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    Wahls protocol

    Since Dr. Wahls developed her diet and nutrition program specifically to treat progressive MS, is there anyone on these boards who has tried to follow her 'protocol'? The treatment is listed on the clinical trial site, so there must be some validity to it. Any thoughts ?

    I follow many elements of it (especially the eating of up to 9 cups of veggies/fruits with lots of color daily) - but I can't say that I follow the Wahl's Way religiously.

    I like the mitochondrial approach she advocates for, though, and try to stimulate the critters via supplements.


      Isn't she RRMS/SPMS?

      With all these diets touted as cures, I am interested to know what people's health and diet were before they started their chosen diet. Reason why I wonder is because what all these diets have in common is the reduction or elimination of processed foods. Sort of like when people who are used to a SAD feel awesome when they go on a juice "cleanse" because they normally don't eat a very good diet.

      Anyway, one thing that stands out about her diet is that she recommends a very large daily amount of cruciferous vegetables which can increase your risk of thyroid imbalance and kidney issues.


        Sorry, I hit submit too quickly!

        I've said it many times and I totally stand by the less processed and more whole foods, not necessarily as a cure (I don't think there is one right now and don't believe diet to be one based on my own experiences) but to help keep yourself as healthy as possible.


          I believe she is PPMS and was in a chair before she radically changed what she was eating. As far as I know no mention of her before diet.


            I have always wanted to know why Dr. Wahls was in a wheelchair. Was her fatigue so bad she couldn't walk? My problem with standing or walking for any length of time is my back goes out on me. I just couldn't see how following her diet was going to help my problems with my spine. I do try to eat very healthy but do not follow her guidelines.

            I have found the following research report in her clinical trial, which appears to be focusing on improving fatigue levels.

            A Multimodal Intervention for Patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Feasibility and Effect on Fatigue.
            J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]

            Abstract Background: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease influenced by environmental factors. Objectives: The feasibility of a multimodal intervention and its effect on perceived fatigue in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis were assessed. Design/setting: This was a single-arm, open-label intervention study in an outpatient setting. Interventions: A multimodal intervention including a modified paleolithic diet with supplements, stretching, strengthening exercises with electrical stimulation of trunk and lower limb muscles, meditation, and massage was used. Outcome measures: Adherence to each component of the intervention was calculated using daily logs. Side-effects were assessed from a monthly questionnaire and blood analyses. Fatigue was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). Data were collected at baseline and months 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12. Results: Ten (10) of 13 subjects who were enrolled in a 2-week run-in phase were eligible to continue in the 12-month main study. Of those 10 subjects, 8 completed the study and 6 subjects fully adhered to the study intervention for 12 months. Over a 12-month period, average adherence to diet exceeded 90% of days, and to exercise/muscle stimulation exceeded 75% of days. Nutritional supplements intake varied among and within subjects. Group daily average duration of meditation was 13.3 minutes and of massage was 7.2 minutes. No adverse side-effects were reported. Group average FSS scores decreased from 5.7 at baseline to 3.32 (p=0.0008) at 12 months. Conclusions: In this small, uncontrolled pilot study, there was a significant improvement in fatigue in those who completed the study. Given the small sample size and completer rate, further evaluation of this multimodal therapy is warranted.


              An excerpt of her book says RRMS to SPMS and that she was in a chair due to weak stomach and back muscles. Pretty sure she also used a FES machine.

              That is another thing. I want to know what other lifestyle changes were made before believing in a cure all diet.


              Then I developed multiple sclerosis. After decades of troubling symptoms I tried to ignore, I was finally diagnosed in 2000. By that time, the disease had a good footing in my central nervous system. My decline progressed rapidly. Within two years of my diagnosis, I could no longer play soccer with my kids in the backyard. By fall 2003, walking from room to room for my hospital rounds exhausted me, and by summer 2004, my back and stomach muscles had weakened so much that I needed a tilt/recline wheelchair. Within three years of initial diagnosis, my disease had transitioned from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis into secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. In that phase, disability slowly progresses despite increasingly aggressive therapy. By 2007, I spent most of my time lying in a zero-gravity chair. I was 52 years old.


                I don't believe in Biblical throw-your-crutches-away moments with a disease like this one But I do know that following part of her protocol unwittingly (to eat better and lose weight, I started on daily whole-food smoothies with greens/kale, berries, non-dairy milk) made me feel incredible. I had tons of energy, felt lighter, fitter and satisfied: my body craves those smoothies! Just finished reading The Wahl Protocol and will implement her phase two diet immediately to see if I can feel even better.


                  poppy, I am glad you are feeling better!

                  I found this and I'd like to know more about this neurostimulation. Does anyone know what her regiment was?

                  How was Dr Wahls able to return to walking and cycling from being in a wheelchair?

                  Dr Wahls outlines what she sees as having made the most impact:

                  1. Neurostimulation Nov 2007 plus exercise, increased muscle strength and size and generated growth factors in the brain, which stimulates repair of myelin and grows new connections between brain cells. She says that prepared her brain to do repair work, and the food made it possible for the brain cells to use the growth factors.

                  2. Rigorous elimination of foods to which blood tests showed she was sensitive.

                  3. Greatly increased intake of B vitamins, co-enzyme Q, antioxidants, and organic sulphur with specific food choices. This resulted in a big boost of micronutrients.

                  4. Switched to eating entirely organic food.

                  5. She focussed on eating food of every colour each day.

                  6. Entirely eliminated white potatoes, grains etc., so the amount of insulin her body made each day is low.

                  7. Kept a food / symptom diary and followed a 4 day food rotation.


                    misslux, I am wondering the same thing about the neuro-stimulation. I wonder if there is anyone in my area that uses it. I remember that I read about it ( I don't have the book). But I don't think this 'protocol' will work as well if the patient doesn't get the benefit of electrical stimulation.
                    The reason that I started this thread is I wanted to hear from MSer's who are trying this 'approach'. Since there is nothing that is FDA approved for 'progressive' forms of MS. And PPMSers and SPMSers are left to fight this disease by their own means. Any and all help with this nasty disease is appreciated. Good luck to all


                      Originally posted by misslux View Post
                      I found this and I'd like to know more about this neurostimulation. Does anyone know what her regiment was?
                      She describes it briefly in one of the sections, but I'll have to look in the Resources section in the back and see if I can find out more (she describes it as painful ).


                        Thank you! Painful is okay if it helps!


                          my thoughts

                          I'm glad someone brought this up though I cannot answer affirmative to the original question.

                          I just got her new book that was released last week. At first she took some kinds of MS meds and other treatments. She talks of having the best care medicine could offer. She went through more changes, started a paleo diet, started the electric stuff, and then started really researching how she could 'feed her mitochondria'. Lots of supplements at first and then a refining and learning of how to use food instead of pills. This is a very lose time line.

                          Now we have her 'Wahls Protocol' ... and she has three different levels to choose from in her new book, all based on her belief that we were once cavemen.

                          I guess what frustrates me about the diet is that people often credit the diet alone for her success in 'healing', however it seems she really did a lot of things besides changing her diet and it was probably everything combined. Also, I have thought about how she is a doctor. Not only does she have an excellent salary (WAY beyond my pathetic $3,400 a year!) but she also has many resources available to her that we would never have or even if we would have some of them we wouldn't know about them.

                          I guess I am getting this off my chest, so thanks for listening. I am just so frustrated with all these different 'wonder / miracle diet' claims. One person has some success with one way of doing things, they start a website or put up youtube videos or write a book or all of the above and cause many to become discontent or discouraged because one person's way of helping a crazy, very individual disease is not a one-size-fits-all solution. To add to the discouragement and discontentment, we often then look for and try the next 'wonder / miracle diet' that we find only to be disappointed again. And so the cycle continues.

                          It seems if we would just be balanced, eat as healthy as we know how (come on now, everyone knows eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruits and staying away from junk food is good for you!!) and get daily exercise (whatever we are capable of in our current situation) we would probably be so much better off than always chasing after another miracle diet. The stress of that is probably doing more harm than eating a less-than-perfect diet!! You know what I mean?!

                          Also, take any person off of a junky diet and they WILL feel better and see improvements.

                          Ahhh (sigh of relief) thanks again for listening.

                          As for the green smoothie thing ... if this were the answer I'd never have MS. I've been having green smoothies for about 10 years or more now, pretty much every day. Lots of fruits and vegetables (much of it is organic or even home grown), whole foods, 'from scratch' cooking, etc. I grind my own grain and make my own sourdough products. When I do eat meat it's usually meat we butchered ourselves or wild caught salmon. Fresh, organic eggs from our back yard. I've done the gluten free thing a few times but did not see a difference. Fresh salads, sometimes twice a day. I make my own lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut and other vegetables. Hardly any junk (I'm not afraid to eat a little dessert when at someones house!).

                          If anyone should be healthy from a good diet it seems like it should be me! But, it's not. I am content with that ... until I go trying out some miracle diet.

                          Who knows? Maybe if it were not for my already good eating habits I'd be MUCH worse than I am now?

                          Thanks again for listening.

                          Not officially diagnosed due to non-MS-specific spots on MRIs, but the neurologists all agree it's MS.
                          Frustrated. January 2019: finally saw an MS specialist worth seeing. Maybe we'll get to the bottom of this.
                          EDSS of 5.5, sometimes 6.0


                            Joanne, I feel the same on all points. We are like poster children for doing everything "right" pre- and post-MS!


                              Originally posted by jjs View Post

                              If anyone should be healthy from a good diet it seems like it should be me! But, it's not. I am content with that ... until I go trying out some miracle diet.

                              Who knows? Maybe if it were not for my already good eating habits I'd be MUCH worse than I am now?

                              Thanks again for listening.
                              Joanne, I am in complete awe of your healthy lifestyle -- it's what I can only dream of! It is frustrating to be lead this way and that, but I think there are so many variables--including the nearly completely uncontrollable "environmental toxins"--that it's impossible to say exactly what combination of elements bring about disease or successful healing. It's frustrating when our best super-human efforts don't bring about the changes we want (I mean, living without bread or cake is barely life to me--this better be worth it )

                              I don't think we can ever go wrong with a super-nutritious organic diet, though, no matter what else happens -- it's the main thing in our control. It might not save us from the worst of autoimmune dysfunction but at least we're giving our bodies a fighting chance. The Protocol is so heavy on living foods -- 9 cups a day! -- and I don't know how I'll even approach ingesting that much, even with whole-food smoothies. But I'm going to try. And I'm going to give it at least 3-4 months before I give up.