Every month I attend a seminar called the "Functional Forum", a meeting to help clinicians use the latest scientific discoveries to take better care patients with complex chronic diseases. Last week, the keynote speaker was one of my favorite medical doctors/authors.
I love attending talks like this. First, because I'm a bit of a nerd so it's always fun to learn new ideas. Second, because they inspire me. This talk confirmed that I am on the right track with the messages I am sending to all of you, which inspires me to keep it up!
Who was this speaker?
Terry Wahls MD. The author of The Wahls Protocol.
Why does she inspire me?
Dr. Wahls is a medical doctor who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the early 2000s. She looked to experts for the best treatment possible for her disease. She went to the Cleveland Clinic, where doctors prescribed medication to suppress her immune system. To her surprise, she got worse. She knew that MS was a progressive disease, but she did not expect it to progress so quickly. Soon Dr. Wahls was limited to a tilt recline wheelchair, and could not support her own body weight.
Dr. Wahls decided that she was an intelligent doctor and there must be a better solution, so she went to the research. She found potential experimental drugs, but decided they would be too difficult to get quickly, and that they might not even work. Her next line of research was nutrition. Little do most people know that medical doctors have little, if any, training in nutrition. She found some studies on how certain nutrients might be helpful, but she did not know what foods contained those nutrients. She started using her body as an experiment, giving it as many nutrients as possible. Much to her surprise. her condition improved. In 1 year, she went from being in a wheelchair to bicycling 18 miles! She stopped taking the medication, and realized that the nutrients in real whole foods were healing her body! She was amazed at how the body can heal itself when you give it what it needs, and remove the junk that is getting in the way and causing the body to attack itself!
What did I learn at the seminar?
Dr. Wahls explained that autoimmune disease means that the body is attacking itself. but it manifests itself in different ways in different people:
- Multiple sclerosis: the body attacks the myelin surrounding the nerves.
- Diabetes: the body attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas,
- Psoriasis: the body attacks the skin,
- So many more: I have a list of well over 100 autoimmune conditions if you are curious about something specific!
Dr. Wahls is relentless to get studies done to show that nutrition protocols are effective. It has been an uphill battle because there are no big companies with financial interest in seeing this happen. She has finally received grant money to fund her research and the initial results are phenomenal!
She currently works at a VA hospital. She has been working with veterans who struggle from conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, post traumatic stress/traumatic brain injury, and sexual dysfunction. She has realized that the protocols that helped with her multiple sclerosis are also helpful for these veterans. The veterans that have complied with her protocols for 100 days have seen improvements with all of these conditions WHILE LOWERING their medications! That's right, they were able to take less pain medication, less blood pressure medication, etc- while having fewer symptoms! She has also been granted money to begin a comprehensive randomized nutrition study on MS patients.
So what does this mean for you?
First, it means I am re-inspired to keep telling you to eat real food (vegetables, meats, some fruit) and to ditch the crap (all things processed). I know that you might think I am a broken record, but it is so important for any condition or pain that you are struggling with. If you aren't giving your body all of the right ingredients and nutrients, you can't expect it to heal properly and perform the way it is supposed to perform.
Second, I was inspired by Dr. Wahls to be more direct with people who ask for my help. If you want to see real changes and improvements in your health. you might need to make some big changes! Dr. Wahls expects 100% compliance from her patients for 100 days. This seems like a big commitment, but when it is your health were talking about, you are worth it! Making big changes will get you real results which will inspire you to keep going.
If you are curious about the changes Dr. Wahls made to her diet, watch her Ted Talk on You Tube
Start thinking about changes you'd like to make. If you are ready to make some changes, and need help figuring out how to get started, please Contact Me!
If you know anyone suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or any other autoimmune disease. please share this with them!