Many different diagnoses—over 100—are now attributed to autoimmune processes.
These are some prominent examples.
Grave’s (Overactive Thyroid)
IBS and Crohn’s Disease
Diabetes (some types)
A few decades past, the diagnosis “autoimmunity” meant “You have a serious condition but unfortunately we can not help ” Much is changing. Often, we can help.
Help is sorely needed. These are slowly worsening, long lasting and devastating ailments. You know something is wrong by your mid-forties. Despite your professional success through years of hard work, your sense of control over your own life is threatened. Your productivity goes down. Increasing physical and mental discomfort is sabotaging your possibilities for fun, pleasure and refreshment. It is frightening for you, your partner, your kids and your friends.
Diabetes II, Alzheimer’s Disease (according to some) and multiple sclerosis are among diagnoses encompassed by the autoimmune illness spectrum. The opportunity to help began with successful nutritional control of Diabetes II about 30 years ago. The nutrition scientist, Dr Jeffry Bland Ph D was and is a leader. Helpful interventions reached a new dimension with Dr Dale Bredesen MD’s work reversing Alzheimer’s and with the accomplishments of Dr Terry Wahls MD in reversing MS, first for herself and now for others.
Dr Wahls teaches internal medicine for the medical faculty of Iowa State University. The protocol she developed from her own experience and then her trials with other patients is now giving renewed strength to hundreds. It is not easy and it is not a quick solution, but it is an effective way to combat autoimmune illness.
I’m proud to be certified by Dr. Wahls as qualified to supervise this protocol.
How did Terry Wahls arrive at her protocol? Years of research enabled her.
In 2000, Terry was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. By 2007 she needed a tilt-reclined wheel chair and was losing her teaching duties due to difficulties with speech. A year later, she could walk without a cane and completed an 18-mile bicycle tour. Would anyone have believed this story if she had not been a professor in a faculty of medicine? Even so, it was a struggle for her to get her research recognized and to find support for testing her protocol with diverse autoimmune patients.
The protocol is primarily nutritional. It does not emphasize supplements as much as diet. The diet, though not necessarily vegetarian, demands consumption of a far greater portion of non-starchy vegetables than most people are used to. Because the vegetables are consumed in quantity and feed an already sensitized body, they must be as free from pollutants as possible and as nutritionally complete as possible, hence “organic”. I refrain from details here, but a good preview is available on the internet and I will mount an online course about supporting this autoimmune therapy before 2021.
Dr. Terry Wahl’s Oct 1 2007 and 2008.
“It was clear: eventually I would become bedridden by my disease. I wanted to forestall that fate as long as possible. “
A turning point for Dr Wahls was her adoption of “Functional Medicine”. Functional medicine is the name for the principles Dr. Jeffery Bland initiated with his early work on diabetes. What the Protocol inherits from Functional Medicine is a highly integrated perspective on both illness and nutrition. Dr. Wahls had started with a diet enriched by a wide range of supplements, and it was effective. Preferring food to pills, she switched to a regimen that included whole foods adequate to provide the nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, minerals she needed, and it became more effective. The foods, after all, include helpful components that our analytic powers have not yet isolated. The fully integrated diet must be further integrated into a lifestyle that supports healing.
Functional Medicine supports basic concepts for the protocol. Central to these is the notion that different autoimmune diagnoses can be manifestations of the same underlying problem, the same underlying “dysfunction”.
Understand that we are looking for reversal and mitigation, not a “cure”. Don’t expect to ever say “The problem is behind me. I can go back to my previous lifestyle now.”
Independently of Terry Wahls, Dr. Dale Bredeson, MD, has developed a similar protocol for Alzheimer’s Disease that rests on Functional Medicine principles. Some would say Alzheimer’s Disease is in the autoimmune spectrum. He has published an astute report as a book which won wide acclaim. He has a superb record of professional research publication in prestigious journals. It is very enlightening to read his second chapter which explains, sympathetically, why it is very difficult for conventional medical journals to report research that concerns complete protocols rather than one component. It will take time, but I do believe that eventually the new work will be fully documented.
Every responsible doctor is aware of the danger emerging therapies pose if exaggerated optimism can lead to painful disappointment. My personal family experience with MS also increased my caution. The risk of disappointment has not gone away. I now think, however, that not spreading the word and not providing information so people make their own decisions is a more dangerous risk.
My outlook was affected by recent experience with three clients who consulted me wanting alternative treatment for Grave’s disease. Grave’s is an autoimmune disorder where the thyroid gland runs out of control producing too much thyroid hormone. All three clients believed they needed to choose between chemotherapy, radiation or radical surgery to disable or remove the thyroid gland.
Fortunately, they each responded well to treatment related to functional medicine and to the Wahls protocol. The disorder was reversed. More than a year later, none of the three has needed other measures. I decided then that more people should know this option. Terry Wahls’ personal health success has gone on over ten years. We can’t know the future, but we make choices.
Recognizing that I do want to shout about some emerging therapies meant accepting a further responsibility. We need information more readily available to a wider group of interested persons before they make (or decide not to make) a major commitment of time, money, effort or emotion to this type of therapy. That is why I will be focusing more in the next year on developing leaflets and webinars as well as some group classes online. Info will be HERE. I will be grateful to all who help people become aware of alternatives.