Complex Cases: Medical Refugees

Anderson Eight 2019 WANP“Chronic Disease of any kind (in the absence of geneic or acquired immune deficiency) is never a single issue. In some proportion, the effectors listed feed into the terrain that allows the chronic illness to exist.”
~Paul Anderson, ND

Naturopathic doctors and functional medicine providers are often seeking to help patients who have not been well-served by conventional medicine. I call these patients, “medical refugees”. If you are one of these patients, or a provider that tries to help them, you know this is not easy work. It can feel like dark and impenetrable wilderness, but there are places to look.

When a patient is complex or is not responding to therapies as expected, it pays to consider whether unexplored “blocks” to optimal health in play.

  1. Cell Functon: Micronutrient deficiencies, excessive oxidation, mitochondrial dysfunction
  2. Toxins: Heavy metals, plastics, pesticides, persistent fat-soluble chemicals, genetic differences in biotransformation (esp. Phase II)
  3. Biofilms: Molds, bacterial commuities, parasites
  4. Immunology: Chronic infections, autoimmunity, immune deficits or imballances
  5. Endocrine: Suboptimal or disordered thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormone function
  6. Psychosocial/Neuro-emotional: Current or recent stressors, past trauma,
  7. Digestive – GI: macronutrient absorption, leaky gut, food reactions, dysbiosis
  8. Physical – Structural: Spinal, impingements, restrictions

So if you have a chronic condition is not responding to conventional medicine, three or more chronic or recurrent symptoms that are unexplained, find a licienced ND or certified functional medicine provider and ask to have these areas sensitively and eficiently explored. You may find yourself back on the path to health faster than you immagined. Anderson Eight 2019 WANP

(Credit to Paul Anderson, ND who presented on the “Anderson Eight” at the 2019 WANP annual conference in Seattle, WA.)

About trmorrisnd

Naturopathic Medical Doctor and IFMCP (Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner) serving patients in Seattle, WA and wordwide through remote consultations


  1. Dr. Morris, I’m curious if you work with remote/non-local clients (e.g. someone from Kentucky).

    1. Hello Kirk. Yes, absolutely. I do work with remote clients. All I ask is that you stay in regular and appropriate contact with a primary care provider in your area to get regular physical exams, screening lab work, etc..

      1. Great to hear. Do you work via Skype? Zoom? For blood tests, clients can visit a local lab for draws, correct?

  2. I use Skype and Facetime. I can order tests through your local Quest Diagnostics (or LabCorp) for out of state patients, and I can have other alternative lab kits (saliva, stool, finger prick, etc.) shipped directly to you.

    1. Very good. (I’m here in Edmonds, WA, and am asking for a friend in Louisville.)

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