symptoms might come and go.

However, the main symptoms are:

  • fatigue
  • achy muscles and joints
  • swelling and redness
  • low-grade fever
  • trouble concentrating
  • numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • hair loss
  • skin rashes

In functional medicine, the goal is to treat the root cause – otherwise any other treatment not addressing the roots of a disease is merely symptom suppression.

The origins of many autoimmune diseases are murky, however leaky gut syndrome is almost always considered a contributor to an autoimmune disease.

In fact, stopping the progression and reversing symptoms of autoimmune diseases depends on addressing and healing leaky gut.

What Exactly is Leaky Gut?

Think of the lining of your gut as a security checkpoint. It allows certified officials (micronutrients found in food) to pass back and forth without a problem. This allows important nutrients into your bloodstream to be absorbed and used by the body.

Different aspects of our lifestyle (food, toxins, stress) can affect the structural integrity of these check points. When they become damaged, it allows the “bad guys” (food particles, toxins, microbes, etc) through the checkpoints into the bloodstream.

The security guards (your immune system) raises the alarm, “Danger, danger! There are invaders in the bloodstream!”

They take a picture of the invaders’ shape and send messages with the image along to all the troops. However, those security guards don’t have the best “eyesight”.

So your immune system guards can go haywire and attack any molecule that looks similar (including your body’s own tissues) because they’d rather be “safe than sorry”. A specific example:

Gluten molecules are large and often bully their way past the gut’s security checkpoints and into the bloodstream. The immune system takes a picture and sends out the “most wanted” picture to its troops. Your immune system troops can get “too” excited and have an over reactive response.

And since gluten molecules look very similar to thyroid molecules the troops can get carried away and not only attack all the gluten molecules, but your thyroid as well. This leads to the autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s.

What Contributes to Leaky Gut?

Poor Diet

Common foods that irritate the gut lining and can contribute to autoimmune flares are gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, peanuts, eggs and processed foods.

If you have multiple food sensitivities this could be a sign that your immune system is developing antibodies to the things you are eating and causing the immune system to overreact.

Chronic Stress

Often when someone first noticed symptoms associated with their autoimmune disease, there’s almost always a major life stressor or the culmination of multiple stressful events around that time.

Stress can cripple your immune system’s effectiveness, leading to inflammation and leaky gut, which reduces your overall ability to repress foreign invaders as they pass through your intestinal lining and into your bloodstream.

Toxin Overload

In today’s environment, toxins are all around us: beauty products, air, cooking utensils, water, food and more.

Our bodies are naturally designed to detox, but when it becomes overloaded from many different sources, the body can’t process the toxins fast enough.

This leads to many different health problems including leaky gut, autoimmune deficiency and autoimmune disease. For example, every time you consume pesticides with your produce, it kills off gut bacteria and damages the lining of the gut

Bacterial Imbalances

Bacterial imbalance is when there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria.

“Good” gut bacteria helps keep the security check points (the lining of your gut) intact by blocking the cell’s receptor to keep the “bad”bacteria away and increase the amount of the proteins that strengthen the gut walls.

In addition, 70-80% of your immune system lives in your gut and you want to create a healthy and secure environment for them. The good bacteria helps “train” the immune cells to distinguish between friendly and harmful bacteria (and your own body’s tissues).

3 Steps to Reverse Leaky Gut to Address your Autoimmune Symptoms

Want to start finding relief from your autoimmune symptoms by healing your gut?

There are 3 steps you can take to address and reverse symptoms of leaky gut.


Food: Remove food that you are sensitive to. Common sensitivities include: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, peanuts, eggs, legumes, nightshades and nuts for people dealing with autoimmune diseases.

Doing an elimination diet with a careful reintroduction plan can find which foods YOU are sensitive to.

Stress: What are the core things that are affecting your stress levels? Make a list. Once you’ve identified the stressors, how can you eliminate the stress associated with them?

  • Is it re-framing the situation in a positive light?
  • Is it avoiding the stressful situation altogether?
  • Is it accepting the stressor as something you don’t have control over?

Toxins: Eat organic food whenever possible to reduce exposure to pesticides and start reading labels on your beauty products to find and avoid harmful toxins.


Eat nutrient dense foods: Drink bone broth and eat lots of vegetables to heal and nourish your body and gut.

Bone broth is filled with collagen and essential amino acids. It helps heal the damaged cell walls of your gut to stop unwanted particles passing through the security checkpoints. Either make your own or find them at a local health food store (look for grass-fed, grass-finished sources).

Vegetables contain many different vitamins and they help reduce inflammation in the gut. If you’re healing your gut (and not currently eating many vegetables), it may be best to eat cooked veggies so they are easier to digest and less likely to cause an upset stomach.

Stress reduction techniques: What helps reduce your stress? Find a few things that work for you and stick to them. Examples include; get more sleep, add fun time into your schedule, meditate, journal, breathe, spend time in nature and surround yourself with positive people.

Replace toxic products: Slowly start to remove toxic products in your home (cleaners, beauty products, kitchen essentials) to reduce the overall toxic load in your body.


Now that you removed the gut irritants and replaced them with things that make the gut happy, let’s give the good bacteria a boost and a chance to flourish in your gut!

Prebiotics: Eat a diet rich in prebiotic foods to feed and nourish the healthy bacteria in your gut and the probiotics you consume. Natural sources of prebiotics are: chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, onions and jicama.

Probiotics: These help replenish good bacteria and crowd out the bad bacteria. Natural probiotics can be found in fermented food, sauerkraut and kimchi are excellent sources. These miracle workers support the ut and contain organic acids that help balance intestinal pH. Either make your own, or find them at a local health food store.

I’d like to hear your story! Share with us on Facebook any changes you’ve made regarding your gut health that affected your autoimmune disease!


Thyroid issues? (See our Life-Changing 12-Week Thyroid Program)

IBS: Constipation, bloating, diarrhea and gas

Is this you?

You wake up to a beautiful Denver sunrise with a bloated and extended stomach. Immediately, you feel the urge to pass gas.

As you dress for work, you spend time (you don’t have) searching for the right pants you can comfortably wear (and zip) over your poor bloated belly.

At work, your stomach continues to expand and gas continues to build up. You hope that none escapes because you can’t face the embarrassment of releasing it around your coworkers and boss.

It’s so uncomfortable and miserable. You try hard to think what you had for dinner the day before, but nothing sounds like it could be the cause.

You suffer throughout the day to just go home and repeat this routine day in and day out.

It’s okay; you’re not alone.

In fact, up to 38-96 million Americans experience symptoms of IBS but only 5-7% have been diagnosed. At Omnia Health, it’s one of the issues people see us the most about. With our Functional Medicine approach, we are often able to bring significant relief to Denver area patients.

What is IBS and How Does Functional Medicine Help?

From a Functional Medicine perspective, we see IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as a very complex disorder. It’s not a single disease with a single cause nor a single treatment.

Instead, complexity occurs due to the multitude of symptoms and a multitude of potential causes.

Mild to severe symptoms can include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Cramping
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

These symptoms can fluctuate in severity and seemingly at random. (You may not experience them all the time, but rather in waves).

This complex disease isn’t officially considered an autoimmune disease, but it overlaps with similar risk factors of autoimmunity including: leaky gut, dietary factors, infections, inflammation, toxins and stress.

Potential Causes

As mentioned before, when Functional Medicine principles are applied properly, we discover many contributing factors that lead to IBS and for each person it may be slightly different. Some of the most common causes are:

  1. Overuse of antibiotics
  2. Stress
  3. Food allergies or sensitivities

Overuse of Antibiotics

One of the many things that contribute to IBS symptoms is an unhealthy microbiome in your gut.

Your gut can have up to 500 species of bacteria which weighs about 3 pounds! Imagine three pounds of yeast fermenting inside of you… that would produce a lot of gas, right?


Of course your gut is not full of fermenting yeasts (or at least we hope not!) but rather, good bacteria, bad bacteria and SUPER bad bacteria.

When your microbiome is healthy, it has more good bacteria than bad.

When your microbiome is out of balance, it means the bad guys took over – or they went to prohibited areas (like your small intestine).

How is this related to antibiotic use?

Antibiotic drugs don’t kill only the bad guys (like we wish).

Instead, when you take antibiotics you kill most of the bacteria, the good and the bad; you essentially press the restart button for your microbiome!

However, when you do this, often the bad bacteria grows faster because the competition for nutrients in the gut is reduced, and the bad guys take over and inhibit the good bacteria population.

So, the next time you take antibiotics think about your microbiome and the potential effects!


Research has shown a correlation between high stress levels and increased instances of IBS.

Your brain and your gut share a strong connection via the vagus nerve.

You might be thinking: “Yes, I know that, my brain is always telling my gut – SNACKS, PLEASE!”

However, your brain-gut connection is a two-way pathway. Your gut sends signals to your brain and vice-versa.

Your (healthy) gut produces 95% of your serotonin (a hormone that regulates mood and sleep). However, when your brain is upset (stressed) it sends signals through the vagus nerve which upsets your gut.

This can create IBS-like symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, etc.

Now that your gut is unhappy, it reduces serotonin production;

  • which less serotonin in your brain makes you feel more stressed
  • which reduces the serotonin production in the gut
  • which makes you feel more stressed
  • which reduces the serotonin
  • which makes you feel EVEN MORE STRESSED
  • which reduces the serotonin production in the gut
  • which makes you feel irritable and cranky

As you can see it can spiral out of control very easily.

Food Allergies and Sensitivity

Many food allergies or sensitivities can have IBS-like symptoms such as gas, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation (in addition to many other symptoms).

The most common food allergies or sensitivities that can potentially irritate the digestive system include (but are not limited to) gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, sugar and peanuts.

Perhaps you’ve heard the terms food allergy and food sensitivities thrown around, yet you don’t know the difference.

Food allergies cause a range of symptoms that affect different organs in the body through an acute immune reaction. In some cases, an allergic food reaction can be severe or life-threatening.

Food sensitivities, however, are not true food allergies, but rather low-grade reactions that occur several hours after food is ingested. These reactions can present in many different ways; from IBS-like symptoms to brain fog, fatigue and more…

Find Relief!

Just like different factors contribute to IBS, there is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment. Everyone is unique and has different reasons that contribute to their IBS, therefore, they need to address the problem from multiple angles to find the root cause(s)! This is what Omnia Health’s Functional Medicine approach does – it dives deep into the real cause instead of just treating uncomfortable symptoms.

Here’s a few potential ways you can find relief: more than one approach may be needed!

  1. Fertilize your gut so the good guys grow stronger (aka prebiotics)
    1. Prebiotic Fiber can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as apple skins, bananas, onions and garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root and beans
  2. Add good guys to your diet (aka probiotics)
    1. Probiotics are found in fermented food, like yogurt (only if you’re tolerant to dairy), kimchi, kombucha or sauerkraut
  3. Remove irritating foods and irritants from your diet
    1. This includes (but not limited to) gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine and drugs.
  4. Control your stress levels
    1. Find something that works for you and do it regularly. For example, yoga, meditation, deep breathing, short walks or journaling
  5. Work with a Functional Medicine provider
    1. It’s best to work with someone closely to do specialized testing and so they can create a custom treatment plan based on your symptoms and what they identified as the root cause(s).

If you want to finally find relief from your systems and work with someone you can trust, Schedule a FREE 15-Minute Consultation with us.

Boost Your Brain With These 6 Steps

Do you ever feel like you can’t focus more than 10 minutes at a time… OR… ever have those days (or every day) where:

  • You can’t think straight
  • You miss important deadlines
  • You feel out-of-focus
  • You’re willing your mind to work, but it just doesn’t cooperate?
  • You feel like you’re walking around in a cloudy daze
  • You feel like you’re running on a treadmill of anxiety and stress

We all occasionally have those days, but experiencing that frequently or every day is a sign something is out of balance.

To get you feeling sharp witted, stress-free, and with laser-sharp focus there are three main building blocks to keep the fog at bay:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Mind Body
  3. Focus


Nutrition is the cornerstone of many different aspects of health, brain health included. Merely addressing aspects of your nutrition can produce profound results.

Two main components of your nutrition to improve brain health on a superficial level (In our office, we take a deeper look at your individual nutritional needs) are:

  • Sugar consumption
  • Fat consumption

Your Brain on Sugar

Have you ever ate a large ice cream sundae and then 30 minutes later felt like taking a nap? Irritable? Or had ZERO focus?

If so, you have experienced first-hand why sugar is one of the biggest culprits in your diet that could be pausing mental fatigue, irritability, anxiety and stress (the list goes on and on!).

When you consume sugar, it sends signals to the brain and lights up the “reward” center causing a surge of feel-good hormones (like dopamine). If you activate this “reward” center too often, it sets off a chain of negative events including a loss of control and sugar cravings.

If you consume copious amounts of sugar, it also interferes with your body’s ability to regulate insulin. Insulin not only regulates blood sugar levels, but also affects brain cognition. In fact, researchers are now finding correlations to high-sugar diets and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Want to reduce the impact sugar has on your brain health?

TIP -> The number one thing you can do is crowd sugar out with whole nourishing foods. This includes high quality sources of protein, fat, and veggies. This leaves less room for the sugar to sneak in and you’re focusing on adding in healthier options rather than restricting sugar which makes it a more sustainable lifestyle change.

Your Brain on Fat

Remember when the media tried to convince you that low-fat / high carb (aka sugar) diets were actually good for you? Well it turns out, fat is actually a good guy (well, most types of fat).

FACT -> The brain is the fattiest organ in your body. Since your brain fires on all cylinders ALL day long, it uses a lot of energy. The most sustainable form of energy for optimal brain health is healthy fats because they digest slower.

Want to harness all the amazing benefits of healthy fats?

TIP -> Use the chart below to include these healthy fats into your diet to gain clarity!


While nutrition often steals most of the spotlight, an under-looked aspect of an healthy brain is the MindBody connection. The mind and body are often thought as separate entities, but in reality they work together simultaneously. If one is out of balance the other is as well.

**Important Note**

The “mind” does not mean “brain”. Instead the brain is considered the vessel to experience various mental states including thoughts, emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and images. The “brain” can be improved by working on the “mind”.

Two things you can do to improve the MindBody connection are:

  • Gratitude
  • Meditation


When was the last time you paused to embrace a sense of gratitude?

Simply including a gratitude practice into your daily routine can have a profound impact on your life and brain.

In the field of positive psychology, gratitude is strongly correlated with greater happiness because it helps you feel more positive emotions, relish the good, improve your health, deal with stress and adversity, and build stronger relationships.

Research shows that individuals who showed more gratitude had increased levels of activity in the hypothalamus. What does this mean for you? Well, the hypothalamus is the command center for a variety of functions including eating, drinking, sleeping, metabolism and stress. Therefore, your hypothalamus will have better control regulating those functions.

Want to start incorporating gratitude into your life?

Gratitude is an easy habit to create because it is self-perpetuating in nature. The more you practice, the more adapted you are to think of things that you appreciate and the more psychological benefits you enjoy.

TIP -> One of the best places to start is to keep a gratitude journal.

  • Keep a small notebook by your bedside table and do it at the same time every day.
  • Start with 3 things that you are grateful for from the day. It could be something as big as cherishing your spouse or something as small as seeing a beautiful flower.
  • When you write down the items, take a moment and really experience the feeling all over again of how you felt in that moment.
  • Make sure to write down different things each day.


I’m sure you’ve heard the term meditation thrown around a few times (or many — since it’s a hot topic right now). Unlike the war on fat in the media, meditation’s fame is rightly deserved.

So why is it so great? Meditation can help:

  • Preserve the brain
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Stimulate new neural activity
  • Improve concentration
  • Improve attention
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve memory

Above are just a “few” of the things that makes meditation so great…so why not give it a try? What are you risking if you try it out for 5 minutes a day for a week? That’s the sum of one TV show, yet you gain so much more.

Want to try meditation but don’t know where to start?

TIP -> Try out the below tips to make meditation a part of your brain clarity regime:

  • Start slow. The number of times (frequency) you do it is more important than the length of each session in the beginning.
  • It can feel uncomfortable initially, but your mind AND body will thank you later!
  • Try out a short guided meditation through an App or YouTube. (Headspace has a great free 10-day trial to help you learn how to meditate).


As much as you wish, you’re not a machine; your brain is not a machine. It’s not meant to be turned on all day, every day at max performance. It’s just not. Expecting your brain to focus like that is unrealistic and can contribute to brain fog and fatigue.

Two things you can work on to improve your limited focus:

  • Increase deep work
  • Decrease social media

Deep Work

According to Cal Newport, who termed the concept ‘deep work’:

Why is deep work so important to your brain health? Because the opposite, multitasking, deteriorates your deep work ‘muscle’ making your ability to focus, concentrate and remember things more difficult.

It also creates an unhealthy instant gratification feedback loop that makes us crave other things that instantly gratify us (think: the cookie from the break room or deciding to skip the gym for a Netflix binge).

Want to spend more time doing deep work?

TIP -> Two ways to train your deep work muscle are to:

  • Schedule your day — schedule deep work blocks and shallow work (multitasking) blocks
  • Take scheduled and structured breaks to allow your mind to fully relax (don’t scroll FB though! See why below).

Social Media

Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through Facebook, unable to take your eyes away? Then afterwards feeling like you were sucked into a time-warp…having no idea what time it is? Sometimes you mindlessly scroll through social media to relax, or when you feel tired, bored or lonely. Yet…do you feel better after it?

No surprise here, social media is addicting. When you’re constantly checking your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram every time you have a two minute break from your day, you aren’t letting your brain relax and take a break which decreases attention, focus, and concentration.

Want to start limiting or at least monitoring your social media usage?

TIP -> Schedule into your calendar when you check your social media updates and only at that time. Notice how you feel after your next long scroll session. Do you feel refreshed? Energized? Or do you feel like a zombie?


So how do you implement all of this information? Where do you start?

Step 1: Identify where you are at. Use this article like a checklist. What are you already doing? What are you struggling with? What do you want to work on?

Step 2: Start at the top and work your way down. Sugar addict? Work on getting that under control first (if it seems like it’s out of control…come see us!).

Step 3: Incorporate only 1-2 things at a time. It’s better to start small and continue those actions than to start big and stop a few weeks later because you’re burned out.

Step 4: Share with us on our Facebook page your favorite tip.


What Do I Eat For Breakfast

What to eat for breakfast

Have you ever found yourself asking this question, scratching your head, or staring blankly into the fridge each morning?

We get this question from many of our clients when they start to make lifestyle changes with us.

Breakfast can be one of the biggest struggles when changing your lifestyle. The standardized American breakfast is full of refined carbs & sugar and if you’ve been eating this for breakfast your entire life, it can be difficult to change – but that’s why we’re here!

Once you get the breakfast equation down, you’ll start your day off right and improve your chances of staying on track for the rest of the day.

When we think of breakfast, we make sure it hits the 3 following things:

  • Quick (10 min or less)
  • Delicious / satisfying
  • Controls blood sugar


Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had time to create a gourmet breakfast (think: drool worthy brunch at your favorite spot)? But the reality of your life is that you’re often rushing out the door and just grabbing something as a last minute thought or hitting the staff break room for a doughnut (or 3).

That’s why we stress the importance of focusing on quick breakfasts for not only our clients, but ourselves.

Your ideal breakfast should take less than 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish to ensure a speedy exit from the house in the morning.

1. Make a Game plan

Know what you’re going to have for breakfast each morning at least the night before, if not on a weekly rotating schedule (e.g. Monday = eggs, Tuesday = smoothie, Wednesday = bone broth, etc.).

2. Take shortcuts

Prep anything you can the night before.

  • Prepare morning veggies by cutting them with your dinner veggies and storing them in the fridge.
  • Set out or place together the ingredients you need to use before you go to bed (e.g. Place the protein powder & blender on the counter together).
  • Pre-portion a serving of leftovers for breakfast so you can just grab and heat (if needed).

Delicious / satisfying

Just because you’re eating healthier doesn’t mean food doesn’t have to taste good. In fact, if you make things delicious then you’re more likely to continue the new changes.

Try out this exercise to replace the standard American breakfast with scrumptious healthy ones without sacrificing anything.

Step 1: Ask yourself: What’s your ideal quick breakfast right now? (It doesn’t have to be “healthy”–just think of the thing you would make yourself over and over right now if you could).

Got it in mind? Good. Now here comes the fun part.

Step 2: Describe the food as if you’re telling someone from a different planet (write this down – it’s important for the next step — don’t be tempted to skip it)

Step 3: What keywords are jumping out at you? Crunchy? Savory? Sweet? Silky smooth? Refreshing? Circle those words.

Step 4: Brainstorm how you can recreate this within the parameters of your lifestyle. (This doesn’t mean substituting a “paleo pancake” for a regular pancake – see why below).


  • Sweet: Toss a handful of berries into your smoothie (they have a lower glycemic index)
  • Savory: Bone broth w/some sauteed veggies or an egg &amp veggie stir fry
  • Creamy: Add a few nuts or avocado to a smoothie to make it luxuriously rich.
  • Crunchy: Paleo granola over a smoothie bowl (create your smoothie as usual but put less liquid in it – pour in a bowl and top with a little granola).

Control Blood Sugar

What do these all have in common?

  • Fluffy pancakes oozing syrup
  • French toast liberally sprinkled with powdered sugar
  • An overflowing bowl of your favorite crunchy cereal
  • Starbucks caramel frappuccino
  • oversized, crumbly muffin


  • Typical American breakfast
  • All max out (and most dramatically go over) the amount of sugar you should consume in a day
  • They take you on the blood-sugar roller coaster

Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

After sleeping and not eating anything for typically 8-12 hours you don’t want to break the fast (where breakfast gets its name) with sugar. Your body needs consistent energy for your brain to be firing on all cylinders.

If you break the fast with one of the above examples (or something similar) you may find that your tummy starts grumbling and your energy plunges soon after eating.


It’s your body’s response to sugar that follows a spike-then-crash pattern aka: Blood Sugar Roller Coaster.

Your pancreas releases insulin to regulate incoming energy (food) and to turn it into a form of fuel that your body can use.

Different foods require different amounts of insulin and break down times to process it into fuel. Sugary foods, or food that quickly convert to sugar (think carbs such as bread, pastries, cereal, etc), quickly hit the system and require a big spike of insulin. It’s quickly processed and then your body says, “What’s next? Feed me more.”

If you do this day after day, your body gets tired and it struggles to process all the sugar. It can’t handle being on a roller coaster every day; it wants to be on a flat boring road with gentle sloping hills that gives you consistent energy.

Healthy fats and proteins on the other hand aren’t processed as quickly and the pancreas slowly releases insulin to convert the food to energy. This means the energy uptake for your body is more consistent and spread out; not in huge bursts.

To achieve this steady flow of energy to start your day off right, a good equation to remember when building your breakfast is:
Protein + Good Fat + Veggie


  • Scrambled eggs + leftover dinner veggies
  • Smoothie with Collagen Protein, spinach, berries
  • Bone broth with sauteed veggies
  • 1/2 Avocado w/leftover meat from dinner
  • Dinner Leftovers
  • Grass-fed meat patty with suteed spinach drizzled with olive oil

We know changes can be difficult to make. below are three steps to make it a sustainable change for you.

1. Change your definition of breakfast foods

This is perhaps the biggest piece of advice. At first it may seem strange not to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

But by broadening your definition of what constitutes as breakfast — it will open a whole new realm of possibilities. Savory leftovers for breakfast may seem weird, but in time you may start craving the oven roasted chicken and sweet potatoes you had the night before.

How we perceive things can either make or break a habit change.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Quote

2. Have a set of 2-3 go-to breakfast combinations

Even if you don’t want to eat the same thing everyday, it’s good to have 2-3 go-to breakfast combos you enjoy but can easily change the ingredients slightly to make it a completely different meal.


  • Eggs + veggies+ spices
    • Use leftover veggies, frozen veggies, or other veggies you have laying around
    • Change things up with different spices!
  • Bone broth + sauteed veggies
    • Use leftover veggies, frozen veggies or other veggies you have laying around
    • Add different spices to change up the flavor
  • Dinner leftovers
  • Smoothie + berries + greens
    • Change up the different greens (spinach, kale, etc)
    • Use different types of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc)

3. Try new foods for breakfast instead of making paleo substitutes for traditional high carb breakfasts

Simply substituting Paleo versions of pancakes, muffins, etc isn’t the best choice as they are often still full of sugar and don’t have much nutritional value.

These substitutions are great as occasional treats, but shouldn’t be consumed daily.

Share with us on Facebook your favorite go-to breakfast made up of the Good Fat + Protein + Veggie equation!

Diets Don’t Work


You’ve tried at least 17 different diets (who hasn’t?) ranging from Atkins to maybe that fad diet of eating only grapefruit. Each time thinking, this is the one. This is the one that’s going to work.

You did well for the first week, maybe two. Then motivation started diminishing or it got boring, or perhaps you like you were starving yourself.

Cookies started slipping back in. Maybe a slice of pizza here or there. Before you knew it you were back to square one — perhaps even further away from your goal than you started.

Then the guilt starts to creep in and tangle you in it’s gnarly grip. The thought of yet another failed diet adds up onto the other 17 that you’ve gone through.

This is a vicious cycle AND it needs to stop.


From a nutritional standpoint, the word diet simply means what you habitually eat.

Yet, in our modern day world, the word has become skewed. It’s often associated with guilt, severe calorie restriction, and a strict set of specific foods.

Diets by nature are:
● Temporary
● Require perfection
● Restrictive


When you set finish lines for yourself, such as a “diet,” you set yourself up for potential failure.

According to Gretchen Rubin, author of Better than Before:

“A finish line marks a stopping point. Once we stop, we must start over, and starting over is harder than continuing. The reward of the finish line has a particularly bad effect for people on a “diet.” Despite it’s popularity — in 2012, about one in five American adults was on a diet — dieting has an abysmal track record. According to a review of studies of the long-term outcomes of calorie-restricting diets, one-third to two-thirds of people who dieted eventually regained more weight than they initially lost. Why? Perhaps because people are encouraged to set a goal weight, and once they’ve hit that finish line they slide back into their old eating habits. Maintaining a healthy weight requires us not to follow a temporary diet, but to change our eating habits forever.”

Diets inherently consist of temporary changes with a hope for a specific outcome and once that outcome is reached, you revert back to your old ways, gaining everything back.

In today’s society, when you want something, you wanted it yesterday. And we apply that thinking to our health as well.
● I want to lose 10lbs before my vacation in 2 weeks.
● I want to reverse my Type 2 Diabetes in a month.
● I want to my thyroid to be in normal ranges after 2 months.

These results can potentially happen, but rarely do things play out that way. It’s important to remember that these things took time to develop (often years & years) so they won’t be resolved in 2 weeks or a month.

As Einstein once said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.



Diet’s are often about external change, not internal. You focus on the techniques and rules of a specific diet that produce the results, not you.

You may think that if you are follow the diet perfectly it will lead to happiness. That if you count every calorie, log every morsel of food that enters your mouth, that at the end of it all, there will be weight loss and happiness.

Let me ask you a question: Are you truly happy when you have to agonize over every calorie you ate? Trying find the exact thing you ate in your MyFitnessPal. “Well, I asked for no dressing on the salad, only ate 3/4 of the salad, and added olive oil — should I select option a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k….”


When you are on a diet, you are simultaneously told you are not enough and you can’t have more. How is that for building up you self esteem?

Have you ever been on a diet that encouraged you to focus on the foods you could eat? Or was it all about the foods that you couldn’t?

Did you find yourself craving those forbidden foods? Even if you normally never craved them?

The thing is, humans often crave the very things we can’t have the most. These cravings often escalate into an obsession where that’s all you think about and you just have to have that piece of pizza or that pint of Ben & Jerry’s — ruining the diet, ruining your self esteem.

Why set yourself up for failure by telling yourself you can’t have these foods, even it is just temporary?



What if instead of trying diet after diet with various failed results, you shifted your perspective that food nourishes your body, mind, and soul and include nutritious foods as a part of your daily lifestyle?

Lifestyle changes by nature are:
● Long term
● Involve continuous improvement
● Abundant

Long term thinking

Eating for a lifestyle change means eating consistently the same over a lifetime with small tweaks and changes to optimize along the way; there are no finish lines.

Overtime your idea of eating well will change as you make small changes here and there. What I thought was healthy 10 years ago, is not my definition of “healthy eating” now. This realization occurred to me without even processing it and these slow changes build over time.

Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy. ~ Unknown

Continuous Improvement

Eating healthy as a lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be perfect 100%. In fact, I doubt that there is anyone out there who eats well 100% of the time…

AND that’s okay.

The lifestyle mentality means eating well 85-90% of the time and indulging occasionally and being okay with it.

It also means that when you are starting out, you don’t have to be perfect. You start where you are at — working to build each day, each week, each month, each year on the foundations that you are laying in the now.

Drastic changes, such as a diet, work for a select few, but for many it doesn’t.


When making a lifestyle change, it’s best to focus on what you can eat instead of what you can’t eat. When you focus on what you can, you start to realize that there is an abundance of things you can have.

You begin to celebrate what you can have, focus on all the new wonderful recipes you can try, and aware of new exciting foods.

By doing this you’re focusing on abundance, not scarcity — which sets you up for success.

Functional Medicine advocates lifestyle change, not diets.

It’s extremely difficult to know what health information to follow. In the media and on the internet there’s someone promoting every imaginable type of diet saying “this is the cure all” “this is the one that will answer all of your dreams and problems.”

So how do you know what to do or who to follow? That’s where a trusted Functional Medicine clinician comes into play. Functional Medicine personalizes care for the individual.

At Omnia Health, we recognize that everyone has different starting points. Perhaps you almost have the right formula down and need help making a few tweaks. Or perhaps you find yourself at a fast food joint most days of the week.

Wherever you’re at in your health journey, our job is to help you find the right starting place that’s challenging yet attainable. During office visits, we will discuss your health concerns, goals, and lab results to determine what changes will help you the most.

We prescribe lifestyle changes, not diets.

In fact, after working with us, many of our clients have an aha moment during their journey. They say, “Ahhh I get it now. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.”

When we hear this, we know we’ve done our job well. Because when it comes to our health (and most things in life), it’s the journey, not the destination that matters.


Share with us one “aha moment” you’ve had while on your health journey.