Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic and often disabling disease. What makes it so challenging for people is that it attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. For some people, the symptoms can be mild, and the person only has to deal with numbness in the limbs. But sometimes it can be severe and lead to paralysis or loss of vision. In fact sometime, people are diagnosed with MS when they have a sudden loss of vision.
What makes the disease so challenging is that it is somewhat unpredictable and progress rapidly making it very hard to walk or control urine. And although there are always new treatments, there isn’t one that just automatically makes it go away like an antibiotic might treat most infections.
What we do know is that MS is a Disease of the Immune System. The body’s own immune cells attack the central nervous system and peal off the myelin fatty outer layers of nerves so that they cannot conduct electrical current from one nerve to another. It’s like stripping the insulation off an electrical wire. That allows the nerves themselves to malfunction and scar – hence the name, multiple sclerosis.
The fact that it is caused by an immune system gone haywire makes it seem that some environmental factors are involved. And the one environmental factor that we can most easily control is our food and our lifestyle. I recently had a chance to interview Dr. Terry Wahls who is a medical doctor who happened to get MS. She talked to me about her approach which she calls the Wahls Protocol and her new book that explains it. She was able to go from being confined to a chair to riding her bike and walking once she changed her lifestyle, got moving, lowered her stress and made significant changes in her diet. Since MS affect many more women than men, especially women in menopause, I wanted to share this interview with you. I think it should offer both inspiration and perspective.