I had no idea who Dr. Terry Wahls was until I saw a short interview with her on YouTube in April. (You can see that here.) As our quest continues to heal Kingston, I was of course immediately drawn to her story. These stories provide so much encouragement when it seems like change is not happening fast enough. Healings are happening every day, and one of these days it will be Kingston’s turn!
In 2000 Dr. Wahls was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, though she continued to practice medicine, she was eventually confined to a wheelchair and her future seemed clearly headed in one direction. After conventional medicine proved unable to help her, she turned, as so many of us do, to alternative methods. Spending hours researching and scouring the internet until she discovered the keys to helping her get her life back.
In her book she details her diagnoses and all of the steps from nutrition and exercise to alternative therapies that helped her eventually be able to walk, then ride her bike, and regain her life. It’s a little more “scientific” than I cared about, so I skimmed some parts, but the basic message and principles go right along with what we have been discovering on our own.
Here are some excerpts from her book that I especially liked.
“More than a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his (or her) patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This became my new course, my passion, and my mission….I also became passionately committed to helping other people become new people, too.”
“If you are missing half of the parts in an “assembly required” toy, it’s not going to work. This is not a new concept, but for some reason people tend not to apply it to our cells. They have some general concept that “you are what you eat” or that certain foods are “healthy” or “unhealthy” but really, it’s more concrete than that. Your diet directly correlates to your cells’ ability to function.”
“People with autoimmune disease are more likely to have a leaky gut and if you have a leaky gut, gluten and dairy are particularly damaging. When the intestine has holes in it, incompletely digested wheat (gluten) and/or milk (casein) proteins can get into the bloodstream. These undigested particles are too large to be in the bloodstream. If you are genetically vulnerable to having your immune cells be activated by gluten and/or casein, this will cause even more issues. Twenty to 30 percent of those with European ancestry have the DQ2 or DQ8 genes, which put them at risk for developing gluten sensitivity. In these people, gluten and casein proteins in the bloodstream can trigger an inappropriate immune response. This can lead to a hyperreactive immune system that can then become supersensitive to other foods that weren’t bothersome before, such as tree nuts, citrus, strawberries, or other vegetables and fruits.”
“Saturated fat. Saturated fat has a hydrogen atom at every available spot on the fat. It is very stable to heat and does not convert to dangerouse oxidized fats, which can be very damaging. Animal fats and coconut oil are primarily saturated fats. Their stability makes them the best choice for cooking.”
“I am a conventionally trained internal medicine physician practicing at an academic center, so it’s probably not surprising that, prior to my diagnosis, I was skeptical of alternative and complementary medicine. I believed people were wasting a great deal of money on these alternative, unproven therapies – that is, until I became a patient with a progressive disease for which there is no cure.”
“People are impatient. People with chronic illness are even more impatient – they want to be well! At least, they want to be well right up until they give up on ever feeling better. Do not give up!”
“There is always hope. We constantly replace our cells and the molecules within cells. The lining of your gut is replaced every week to two weeks. It takes about a year to replace your skin. It takes approximately one to three years to replace the cells in your liver and kidney. Blood vessel cells (endothelial cells) are continually repairing themselves. It takes seven to ten years to replace the myelin insulation around the nerves in your brain, in your spinal cord, and out to your body. It takes fifteen years to replace the muscle cells in your heart. It takes twenty years to replace the minerals in your bones and teeth. It is happening right now, inside you. Every day your cells are replacing molecules, replacing mitochondria, growing more mitochondria, and rebuilding themselves. It may happen quickly or slowly, but it is happening.”
Have you heard of Dr. Wahls before? Have you noticed a difference in how you feel based on what you eat?