The author shares her story of reversing multiple sclerosis through changing her diet to a paleo-based one. She goes even further to show how this unique diet plan can help patients with other chronic autoimmune disorders to feel better, begin and remain in a recovery process, and even prevent certain illnesses.
Dr Wahls began studying the latest research on autoimmune disease and brain biology and decided to get her vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids from the food she ate rather than pills and supplements. Dr Wahls adopted the nutrient-rich paleo diet, gradually refining and integrating it into a regimen of neuromuscular stimulation. First, she walked slowly, then steadily, and then she biked 18 miles in a single day. Here she reveals the details of the protocol that allowed her to reverse many of her symptoms, get back to her life and help others.
Terry L. Wahls, M.D, is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City. She has made it her mission to spread the word about the Wahls Protocol through the book, her lectures and seminars around the globe, her website, The Wahls Research Fund, and her Wahls Protocol Seminars for the public and health professionals. Dr. Terry Wahls lives in Iowa City, Iowa, with her wife and daughter. Her son, Iowa state senator Zach Wahls, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, My Two Moms.
"In The Wahls Protocol, Dr. Wahls provides elegant first hand validation that diet truly represents the most powerful medicine. This book is totally supported by the most leading edge research and provides a beacon of hope when compared to the ever changing landscape of pharmaceutical recommendations for multiple sclerosis." --David Perlmutter, MD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain "Groundbreaking! Once you understand why you need to eat for health, Dr. Wahls delivers a detailed road map, guiding you step by step. This will be life changing for many." --Robb Wolf, New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Solution
"Using clear language, Dr. Wahls teaches how our food and lifestyle choices create health or disease depending on our choices. For anyone suffering from autoimmune or other chronic health problems, this book will be life changing." --Mark Hyman, M.D. #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Blood Sugar Solution.
"Whether or not you struggle with autoimmune diseases, I can't recommend The Wahls Protcol highly enough. Dr. Wahls provides a clear, in-depth, copiously researched dietary and lifestyle protocol to help you take charge of your health and your life. An absolute must-read book." --JJ Virgin, New York Times bestselling author of The Virgin Diet
"Terry Wahls is a hero to many for her discovery that a nourishing ancestral diet can heal multiple sclerosis. In The Wahls Protocol, Terry sets forth a straightforward plan for achieving good health through good food. Not just for MS patients, The Wahls Protocol is a fascinating tale that proves the wisdom of Hippocrates: 'Let food be thy medicine.' Try it, it works!" --Paul Jaminet, Ph.D., author of Perfect Health Diet and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Evolution and Health
"Dr. Wahls teaches you how to eat and live so that you can upgrade dramatically your brain and body." --Sara Gottfried M.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure
"Terry Wahls' new book is one of the most important books on health ever written. That's not a hyperbolic statement, just plain fact. If doctors would take this incredible information to heart (and into their practices), the health crisis in this world would be over--the cancer industry crushed and the rise in autoimmune conditions would fall. True health reform is contained within these pages. I cannot recommend a book any more highly. Bravo Dr. Wahls!" --Leanne Ely, C.N.C., New York Times bestsellling author of Saving Dinner
"I've long recommended that anyone diagnosed with MS who is also interested in health and healing research the work of Dr. Wahls online, but the game has now changed. The Wahls Protocol will be the go-to resource for anyone suffering from MS or another autoimmune condition who is ready to fight back. Dr. Wahls outlines a clear-cut, stepped approach to dietary and lifestyle changes--supported by her extensive research and testing of the plans--that will put anyone on a path to better health. Whether you have MS or not, The Wahls Protocol is a goldmine of easy-to-follow, real-food nutritional guidelines that will leave you feeling so amazing it'll make you wonder how you ever ate any other way." --Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC, New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo
"The Wahls Protocol is one 'ah-ha' after another of how Terry Wahls' realizations may help you in your health journey. Not only will you be captivated by what you read, you'll also learn how to be healthier. Highly recommended." --Dr. Tom O'Bryan, creator of "A Grain of Truth: The Gluten e-Summit"
"Terry Wahls does an amazing job at highlighting the importance of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and essential fats) as an integral part in preventing and reversing disease. Her story is incredible and brings hope to millions needlessly suffering. The Wahls Protocol is a must read for anyone looking to reverse autoimmune conditions naturally." --Mira Calton, CN and Jayson Calton, Ph.D., authors of Rich Food, Poor Food
"The best treatment for multiple sclerosis, autoimmunity, and chronic disease is teaching people how and why to eat and live for optimal health. By combining the latest science with the all-important factors of nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle, The Wahls Protocol goes beyond conventional treatments and empowers you with real solutions." --Ann Boroch, C.N.C., author of Healing Multiple Sclerosis: Diet, Detox & Nutritional Makeover for Total Recovery
"Dr. Wahls engages us with her personal story of triumph over multiple sclerosis while educating us on the importance of a nutrient-dense diet for our cellular health. You will find yourself drawn in and inspired to take control of your own health as Dr. Wahls shares her experiences, knowledge, and compassion. The three levels of The Wahls Protocol provide a concrete plan--including both feasible diet and lifestyle changes--to help you on your road to recovery." --Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., author of The Paleo Approach
"The Wahls Protocol is essential reading for anyone suffering from a chronic disease and wanting to regain their health. All the therapies which restored Dr Wahls to well-being are described in detail and are succinctly summarized in the appendices. The huge amount of scientific information, clear explanations, and practical advice makes this book an invaluable resource and indispensable reference." --Ashton Embry, Ph.D., president of Direct-MS
"Only Terry Wahls, M.D. could have written a book as important as The Wahls Protocol. Her discovery of a path to recovery from disabling multiple sclerosis after failing to respond to the traditional medical approach is not only a story of great personal triumph, but a manifesto of hope for many others with various chronic illnesses for which drug therapy has not worked. This is a book that provides a program that can be applied by anyone who is searching for solutions to health challenges." --Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., president of the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute
INTRODUCTION I used to run marathons and climb mountains in Nepal. I''ve competed multiple times in the American Birkebeiner 54-kilometer cross-country ski marathon (once while pregnant), earned a black belt in tae kwon do, and won a bronze medal in women''s full contact free sparring at the trials for the 1978 Pan American Games in Washington, DC. I used to feel invincible. Then I developed multiple sclerosis. After decades of troubling symptoms I tried to ignore, I was finally diagnosed in 2000. By that time, the disease had a good footing in my central nervous system. My decline progressed rapidly. Within two years of my diagnosis, I could no longer play soccer with my kids in the backyard. By fall 2003, walking from room to room for my hospital rounds exhausted me, and by summer 2004, my back and stomach muscles had weakened so much that I needed a tilt/recline wheelchair. Within three years of initial diagnosis, my disease had transitioned from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis into secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. In that phase, disability slowly progresses despite increasingly aggressive therapy. By 2007, I spent most of my time lying in a zero-gravity chair. I was 52 years old. Everyone with multiple sclerosis has a story--the years of clues and strange symptoms that finally, in retrospect, make sense. It is in the nature of most neurological and autoimmune diseases that symptoms accumulate slowly, bit by bit, over the course of decades. This is what happened to me. As a doctor, I was compelled to find answers: a diagnosis and a cure. As a patient, I was compelled to save my own life. Like most physicians, I was always focused on quickly diagnosing my patients, and then using drugs and surgical procedures to treat them--that is, until I became a patient myself. Conventional medicine was failing me. I saw that. I was heading toward a bedridden life. Since the beginning of our profession, physicians have used self-experimentation, either to prove a scientific point or to treat themselves when the conventional treatments were of limited value. In that tradition, and in the face of this chronic, progressive disease for which there was no cure, I began to experiment on myself. What I didn''t expect were the stunning results I got from my self-experimentation: I not only arrested my disease, I achieved a dramatic restoration of my health and my function. What I learned changed forever how I saw the battling worlds of health and disease. More than a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison said, "The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his [or her] patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." This became my new course, my passion, and my mission. I understood health and disease in an entirely new way. I became a new person, both physically and emotionally, both personally and professionally. I also became passionately committed to helping other people become new people, too. My Diagnosis The stress and pressure of medical school may have been what triggered my first symptoms in 1980, years before I had any idea what they were. I would eventually call them "zingers"--intense stabs of facial pain. They lasted just a moment and would come randomly, sometimes in waves, the episodes building over a week or two and then gradually fading over the next several. They were most likely to happen during my busiest and most brutal hospital rotations, with shifts lasting thirty-six hours and allowing for little sleep. Over the years they became steadily worse, like electrical pain that felt like a 10,000-volt cattle prod sticking me in the face. At the time, I thought the episodes of face pains were an aggravation, nothing more. I thought it was an isolated, unexplained problem--one of those medical mysteries that don''t really require solving. Even as a doctor, I didn''t think much about it. I was too busy with my own patients to dedicate too much diagnostic thought to myself. I certainly never suspected an autoimmune problem. This was my first symptom, but it was not likely the moment when multiple sclerosis began its relentless march through my central nervous system. For at least a decade before then, probably two, my brain and spinal cord had been under siege from friendly fire--my own immune system attacking the myelin that insulated my nerves. I couldn''t feel it at first. I couldn''t feel it for years. Nevertheless, it was happening. As the years passed, I became a mother, first to my son, Zach, then my daughter, Zebby. The rigors of parenting and full-time work distracted me, but my multiple sclerosis clock was ticking. This was a clock I did not hear, even though alarms of visual dimming and the zingers were going off. I fully expected to be an active, adventurous, vibrant woman for at least forty more years. I imagined mountain climbing with my children, even as a white-haired old grandma. I never thought my unexplained symptoms would have anything to do with something as basic as my mobility or as crucial as my thinking. One evening at a dinner party, I was talking to a neurologist and I happened to mention that I perceived the color blue somewhat differently in my right and left eyes. Blues were a bit brighter when I used my right eye than if I used the left. She seemed interested. "You''ll have multiple sclerosis someday," she said. It was the first time anyone had said those words. My father died the next morning, and so her words were forgotten in the chaos of grief. Years later, I recalled those prescient comments. The day my wife, Jackie, noticed I seemed to be walking strangely, I didn''t believe her. I didn''t even notice until she insisted we go for a three-mile walk to the local dairy for ice cream. By the time we got back, I was dragging my left foot like a sandbag. I couldn''t pick up my toes. I was exhausted, nauseated, and scared. I scheduled an appointment with my physician. Many people who are ultimately diagnosed with multiple sclerosis go through a similar experience. Symptoms develop slowly over years, and diagnosis may take additional years once physical problems manifest and become obvious. I spent the next few weeks going through test after test, dreading each result. Some tests involved flashing lights and buzzers. Others involved more electricity and more pain. There were more blood tests. I said little and feared much. Everything came back negative, but there was clearly something wrong with me. Finally, we were down to the last test: a spinal tap. If there were oligoclonalband proteins (an indicator of excessive amounts of antibodies) present in the spinal fluid, then the diagnosis would be multiple sclerosis. But if this test was also negative, then I likely had what they call "idiopathic degeneration of the spinal cord" (meaning they don''t know the cause). In the long list of potential diseases I had faced, this seemed like the best option. I was hopeful. When I got up the next morning, I knew that the results should be in my chart. I could get into the clinic medical records from my home computer through remote access. I brought up my medical record on the screen and went to the laboratory section. Positive. I stood up. I paced. Two hours later, I logged onto the system and checked again. Five times I looked up my results, hoping they would somehow change. They never did. It was official: I had multiple sclerosis. My Decline In summer 2000, I moved with Jackie and my children from Marshfield, Wisconsin, to Iowa to accept a joint appointment as assistant professor at the University of Iowa and chief of primary care at the VA hospital. I was newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was taking Copaxone, which my physician had prescribed for the MS, and I relied entirely on my physicians for treatment decisions. I had been trained as a doctor and conditioned to believe that doctors know best. Besides, what did I know about multiple sclerosis? It wasn''t my area. I was seeing the very best people and getting the very best treatments available, so I assumed I was doing all that I could do. I was determined not to let my diagnosis influence my new job. I was in a leadership position with plenty of challenges, and I loved it. I enjoyed teaching, and the kids were thriving in their new home. I thought I was doing pretty well, and so did my doctors. I even began to imagine I might never get much worse. I dreamed I might not even have to confess to my children that I had multiple sclerosis. Then my right arm and hand became weak. My doctors gave me steroids to suppress my immune cells, and my strength slowly returned, but it was the beginning of a slow, steady decline. I could see it, Jackie could see it, and so could the kids. They''ve since admitted that sometimes it was embarrassing to have me around because I was less and less mobile. Sometimes they wished I wouldn''t attend their activities, and that made me feel guilty for wanting to be there. It was a strain on the whole family, and I felt responsible. It was all my fault. I was supposed to be the provider, and I was slowly losing my ability to manage my own body. It had been only two years since my initial diagnosis. Then something happened that changed my life. In 2002, my neurology doctor at the Cleveland Clinic noted that I was slowly getting worse and suggested I check out Ashton Embry''s MS charity website, Direct-MS, at www.direct-ms.org. Dr. Embry is a geologist with a Ph.D. whose son has MS. Dr. Embry''s son improved dramatically by changing his diet, so Dr. Embry became an active and vocal proponent of the link between diet and multiple sclerosis. This was the first I''d heard of such an idea--or, at least, the first time I
An integrative approach to healing chronic auto-immune conditions by a doctor who suffers from MS. The diet is separated into three different levels depending on the reader's need. Already topping Amazon US bestseller lists. Combines scientific data and a patient's emotional insight. Terry Wahls TED lecture 'Minding Your Mitochondria' has already received 1 million views on YouTube.
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