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MS Spotlight: Terry Wahls

From tilt recline wheelchair to being symptom free

Thanks for tuning in, this women needs no introduction, everybody that is trying to recover from MS should know about her. Her work and research have impacted many lives and she continues to work on research.

Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.A., where she teaches internal medicine residents in their primary care clinics. She also does clinical research and has published over 60 peer-reviewed scientific abstracts, posters, and papers.

In addition to being a doctor, She is also a patient with a chronic, progressive disease. Terry was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in 2000, around the time she began working at the university. By 2003 she had transitioned to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Terry underwent chemotherapy in an attempt to slow the disease and began using a tilt-recline wheelchair because of weakness in my back muscles. Because of Terry’s academic medical training, I knew that research in animal models of disease is often 20 or 30 years ahead of clinical practice. Hoping she would find something to arrest my descent into becoming bedridden, She used to search scientific articles about the latest multiple sclerosis research (you would think doctors would be doing this). Night after night, she relearned biochemistry, cellular physiology, and neuroimmunology to understand the articles. Sadly, most of the studies were testing drugs that were years away from FDA approval (money, money, money). Then it occurred to Terry to search for vitamins and supplements that helped any kind of progressive brain disorder. Slowly she created a list of nutrients important to brain health and began taking them as supplements. The steepness of her decline slowed, for which she was grateful, but I still was declining.

In the summer of 2007, Terry discovered Functional Medicine, an organization devoted to helping clinicians use the latest scientific discoveries to take better care of those with complex chronic diseases. As a result she developed a longer list of vitamins and supplements that were good for her brain. Then she had an important epiphany. Terry redesigned her diet so that she was getting those important brain nutrients not from supplements but from the foods she ate?

She used what she had  learned from the medical literature, Functional Medicine, and her knowledge of the Hunter-Gatherer diet—the most nutritious of any diet—to create her new food plan. At that same time, Terry also learned about neuromuscular electrical stimulation and convinced here physical therapist to give her a test session. In December 2007, I began the Wahls Protocol™. The results stunned her physician, her family, and Terry herself, within a year, Terry was able to walk through the hospital without a cane and even complete an 18-mile bicycle tour.

Terry Wahls is the author of The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine, The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles , and the cookbook The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life: The Revolutionary Modern Paleo Plan to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions.

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