Reversing MS with The Wahls Protocol

Dr Terry Wahls- reversing MS with real food

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Terry Wahls, she is an M.D. and researcher who was able to reverse her progressive Multiple Sclerosis with a specific real food diet designed to support the mitochondria of cells.

Dr. Wahls started to experience symptoms of MS while she was attending medical school. In 2003, this former national tae-kwon-do competitor needed a tilt recline wheelchair. She had secondary progressive MS, and the drugs weren’t working. She had been seen by some of the best doctors in the world, but she wasn’t getting any better. So, she started to do her own research, and she learned how a Paleo diet could help heal her from her disease.

After spending four years in a tilt wheelchair, by changing her lifestyle and her diet, Dr. Wahls was able to start riding her bicycle to work.

Dr. Wahls is now helping with clinical trials to expand research on the role of diet in diseases like MS and her book, The Wahls Protocol.

I met Dr. Wahls at a recent health event and she had literally just received a preview copy of her book. I sat next to her during a session and was glad I had learned to speed read since I spent the whole session finishing her book. Dr. Wahls is also incredibly inspirational and full of energy.

The Wahls Protocol is extremely practical and easy to follow and it includes concrete advice and tips. I love that her focus is not removing foods but only consuming nutrient dense foods that support mitochondria function.

Specifically, the Wahls Protocol suggests eating 9 cups of vegetables each day including brightly colored vegetables, leafy greens and onions/garlic. Her protocol is now getting even mainstream medical attention and she is overseeing some trials to determine the role a diet like this has in reversing progressive illness like MS.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to watch Dr. Terry’s TED talk:

What do you think? Amazing story, right?

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Reader Comments

  1. Do you think this would help with autoimmune issues. Is it different from AIP?

  2. Just watched the TED Talk of Dr. Wahls and am blown away! Huntington’s Disease runs in my family so this topic hits very close to home. I am already a big believer in natural, wholesome eating but this just motivates me even more to eat even healthier. Thank you so much for including this topic on your blog, Katie! Dr. Wahls is such an inspiration to me and so are you! 🙂

    • Nora! Huntingtons Disease runs in my family as well. I have been desperately searching for someone who lives a healthy lifestyle and also has the risk of inheriting the disease. Not sure if you will see this again but if so please contact me!

      • Hi Angela and Nora,

        Huntingtons is in my family too, my Father has it, and I have been wondering about the Wahl’s Protocol as a way to slow or reverse symptoms. I haven’t been tested yet, but I would really like to connect with some other people who are in the same boat as me and also looking for alternative means of dealing with negative genetic influences.

        Please contact me if you see this message!

  3. I just loved her talk. I have a friend who died from ALA and I tried to tell her about changing her diet to raw food and mainly greens. My family and I drink a special “green drink” every day and have not been sick in 20 years. It would be wonderful if the population could be taught more about health than illness. Get rid of the pharmaceutical companies and teach health!!!

    • Now you’ve got me curious, what is your special “green drink” and would you mind sharing?

    • can you elaborate on this special ‘green drink,’ please!?!?!

      i have a 17-month-old who is sick ALL THE TIME.
      we already do an organic, mostly raw diet, homemade elderberry, drink lots of beneficial teas, takes probiotics, so i am still on the lookout for new things to try that don’t include western medicine.

      and, of course, this woman is an absolute inspiration and i am so happy she has improved her situation and decided to help inspire others to do same.

      • It might be the histimines… Look up the lowhistamine chef , the histamine in foods can be causing all your problems! It was for me, I thought I was eating healthy yet it was Killing me:( you need to get your child tested for food allergies.

        • I agree with Dessa, I went through the exact same kind of nightmare for the last 15 years. I was raw vegan and felt like death, lived on juices, went into adrenal insufficiency. Tried body ecology diet and thought that was killing me, nothing made sense then I found the histamine connection. I tried everything, nothing else made full on sense or worked for me. Please get your child checked out before giving them probiotics, etc. I also have the MTHFR C677t gene and that can cause histamine and methylation issues. In the world we live in today it’s important to get tested.

      • Hi. I’m so sorry about your sick daughter. Nutritionist and chef Terrell Mullins has a book and program that can tell you why she is getting sick and how to help her get well. His program is called TheWholeFoodsCure.

        – Just trying to help.

        P.S. One of the reasons she might be getting sick is because of the tiny bugs, which excrete acidic/degenerating feces and urine, that you are giving to her (pro-biotics). All bacteria produce this harmful degenerating acid. Also, putting chemical hand sanitizer on her will also cause her to become overly acidic. The sanitizer may kill the bacteria but the point of not having the bacteria is to not have them in your body producing acidic feces and urine. The acids are what break your body down and cause it to become sick. Putting the sanitizer on put acids directly into your body through your pores.

      • GI Effects stool test through Genova labs would be informative bc the majority of the immune system is in the gut. Generally, chronic immune issues are caused by imbalanced gut health.

    • Can you tell what to blend for the juice.

      • sorry for you green drink

  4. Have been reading your blog for a long time for the natural ideas and homemade remedies/cleaners…. commenting now because my oldest daughter has a mitochondrial disease and is 7. She is severely developmentally delayedand physically disabled and eats through a tube into her intestine (bypassing the stomach)…. she has been sick since she was born, is considered terminally ill, and was not expected to live past her 2nd birthday. I believe a real whole foods diet should help her, but its been so hard to come up with a diet that can be blended and given via tube. On the other hand , I have an autoimmune diseaseand I know that eating a diet similar to the paleo diet (anti inflammatory diet), helps me.
    Anyway, I had watched the above video clip in the past and I believe it… just wish I could do it for my daughter. Thanks for sharing!!

    • What if you tried making the homemade baby formula written in nourishing traditions cookbook. You can buy the ingredients thru radiant life online. Just a thought since it has wonderful and nourishing ingredients and is good for a growing baby who cannot be breast fed. Maybe it would nourish your daughter and could be put thru a tube. Also it would be grain free.

      Many blessings to you and your family.

  5. This is incredible. I love seeing people change their diseases/lives just by altering their diet! She is such an inspiration and I hope she opens the eyes of many!

  6. Thank you Katie for this insightful and groundbreaking advice from a “real” doctor. Groundbreaking since few doctors think about what they are prescribing relying on pharmaceutical vendors to “educate” them. And “real” doctor since Dr. Wahls actually investigated and researched a different way when conventional pharmaceuticals did not do a thing to help (what a surprise). Finally, insightful because you (Katie) have been a great inspiration to like-minded folks and non-believers with news that even doctors are finally discovering that conventional medicine (pharmaceutical based synthetic drugs) do not help but just mask symptoms. THANK YOU KATIE!!!

  7. Just watched the Dr. Wahls video. Am very impressed with this woman’s determination and success. I am one of the typical families that does not eat well, though I wish I could. My husband is a very picky eater and can hardly get him to eat any vegetables. Most of the veggies she mentioned I have never even tasted. It would be so nice if someone who is into healthy eating like that would have a one week retreat that served only these types of foods, along with educating why they are good, how to find them and pick the best ones out, how to fix or cook them, and get us used to eating (and liking!) them. Does anyone know if there is any such retreat like this anywhere in the country? And if not, here is an invitation to all you proponents of healthy eating out there to consider starting one!

    • Maureen – I don’t know of any “camp” like this, but I’d be happy to share some of my recipes for you. Is there a way (email?) to get in touch with you? My husband is a (formerly) picky eater from the midwest, but I now have him eating brussels sprouts, kale and even beets on occasion! Would be happy to tell you what’s worked . . .

      • Hi, my name is Kim. I have a very picky husband who only eats veggies RARELY, unless they are green beans. These hewill eat 2-3 meals per week. Any advice to get him to try (and LIKE!) others would be greatly appreciated. His parents told the kids, “Try it, if you ddon’t like it then you don’t have to eat it.” I love my mother-in-law, but she still refuses to try anything new and her son’s the same way. Please help, someone!

    • I know the way we started was to Google “paleo” recipes and cherry pick the ones that looked interesting/yummy. That’s actually how I first found this site! We still basically do this because I seem to have a problem with recycling meals. It’s worked really well though, there is seldom a meal we don’t like, we get better at identifying recipes we will like, and we eat a good variety. When we decided to make our whole family GF (the kids still get some non-paleo foods at day care where I have less control), my 2 year old’s diet mainly subsisted of grains and dairy. Now he runs to the table when we tell him there are veggies! Change will happen, but don’t expect it to happen overnight, and definitely change things up as you go along until you find what works!

    • I and my husband would be interested in such a retreat. Great idea!! I personally know that an improved diet has helped me with health issues, but there’s a long way to go.

  8. The webinair link was broken… I am so disapointed I didn’t get to watch this.. Do you know if there will be a replay of it?

  9. Great Article! With summer fast approaching, I wanted to ask since I just read your post on sunbathing and sun exposure. I agree in how sunlight is good for us. What I was wondering is, is it true sunlight leads to aging? If so, how can we prevent this?

    • Do you own research on this (or anything) but what I’ve read shows that sun exposure doesn’t lead to aging if diet is solid

  10. This video is absolutely amazing, I have been doing research on the Paleo diet myself, bc I have suffered from fibromyalgia for several years now, and I am trying to find a way to cure it with diet. This video is such an inspiration to me because it gives me hope back that I was beginning to lose, I know so many friends and family members that suffer from either fibromyalgia, MS, diabetes, or some other type of debilitating disease and it breaks my heart, and to know that all it takes is changes in your diet, instead of more medications is such a relief. We need more people like Dr. Wahls in the world, that are more interested in trying to cure people rather than mask the symptoms like other doctors and health care prof.

  11. It is amazing what diet can do to change the path of health we are on. For years I didn’t care about my diet. I was always and athlete who could get by with eating whatever, sleeping very little and treating my body poorly. Then one day it came crashing down and I was eventually diagnosed with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). I credit my major diet overhaul as being the biggest factor in my recovery from CFS. Real food is so amazing… and it is yummy to eat. What an enjoyable, fulfilling medicine!

  12. I absolutely love this! I find it extremely helpful that she broke down the nutrition that our body needs! Knowing that i need 3 cups of sulfur rich foods a day and what sulfur rich foods are and what they do for my body makes me so much more motivated to eat those foods! I would love to see a weekly meal plan based around the nutrition your body needs instead or a meal plan built around taste or trying to avoid getting fat! Have you ever seen a meal plan like that?

  13. Is there a way to watch the Leanne Ely interview after the fact?

  14. Have been doing a little reading, but wonder what the latest thought is on oxalates in raw greens? Dr. Wahls mentions green drinks and raw leafies in salads; curious how much of that is considered beneficial compared to cooked/steamed greens?
    Loved the video, btw. Very encouraging and motivating. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Katie.

  15. Wahl has relapsing remitting MS, not progressive MS. Huge, huge difference in terms of treatment, prognosis, and possible outcomes.

    • Then why does she use “Progressive MS” in the title of her book?

      • She has secondary progressive ms.
        That is relapsing remitting that has turned into progressive also. Has attacks and continues to decline in between attacks.

  16. I have secondary progressive MS and would love to be better so am researching the Protocol.

  17. I have fibromyalgia. My brother 4 years younger than me just died of a heart attack after battling fibromyalgia for 4 years. I am curious if this diet or is there other diets that might help. The stability meds are too strong and make me bed.ridden.