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Complex Chronic Illness

The “Ologist” Shuffle

Complex chronic illness is a constellation of symptoms that arise in a patient over time, and which occur as the result of a variety of different reasons. Traditional medicine has notoriously failed these kinds of patients because it lacks a holistic perspective. Patients find themselves on what we call the “ologist” shuffle going from Cardiologist, to Gastroenterologist, to Neurologist, to Rheumatologist, but the various symptoms remain examined from only one perspective. Therefore, true and deep healing is not likely to take place.

Naturopathic physicians have long been proponents of viewing disease as a state of “disharmony”, whereby symptoms arise as the result of the tissues, organs, and individual being out of balance, and unable to attain a natural state of homeostasis. Chronic inflammation, infections, hormone imbalances, genetic predisposition, heavy metals, environmental toxic burden, immune system status, life stressors, EMF exposure, and a myriad of other reasons contribute to the development of chronic illness in a patient, and frequently diagnosis as well as treatment proves to be very difficult. Only a seasoned practitioner can tease out the important findings and develop a treatment protocol that is tailored just for the patient.

Careful consideration of the exposure to stressors in a patient, is the only way to begin unraveling these complex disease situations. The following is a list of stressors that should be examined in any patient with complex chronic illness.

  • Identify infections accurately
  • Identify immune status and inflammation markers
  • Identify hormonal imbalances
  • Identify SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms)
  • Identify environmental toxins
  • Identify endogenous toxins
  • Identify EMF exposure
  • Identify life stressors (job, spouse, child)
  • Identify hypercoagulation disorders
  • Identify family history risks
  • Identify necessary diet modifications
  • Identify neuropsychiatric issues and neuroinflammation
  • Identify the microbiome status
  • Identify intestinal parasites
  • Identify personal problems that contribute to disease

When you meet with Dr. Marra, she will review your history, perform a physical exam, and make recommendations as to where to start for your healing journey. Certain urine and blood tests may be required, such as: stool, hormones, saliva etc…. to reveal imbalances which will help to elucidate the root of disease. Detoxification methods and herbal cleanses may initially be required in order to help the body move to a state of health and equilibrium. You will find Dr. Marra’s approach to problem solving very thorough which will allow you to recover more quickly and resume activities that bring you joy in your life.