Why I’m not a “Wahls Warrior.”

This afternoon I got an email from Kathy Reagan Young, from the FUMS Podcast Show. 

She wrote: I’m preparing to interview Dr. Wahls about the Wahls Protocol vs. the Swank Diet and I wondered how you’re feeling now (after your gallbladder attack) and how you feel about the Wahls Protocol now?

This was my reply:

“I think the Swank Diet is an improvement on the Standard American Diet of mostly processed foods, but I suspect the lack of fats  does harm as well as good. My fatigue levels went up, not down, with Swank. When I turned to the study dietician for help on micro-tuning my diet so I could stay within Swank’s parameters, while remaining true to my goal of optimal health, she told me she’d have to check with Dr. Wahls first. When she got back to (me) she told me Dr. Wahls forbid her from making suggestions. My main motivation for joining the diet trial, instead of pursuing a diet independently, was to get coaching from the dietician. I suspect only those assigned the Wahls Diet got such coaching. This disparity is unethical in a clinical trial. If Dr. Wahls feels her diet can be proven objectively, she should have stayed away from having any say on the trial, and let it be proven independently. As that was going on, I got an email from Dr. Wahls promoting her daughter’s Go Fund Me site. I found that…distasteful.

Since the diet study, I have been following a modified, lower fat version of the Wahls Diet, reintroducing coconut oil and ghee very gradually, which is, I believe, what she herself (or her dietician)  would council. I wish I could tell you I’m feeling better already, but I am only a few weeks in. Last week I got hit with a diagnosis of severe osteoporosis, and on the same day I got told I had to get a second mammogram. I have a calcified lump on my breast that is getting biopsied tomorrow, so MS may turn out to be the least of my troubles. A good diet, a smart diet, is necessary, even if it’s not sufficient. We all die.
I believe Dr. Wahls has presented the world with a very smart diet. I also believe she is a flawed person. Just like you. Just like me.”
I’l be the first to admit that reply was a bit  melodramatic. I very much doubt I am going to die from this calcified lump. But I will die of something. And I will age. And likely, no matter how well I eat, no matter how hard I try to exercise, no matter how doctors I see, or clinical trials I  join…my MS will progress.

In her book, Dr. Wahls urges her Wahls Warriors to take a selfie before starting on her diet, so they can look back and see how they will “youthen” instead of age. I felt sorry for Dr. Wahls when I read that.  She, too, is going to age, she’s going to die…and she may very well progress. If she does, she’ll feel incredible pressure to hide it. I feel that pressure, every day, and I haven’t summoned a vast movement of “Lab Rat Warriors” to validate my dance with this disease. I’m sorry I’m being hard on her. She’d doing the best she can. I’m doing the best I can. I just refuse to be a Wahls Warrior.


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4 thoughts on “Why I’m not a “Wahls Warrior.”

  1. Thank you for telling us about your experience during the trial. We need honesty to survive MS. I’m loving this cookbook/theory book called “Ketotarian.” It has no meat but fish and is so much lighter and refreshing that the original Wahls book recipes while adhering to the same principles. You have the best MS blog on the Internet because of your honesty, hope, and irreverence. Thank you!

    1. Oh thanks so much for your support and recommendation! I will check out Ketotarian. Digesting meat is slow going for me. There’s lots of evidence to support both the efficacy of Keto to boost immunity and the efficacy of fish consumption to prevent MS in the first place!

    2. Started Ketotarian. It’s riveting! I stopped highlighting once I realized I wasn’t leaving much text without a highlight. Reading about eating plants and fats made me hungry, so I ran downstairs for a midnight snack of plants and fats. Now that it morning, I anticipate reading about skipping breakfast may also make me hungry. Wonder what I’ll do when I get to that part? Take a cold shower? Run downstairs and eat plants and fats? I plan on reviewing Ketotarian on this blog and Goodreads. Then again, I plan on writing about the Wim Hof Method, my yoga teacher, the paradox of YouTube saving/destroying civilization, and DNA analysis of poop. And ALL THE PEE IN CHINA parts 2-44. We’ll see what I achieve, if anything. But it helps to know you’re reading!

    3. Thank you so much for recommending this valuable resource. My review is up on my blog and on Goodreads. Let me know if you encounter any other books you think could benefit me and my Gentle Readers.

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