I first learned who Dr. Terry Wahls, M.D., author of “The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles,” was from the documentary Food As Medicine.
Terry recovered from her Multiple Sclerosis, being confined to a zero gravity reclined wheel chair. As she was being faced having to go on medical disability and potentially losing the career as a Medical Doctor, she began to search beyond the conventional Multiple Sclerosis drugs that had failed her.
She started looking through PubMed and began researching. She then found The Institute for Functional Medicine and came across a lot of information on natural lifestyle and diet changes having a dramatic and positive effect on the bodies mitochondrial health, which she understood to be one of the root causes of her illness. This paved the way for what eventually cured her of her Multiple Sclerosis. She mentions that if she goes off of her diet, her symptoms return but that as long as she sticks to it, the symptoms and pain are nearly 100% removed.
Dr. Wahl’s Diet, “The Wahl’s Protocol,” is based on Dr. Ashton Embry’s work which can be found at DIRECT-MS.org. Dr. Embry’s is a scientific researcher by profession. When his son was diagnosed with MS, he started doing a lot of research and he found out a few things. He found a large number of people who are diagnosed with MS have a narrowing in an vein in the neck, causing a blood drainage issue from the brain. He found that Vitamin D was absolutely vital for proper regulation of MS. He also came to understand that dairy products were a huge problem for MS patients. It seems as though dairy mimics a protein found in Myelin, a fatty lipid that surrounds and protects our cells. The body seems to get confused and that protein being so similar, it triggers the body’s autoimmune response to begin attacking and creating degeneration of the cell and leading to decreased functionality and the ongoing progressive side effects of MS.
The issue with the vein in the neck is called chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI. Dr. Michael Dake, a vascular specialist from Standford University pioneered an angioplasty procedure, which involves opening the blocked or narrowed vein in the neck by inflating a small balloon or inserting a stent to allow for better blood flow and improve drainage of blood from the brain. Apparently it ended up helping a lot of people, even Dr. Ashton Embry’s son, Matt Embry, had the procedure done.
After Dr. Wahl’s changed to her diet to a Paleo based diet, removing dairy, adding Vitamin D, she began to see changes. Her symptoms were disappearing. She began doing her rounds at the hospital with a cane, then to using a cane part-time, to not using a cane at all and finally being able to ride her bicycle again. This all happened within the time frame of a year after she implemented the diet she named, the “Wahls Protocol.”
Lots more information out there as well. Dr. Embry’s son, Matt Embry, runs MSHope. A website with a lot of MS related information on it and his story. Matt Embry is a film maker and also made a pretty amazing documentary called “Living Proof,” covering a great deal of information. It’s available to watch on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and Vimeo.
This is incredibly incredibly fascinating. I’ve followed Dr. Mark Hymand, M.D. for a few years now after getting into the space of holistic herbs, oils, vitamins and minerals. This space allowed me the opportunity to see that these natural compounds and elements could potentially have a drastic impact on my health as a Spinal Cord Injury patient, potentially beyond what conventional drugs could provide in terms of relieving spasticity, nerve damage and fibromyalgia. This moved me to learn that beyond supplements, herbs and oils, there was lots and lots of room for healing within natural organic foods. As Dr. Mark Hyman refers to it, treating “Food As Medicine.”
So as I had encountered Dr. Terry Wahls, M.D. in the past from various documentaries, and I saw her again with this recent podcast with Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., it was perfect timing for me to share this with you guys. The possibilities to what the Wahls Protocol has to offer is astounding and I think a lot of us SCI patients could really benefit from what she has to teach in relation to her approach to curing her M.S. and the potential for alleviating some of symptoms of spasticity, nerve damage and fibromyalgia that us Spinal Cord Injury patients face as well as the potential of returning sensation and motor movement. Absolutely amazing.