Incurable diseases are not as incurable as you think

I have secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) which put me in a tilt-recline wheelchair in 2003. I am a professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, and when I hit the wheelchair I realized that conventional medicine was not going to stop my slide into a bedridden and possibly demented life. I was told that when the disease transitions to the progressive phase, functions once lost are gone forever. I took the recommended chemotherapy. I even took the miracle drug, the new biologic Tysabri, but my body continued to slowly decline.

So I began to read the basic science research and experiment on myself based on what I was learning. The results would stun my family, my physicians and me.

Instead of stopping my decline, I reversed it. Within 12 months of adopting the dietary and lifestyle program that I had created specifically for my brain, I went from being unable to sit up in a regular chair to being able to complete an 18-mile bicycle tour with my family.

This transformed me as a person, as a physician and as a researcher. I now have an active life with my family; taking walks, hikes and bike rides. I work in a traumatic brain injury and a therapeutic lifestyle clinic. There I use the dietary and lifestyle changes that restored my health to help my patients recover from traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems, and complex chronic health problems, including obesity, diabetes, chronic pain and autoimmune disorders.

Time and time again we see the same results: blood pressures and blood sugars normalize, pain eases and resolves, moods improve, fatigue fades, and even autoimmune symptoms lessen. The need for medications steadily declines. First we reduce dosages and often we can eliminate them entirely. People frequently see their autoimmune conditions diminish to the point where they are able to reduce and then discontinue their immune-suppression drugs and begin to thrive again.

As a result of these dramatic improvements I have changed the focus of my research and now study diet and lifestyle interventions to treat progressive MS. Our first papers are out. They demonstrate that others can adopt and sustain these changes, and that when they do, a marked reduction in fatigue is observed.

In fact, this reduction in fatigue is the largest that has been reported to date in clinical trials that test treatments of MS-related fatigue. We have three more papers in development that report on favorable changes: one will focus on improvement in walking ability, one on improvements in mood and thinking ability, and one on improvements in brain MRIs.

These changes are seen not only in those with MS. We have found in our clinics that these interventions help with a wide variety of problems, including mental health problems, neurological problems, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune issues. We can improve these conditions merely by teaching people how dietary and lifestyle changes nourish our cells effectively, allowing them to rebuild a healthier body, molecule by molecule.

What we observe time and time again is that diet and lifestyle changes can halt and often reverse the damage caused by a multitude of chronic diseases that are not considered curable, including Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, neuropathy, diabetes, obesity, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis – even primary progressive multiple sclerosis. If you want to learn more about our work and research, visit


Dr. Terry Wahls

By Dr. Terry Wahls

Dr. Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she teaches internal medicine residents and sees patients in a traumatic brain injury clinic and a therapeutic lifestyle clinic for those with complex chronic disease. In addition, she conducts clinical trials testing the efficacy of diet and lifestyle to treat chronic disease. She is also a patient with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, which confined her to a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. Dr. Wahls restored her health using diet and lifestyle interventions and now pedals her bike to work each day. She is the author of The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine and the paperback, The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles, and teaches the public and medical community about the healing power of intensive nutrition.  
You can learn more about her work from her website: She is conducting clinical trials testing the effect of nutrition and lifestyle interventions on MS. She is also committed to teaching the public and medical community about the healing power of the Paleo diet and therapeutic lifestyle changes to restore health and vitality to our citizens. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at @TerryWahls. You can learn more about her research at here.