Overcoming Multiple sclerosis Through Diet

Here is a link to the  on Dr. Terry Wahls overcoming multiple sclerosis through diet. In this TedX presentation she divulges how her severe MS was getting worse and worse and despite receiving the best and latest treatment from some of the best doctors in the country, nothing seemed to help.

If you have 17 minutes to watch this, she is truly an inspiration to all.

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“19” Comments

  1. Pingback: Wheat: Opening the Barrier to Poor Gut Health | The Paleo Diet : 101Diets/a>

  2. Pingback: Omega-3's & Multiple Sclerosis | The Paleo Diet | Dr. Cordain : 101Diets/a>

  3. I keep coming back here as this is an easy link to Dr. Wahls' presentation. Our issue is Parkinson's, another auto-immune that seems somehow related. H has had it for at least 6 yrs, tried to muscle through it on his own until last Sept. when he began the traditional meds.

    He came (back) into my life in the fall with moderate to severe PD. I began researching relentlessly and found this video.

    See, I also have a friend who has held off Stg IV ovarian for over a year using lifestyle/diet changes, no chemo/surgery/radiation, so far thriving.

    I had a dream just before I found H again, that I was diagnosed with a dread disease and that I called my woman friend to find out what to eat and do. When I woke, I wondered, why do we wait 'til there's something to fix?

    Back to H: I moved in with him about 6 weeks ago and showed him Dr. Wahls. He chose to give up his Coke/pizza/Subway diet — it took a couple of weeks of bargaining with himself to actually Do It Right, and not just cut back to 2 cokes/day, a package of cookies and pizza for the football games in addition to the veggies.

    We're having green smoothies first thing in the morning, spinach, onion, pepper breakfast scrambles fried in coconut oil, kale chips, gluten free pumpkin bread, etc etc.

    It's not just about diet: daily movement as possible, hydration, positive thinking/gratitude, laughter, vitamins, probiotics, we're throwing everything at it, short of trips to Tibet.

    It's simple, but it's sure not easy, has taken me oodles of extra hours learning to plan and prepare a whole new menu. Feel like a teenager learning to cook.

    A month later, we're seeing the beginnings of positive change — he's been getting reactions to his meds and has gradually titrated back a bit as he pays attention to his body, humor is coming back, a bit more energy, a few more good hours each day, mental acuity sharpening (he's a math genius, world class). Slow, hard to see the change, need to keep a journal.

    I don't know MS, but PD meds are a gradual and painful death sentence, eventually causing the symptoms they initially relieve.

    As was stated in a comment above, every body needs to go with what feels like the right thing. Intuitively, this one made sense to me and I HATED greens. Couldn't hurt, sure might help.

    It's not illegal, immoral, expensive or fattening, (my personal list for trying unusual things), we had to give it a good shot.

    RE: studies . . . aren't those mostly funded by the ones following the money? there won't be any money in proving this works, jes' sayin'

  4. That was a lovely and powerful presentation and I have enjoyed each of your comments as they ranged from the "I will try anything," to the predictable warnings of straying from researched based science. I'd like to add my thoughts for your review and look forward to your comments.

    let me start by saying that the concept of eating a hunter-gatherer diet is wise. Whether we avoid excess grains and dairy because of their lack of presence in ancestral diets or because of their pesticides, or because their have been modified genetically, the point is that they are limited AND replaced with power packed nutrients. Dr Wahls seems convinced that a great benefit from eating these vegetables is to support mitochondria and neural development and repair and I don't doubt her theory at all. I would, however, like to add one more factor for you to consider.

    More and more research is showing a remarkable link between our gut and our immune system. At this point, I suddenly feel that we know nothing about the human immune system. So humbling after thinking we understood how it works! It seems from my reading that the main contributor to immune function is in fact, the gut, not bone marrow, spleen etc but intestinal tract. Not that the others aren't important but I think we've been missing a huge point. Dr Wahls mentions food sensitivities and allergies and how difficult they are to get a handle on. I agree completely. Admit that I don't have all the answers yet either but at this point, I am completely convinced that food we eat can either support or deteriorate the health of our ingestinal tract and the health of that tract is critical in preventing chronic disease including MS, Crohnes, Lupus, Certain cancers, Etc etc etc. I believe the early research we are seeing in the connection between the gut and the immune system will eventually give us a new out look on chronic disease in general. The point not necessarily being finding the magic medical cure but instead realizing these diseases are NOT based on bad luck or pure genetics but on immune health.

    Good luck to all of you with MS. I am fortunately a healthy person with a healthy family but as an eye doctor, I see patient after patient with chronic disease and my heart reaches out to each one. I don't have all the answers but I am absolutely certain that protecting a supporting your immune system is essential and to do this you absolutely must protect your gut from toxins.

    Eat well…


  5. As a sufferer from Primary Progressive MS.I am lightened by the research done by Dr Wahl`s presentation and research

    There is no medication for PPMS and monthly I see and feel deterioration in my sighjt,balance and muscles.
    I have been on the Best Bet diet for about a year.Whether it has helped I do not really know.ASs I do not know how I wou,ld be if I had not used it!

    I am going to look in to this hunter-gatherer diet.
    A t the end of the day,for PPMS sufferers like me,I have nothing to loose abnd a lot to gain

    Great work Terry

  6. I was diagnosed with MS about 12 years ago and I was treated for it for 8 years. I changed my diet (eliminated wheat,gluten, dairy and soy and every single symptom of my "MS" went away. I can occasionally eat those foods now but as long as I eat pretty clean…I am fine and healthy. I wish more people would really pay attention to diet as a cure. It takes time but it does work.

  7. I really enjoyed this story of overcoming MS. The doctor's focus on what our body needs, having MS. Focusing the diet to build mylen and the nuero transmitter's is great work. I hope to duplicate the results and if I don't walk again I'm sure I'll feel great!

  8. Matt, I agree with you wholeheartedly. There are too many people out there promoting their "cures" for serious diseases. I have a friend whose husband keeps traveling to China and spending tens of thousands of dollars they do not have for treatments that have no basis in science. It is horrible to watch him refuse to see medical doctors and insist that the guru that sent him to China knows what is best.

    I am, however, impressed with Dr. Wahl's experience and am forwarding this to my cousin which has a particularly aggressive for of MS. There isn't a cure, and changing his diet can't hurt. At least he isn't being told that the answer lies in Tibet or wherever. Learning to eat Paleo is free reading, or at most paying for a book.

    I am confident if it has any effect whatsoever he will be on this board crowing about it! Unfortunately I am a skeptic and doubt that diet could make such a dramatic change in his health. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

  9. Matt, I am so happy that the traditional therapy for cancer worked for your brother, but I'm wondering if you even watched this entire video before commenting? First, Terry is a woman and she is a doctor. She did a ton of research before she came up with the diet that reversed her Secondary Progressive MS. She also did this in conjunction with therapy for her muscles. She was in a wheel chair and couldn't even sit up unaided and now rides her bike to work everyday. As to your comment about if there was a simple cure it would have been discovered by now that is complete hogwash. A diet cannot be patented by Big Pharma and so it will never be studied in the same way, with the same amount of $$ as a drug. Dr. Wahls, however, actually is the lead scientist of a research study testing her diet with others who have progressive MS. She mentions at the end that they are about to present the breath-taking results of the study. For those with interest in the study you can find out more here: … As you will learn they need money to continue this "inexpensive" scientific study and to take it to the next level of research.

    PS/ I have MS, own Dr. Wahls book and I'm just happy that I did my own research and discovered her information before my disease progressed.

    • Andrea

      I am not going to defend Big Pharma…

      … but I will defend the Human Nutrition units in major Universities, the Government funded health science research departments and the multitude of other non-profit organisations in the US, Europe and the rest of the world who are also working on the relationship between diet and disease.

      The system has flaws, but it's not completely broken.

      I have friends who work in research into both Cystic Fibrosis and Cancer. Both are connected to reputable hospitals and are fully government funded. This means that they work in the human side, with many of the patients children. It's tough, emotionally challenging work.

      They see the dispondency in people who are suffering – and the desparation that causes people to seek out alternative cures: Diet, Yoga, Meditation, Prayer, traditional medicines. These can all help, but not at the expense of the solidly researched treatment. The review process is rigorous, and while not completely free of politics, the quality of the science can't be disputed.

      In the case of cancer, every now and then the maple syrup + baking soda "cure" pops up it's head. It doesn't work, but if it makes a patient feel better, then they are better off taking it in conjuction with chemo or radiotherapy than in place of such treatments.

      I am not disputing Dr Whals research findings, but until they are independently replicated to an appropriate level of rigour that causes them to be accepted by at least a significant minority of the medical fraternity, they should be treated as complementary rather than replacement treatments.

      • Hey Matt,

        Check out who's funding those so-called major research studies and government findings. More oftent han not, it is Big Pharma or someone else with an axe to grind. Like grain producers who tell me that it's my imagination that all my MS symptoms went away when I stopped eating gluten.

        Modern medicine left me depressed, more ill than when I started it and with the beginnings of liver damage. I got off the interferon and off the gluten and haven't had a relapse in three years. I can't wait to read the good doctor's book.

        For the record, my mother, who also has MS, is doing well on the interferon therapy. The simple truth is that dietary control of any illness is not easy and it may or may not be an alternative to modern medicine, depending on your own health circumstances.

  10. These sort of claims are dangerous as they can cause desperate people to take desperate measures.

    MS is a horrible disease. Millions of dollars every year are spent on MS research, and if there was a simple cure, it would have be found by now.

    This is not doubting that Terry Wahls may very well have overcome his MS at the same time as his diet changed, but this should not be confused with general medical advice for sufferers.

    When my brother was in hospital with testicular cancer, all sorts of people turned up with all sorts of alternative cures. Fortunately he went through with the chemotherapy, and is now natural father to two beautiful healthy children.

    In short – Don't be afraid to change your diet or use complementary medicines, and don't be afraid to question your doctor's recommendations – but do so in adjunct with the best treatments modern medical science has available.

    Arm yourself with the best peer reviewed research you can lay your hands on. Your local public or university library will have electronic access to all the research, and it's not as complex to study as you may fear – especially when your life depends upon it

    • I agree, integrative medicine is a wise approach to finding the best and most effective solution for managing the symptoms of such a life altering disease as MS. I have had MS for 12 years and I have used both diet and traditional medical practices to treat and manage it. I will say, however, that I have had the very best results when I have used diet. I have often wondered if the different types of MS are truly the same disease. It seems that progressive MS is harder to treat and manage using the same methods as I have for my remitting/relapsing MS. I ponder if one type of MS is simply sever food sensitivity coupled with certain other evironmental and/or emotional factors. I believe I have company in this line of thinking as I have found research links to suggest others have been looking into the same.

      • Well, I don't know if you're expecting to be in remission without having tried to go fully paleo? Have you tried it? I wonder if the posters above have tried it as well?

        • Simple, but not easy. That's a LOT of food each day. H, my partner, is fighting Parkinson's. After about 2 full months of adding as much vegetation as we can handle, he cut his PD meds from 5 to 2 per day. Had to, they were causing horrible side effects.

          Also been doing Qigong with local practitioners and some he found on-line. He is not the sort to go for Chinese medicine but was willing to give it a try.

          As he's feeling better though, it's easy to backslide.

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