It’s been about 10 weeks since I started following the Wahls Protocol. When I first heard about this dietary program, it seemed nearly impossible – no sugar, no dairy, no gluten, 7 (seven!) cups of mixed greens and deeply colored fruits and vegetables every day, plenty of organic protein (the ideal being wild-caught, grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish). It’s a huge change from my former diet, essentially eating whatever I wanted. I tried to be mindful of what I put into my mouth, but, hey, this is America – we can eat whatever we want. Watching Dr. Wahls TED talk viedo and reading her book presented me with the first suggestion that there was a way to heal, to one degree or another, my MS. Conventional treatments only offered the possibility of slowing the progression of the disease. Until I came across The Wahls Protocol I believed that there was no getting better, only getting worse more slowly. I’d never heard a doctor or therapist even hint that there was any possibility of healing. Dr. Wahls writes in her book that doctors can graduate medical school with only 20 hours of training in nutrition, so it is perhaps no surprise that so few – if any – recommend dietary changes as a means to deal with multiple sclerosis. That and probably pressure from drug salespeople.
So how do I feel after 10 weeks? I’m not really sure of the time-line because I didn’t go whole hog right off the bat, but eased myself into it. Bottom line, I don’t feel much different. I have noticed a definite improvement in my evening/night-time leg cramps which struck every night and were more often than not quite painful. I was hooking down almost double the amount of prescription muscle relaxers I was prescribed, and even that didn’t always help. I went from 70mg or more of Baclofen nightly to 20mg. To my mind, the fewer drugs I put into my body the better. I do find that the cramping comes back from time to time, but it seems I can trace those occurrences to times when I have strayed from the Protocol. (I blame my wife for bringing home that box of Holy Donuts.) The only other real change is in my…ah…digestive process. You’d think that with a diet so overloaded with fruit and vegetables I’d be as regular as clockwork, but for some reason that has not been the case. I chalk it up to a life-time of polluting my body. I have to be patient as I work toward reversing all that damage.
I’ve had MS for 25 years or more. I can remember as a kid feeling (very) occasional leg cramps, and the Lhermitte’s sign has always been there. There were a few strange symptoms that came and went 25 or so years ago, and I wasn’t diagnosed until 2003. So it took me a while to get here. I have to remind myself to be patient as I begin this healing process. I have no idea if I will experience any more healing than I have to this point, but at the very least, I am eating a far healthier diet than I ever have before (except for my brief macrobiotic phase). There’s been a lot of damage done, and not just from multiple sclerosis, over the years, and it will take time to heal. But every time I stumble behind my walker, or park my ass in the wheelchair, I recommit to this path of healing. Wherever it takes me.