Thursday, February 13, 2014

How a Doctor Fights Her MS Diagnosis

Excerpt from Dr. Wahls new book:
"I used to run marathons and climb mountains in Nepal. I’ve competed multiple times in the American Birkebeiner 54-kilometer cross-country ski marathon (once while pregnant), earned a black belt in tae kwon do, and won a bronze medal in women’s full contact free sparring at the trials for the 1978 Pan American Games in Washington, DC. I used to feel invincible.
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.
Everyone with multiple sclerosis has a story—the years of clues and strange symptoms that finally, in retrospect, make sense. It is in the nature of most neurological and autoimmune diseases that symptoms accumulate slowly, bit by bit, over the course of decades. This is what happened to me. As a doctor, I was compelled to find answers: a diagnosis and a cure. As a patient, I was compelled to save my own life."


 Diane: Being a doctor with MS must bring great challenges to find answers. What have you been most surprised to discover?
   Dr. Wahls: That the nutritional program also allows people to lose weight without being hungry to get back to ideal body weight and that this diet works for most autoimmune problems and chronic health problems like obesity or mental health issues.
 
There are many healthy diets out there, what makes yours unique?  
This diet was specifically designed to create the optimal environment that is nourish your brain cells. We have an iterative fashion tested the diet, validated the nutrient density (that is we were delivering the 31 key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that brain cells need to thrive) and tweaked the diet rules until we were very confident that people would exceed the Reccommended Daily Allowance for the key nutrients .
 
Do you see a cure for MS in our future?
Since our genes account for2-5% of the risk and diet, lifestyle, toxin exposure and other environmental factors account for the balance I do not see a cure based upon drugs or procedures.  I do see many people with MS and other autoimmune, chronic medical problems and chronic mental health problems finaly getting control of the their disease, reducing relapses, stopping relapses and improving energy, memory, mood, and walking and hand function as they learn how to eat a diet that maximizes nutrition, minimizes risk of food sensitivities, improves the elimination of toxins and learn how to address the other lifestyle/ environmental factors like exercise, stress, purpose in life that will also help reduce symptoms and get their lives back.  
 
A pleasure hearing from you. I wish you continued good health and many more discoveries! 
 

1 comments:

Ms. CrankyPants said...

Excerpt from Dr. Wahls new book:
"I used to run marathons and climb mountains in Nepal. I’ve competed multiple times in the American Birkebeiner 54-kilometer cross-country ski marathon (once while pregnant), earned a black belt in tae kwon do, and won a bronze medal in women’s full contact free sparring at the trials for the 1978 Pan American Games in Washington, DC. I used to feel invincible.
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.
Everyone with multiple sclerosis has a story—the years of clues and strange symptoms that finally, in retrospect, make sense. It is in the nature of most neurological and autoimmune diseases that symptoms accumulate slowly, bit by bit, over the course of decades. This is what happened to me. As a doctor, I was compelled to find answers: a diagnosis and a cure. As a patient, I was compelled to save my own life."


 Diane: Being a doctor with MS must bring great challenges to find answers. What have you been most surprised to discover?
   Dr. Wahls: That the nutritional program also allows people to lose weight without being hungry to get back to ideal body weight and that this diet works for most autoimmune problems and chronic health problems like obesity or mental health issues.
 
There are many healthy diets out there, what makes yours unique?  
This diet was specifically designed to create the optimal environment that is nourish your brain cells. We have an iterative fashion tested the diet, validated the nutrient density (that is we were delivering the 31 key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that brain cells need to thrive) and tweaked the diet rules until we were very confident that people would exceed the Reccommended Daily Allowance for the key nutrients .
 
Do you see a cure for MS in our future?
Since our genes account for2-5% of the risk and diet, lifestyle, toxin exposure and other environmental factors account for the balance I do not see a cure based upon drugs or procedures.  I do see many people with MS and other autoimmune, chronic medical problems and chronic mental health problems finaly getting control of the their disease, reducing relapses, stopping relapses and improving energy, memory, mood, and walking and hand function as they learn how to eat a diet that maximizes nutrition, minimizes risk of food sensitivities, improves the elimination of toxins and learn how to address the other lifestyle/ environmental factors like exercise, stress, purpose in life that will also help reduce symptoms and get their lives back.  
 
A pleasure hearing from you. I wish you continued good health and many more discoveries! 
 

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