Episode 63: Dr Terry Wahls – The Wahls Protocol for Autoimmune Diseases

Episode 63: Dr Terry Wahls – The Wahls Protocol for Autoimmune Diseases

Sometimes I still pinch myself that I get to chat with the people that I really look up to in the industry, and better still, that I get to call it work. This interview has to be one of my all time favourites, so I hope you enjoy it too.

terry wahls podcast interview wahls protocol multiple sclerosis ms

Meet Dr Terry Wahls. In 2000 she was diagnosed with MS, after a period in her life when she was super busy. By 2007 her condition had deteriorated to the point where she was unable to sit up on her own, she needed a wheelchair to move around, and she was suffering from intense brain fog. The prognosis was bleak and even the best that conventional medicine had to offer did not give her the relief she needed.

So she started researching, looking for answers outside the box. Even though she was a trained medical practitioner, she was desperate and willing to try just about anything.

After embarking upon a paleo diet that was specifically modified to maximise the nutrients needed to fight autoimmune disease, a miracle happened. Her illness started to reverse.

Dr Wahls was told that any functions lost were gone forever – she proved them wrong!

Slowly, she regained the use of her legs, she threw away the wheelchair, her energy levels improved, and she could even ride her bike for 20 miles at a time!

And so The Wahls Protocol was born – a highly respected and best-selling guide to healing your body from autoimmune disease.

“Stress is vital for life… but so is relaxation.”

We talk about the role that cortisol (a stress hormone) plays in the development of autoimmune and degenerative diseases.

We discuss the other causes of immune dysregulation, and the various warning signs to watch out for along the way. We also reveal the signs and symptoms of inflammation, and how to bring the inflammatory fire in your body back down.

“I love the paleo diet… but it wasn’t sufficient to heal me.”

We also have a looooong chat about the food. Is gluten ok for some people to eat? Should we ALL be avoiding it? What about paleo and ketogenic diets – are they the answer for everyone? Listen in to find out the answers.

“Once gluten has become a problem, there’s no undoing that.”


What about genetics? We cover the new types of gene testing available and their role in determining what we should and shouldn’t eat.

We also talk about whether you need to eat meat in order to heal, or whether it’s possible to recover using a vegetarian or vegan diet. Given that Dr Wahls was a vegetarian for 20 years prior to going paleo, and has done a LOT of research in this area, she has some honest and very thought provoking answers here!

We also chat about why food needs to be your leading source of medicine, rather than supplements.

“It’s way simpler and safer to get my nutrition from food, than it is to get my nutrition from supplements.”

Listen to this episode on iTunes here.


Catch it on The Wellness Couch website here.

Want to see more of Dr Wahls?

Her epic TEDx Talk is here:

Her website is here:

Are you in Sydney or Melbourne? Dr Wahls is speaking in April and May. You can grab tickets to her live events here:

Not in Sydney or Melbourne? There are online (live feed) access passes available to the above events too.

AAAAAAAAND… Free Giveaway!!!

I have 4 tickets to giveaway to the online (live feed) of the event. YAY!

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment on this blog post below. Tell me why you’d love to receive a free pass to this event. Make me laugh, make me cry, it’s up to you! One entry per person please.

Entries close on Friday 6th April at 10pm NSW time. Winners will be announced on Facebook and notified via email the following Monday. Hop to it!

(Note: By entering this competition, you will be consenting to occasional communications from Jules. Don’t worry – we never send spam – just cool stuff to help you on the path to better health! You may opt out at any time.)

  • Leanne Morris
    Posted at 05:33h, 22 March Reply

    oh my! I’d sure appreciate a ticket – I live in New Zealand so can’t attend sadly. But to have a complimentary ticket to attend virtually would be very very awesome. I enjoyed listening to the podcast and I bet you had a buzz interviewing Terry. Hope you get to meet her in person – I’ll watch your Instagram page for a once in a lifetime selfie with her.
    Many thanks!
    Love Leanne

  • Vic
    Posted at 11:32h, 22 March Reply

    Oh my goodness, this would be amazing to attend! I listened to her interview with Alexx Stuar this week and am looking forward to listening to yours too! Such fascinating work she does. Thanks for the opportunity Jules 🙂

  • Tracey
    Posted at 11:36h, 22 March Reply

    I would truly love to see Terry as I’ve been following her for a long time. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I would love to hear of any success stories with her protocol.

    Thanks for the opportunity Jules , love your podcasts!

  • Sharon
    Posted at 11:41h, 22 March Reply

    Oh my goodness I would love a pass to this. I have an autoimmune disease and would love to hear what Dr Wahls has to say – she is amazing!

  • Josie
    Posted at 11:49h, 22 March Reply

    Oh she is an inspiration this woman!!! Would enjoy to see her live.

  • Charlene Harvey
    Posted at 12:08h, 22 March Reply

    This would be a dream to win! Dr Wahls story is an inspiration giving hope to those with incurable diseases.
    My son has an autoimmune disease called Eosinophilic Oesophagitis . I started studying nutrition when my son had symptoms of being “allergic “ to food but Drs were saying that it was “all in his head” . I stumbled across EoE in an article and fought for him to be tested and is now being looked after by the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne.
    Now I have turned into a science nerd and study Functional Medicine Health Coaching , Nutrition and HeartMath.
    Using all of this information has meant that my sons quality of life has improved out of site and this year we are currently introducing new foods!
    I’m sure I’ve got so much more to learn and Terry may just be the one to teach me!

  • Sam
    Posted at 12:58h, 22 March Reply

    I love this podcast – so informative! She’s a fascinating person

  • Amy
    Posted at 14:20h, 22 March Reply

    Hey Jules, I’d love hear more from Terry Wahls! I’ve already changed my eating habits over recent years towards a paleo type diet to try and manage my auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s) and the other related disorders. I’m always interested to hear from professionals who have turned their own health around. I don’t particularly like eating meat but I keep getting steered towards paleo and it sounds like it could be the solution. I would like to know how strict the diet needs to be in terms of animal products and if gluten is off the menu forever! Cheers Amy

  • Natalie Elmslie
    Posted at 21:27h, 22 March Reply

    I would love to attend because I think that what she has to say would be useful to help me with my recent Fibromyalgia diagnosis.

  • Simone Manning
    Posted at 04:00h, 23 March Reply

    We have recently begun our auto immune journey with my young son diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis in December. He’s on a range of medication but we are trying where possible to supper him holistically and after listening to Dr Wahls I was so excited to learn more!

  • Julie Maier
    Posted at 06:55h, 23 March Reply

    I’m very interested in healthy eating to heal, particularly as my Mum has very quickly become incapacitated with Parkinson’s disease. Her deterioration has been very rapid, but I’m sure with an improved diet, we could help her somewhat.

  • Kate
    Posted at 11:09h, 23 March Reply

    Yes please what sn awesome opportunity! I’m in Brisbane so can’t make it to the live events but I’d would love the chance to learn and share with frirnds amd family who are struggling with things liie cancer and Parkinson’s

  • Eva Schafroth
    Posted at 12:15h, 23 March Reply

    OMG I’d LOOOOOVE to see her live! My mum has MS and Dr Wahls has given me so much hope. She has absolutely changed my life already and I’d love, love, love to dive deeper and learn more from her!!!

  • Brontie Hendry
    Posted at 16:38h, 23 March Reply

    Oh I would love to win one of these tickets!! As a student nutritionist I love learning and this is an area I would love to know more about 🙂

  • Marnie Gebhardt
    Posted at 16:56h, 23 March Reply

    Sounds fascinating!! I too suffer MS would love to hear more about it 😍

  • Leslie Millican
    Posted at 21:25h, 23 March Reply

    I have been researchingTerrys U Tube presentations and podcasts. I am so so interested in her story and how this way of eating can benefit others in particular clients with MS. I am a registered nurse and a personal trainer and truly beleive that healing our bodies with the food we eat is the answer to the chronic disease in our population.

  • Cathy Griggs
    Posted at 22:59h, 23 March Reply

    Wow thats bizarre. I called my MS friend early this morning and ask if she wasnt interested in going to Dr Terry’s workshop with me. Unfortunately she couldn’t afford it and sadly when I looked up the tickets I couldn’t either 😥 We would love to win tickets for online. Shani, my friend at 42 is in remission and has been able to hold this position with food choices. We have had many chats how food and stress are factors in autoimmune. To listen to Dr Terry would be amazing just to fill abit more of our life puzzles.

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 14:42h, 10 April Reply

      Hi Cathy, Congrats – you’re one of the winners! I’ll be in touch via email shortly.

  • Julie
    Posted at 21:24h, 24 March Reply

    I would love a ticket to her online course!! She is such and inspiration. I love her Ted talk ❤️ X

  • Louise
    Posted at 07:28h, 25 March Reply

    My husband has just been told he has an autoimmune condition that effects his spine. I really wanted to take him to the Sydney event. We live in Canberra but will be in Adelaide on May 5th for my niece’s wedding.

  • Jenny
    Posted at 20:47h, 25 March Reply

    Oh to be a fly on the wall in that room!

  • Fiona
    Posted at 09:35h, 26 March Reply

    I’d greatly appreciate a ticket to hear Dr Terry. My mum was recently diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, a rare bone marrow autoimmune disease. I would love to hear Dr Terry’s advice for treating autoimmune diseases, as well as hear how she has overcome her own autoimmune disease symptoms. I am sure her wealth of knowledge and experience could assist my mum too.

  • Trudy
    Posted at 20:13h, 26 March Reply

    I would love to receive a ticket, so I could then pass it on to a friend, who I know would be so grateful as she has recently been diagnosed with MS. 💜

  • Allison McDonald
    Posted at 21:32h, 27 March Reply

    Would be amazing to gain the knowledge from this inspirational woman.

  • Brodie
    Posted at 21:37h, 27 March Reply

    Meeeeee! I would love to! I think I could learn so much – for myself and my family and also to use in practice once I am qualified as a nutritionist.

  • Ellie Christoffersen
    Posted at 16:29h, 28 March Reply

    I’d love to win a pass to this amazing event as im a sole parent raising a profoundly disabled child and mainly home bound. I have MS and hypothyroidism myself and now a ‘hop-a-long’ 🐇 braking a toe and needing crutches to mobilise so can’t attend in Sydney.😢 I will do anything to improve my longevity for my little gift from God to have his Mumma to care for him long term. Against all odds but never ever give up 💙.

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 14:48h, 10 April Reply

      Congrats Ellie – you’ve won a pass! I’ll be in touch via email shortly.

  • Wendy Joy
    Posted at 18:51h, 28 March Reply

    How I would have loved to attend this event in person – but my health(nor finances) don’t allow it. Yes, I have an autoimmune dysfunction – it impacts every aspect of my life – and more frustratingly, it has never been given a ‘name’. Each Specialist agrees and can see the impact it has on Me – but despite all the lifestyle changes and dietary changes I’ve made – ‘getting well’ eludes Me. I’d love to attend this event online, gain new insights, management and hope. Yous see, it’s not just Me impacted by these issues of autoimmunity – My siblings have the symptoms, my 3 sons have the symptoms and now my grandchildren have presented in the same way. ‘What is is’ is no-longer important – too much time has been spent discovering ‘what it isn’t’ – the future belongs to healing it now and stopping it’s inherit capability. I think understanding and implementing The Wahls Protocol would be one big step in the right direction of kicking these autoimmune issues in the butt <3

  • Eva
    Posted at 14:28h, 29 March Reply

    Dr Wahls has inspired me to completely change my lifestyle. My mum has MS and lives rural and won’t be able to make it. I’d love to see her in Sydney and pass on everything I learn to help her get better <3

  • Lauren
    Posted at 17:53h, 29 March Reply

    Unfortunately I’m not capable of driving to Melbourne however I’ve been following Dr Wahls for approximately 10 years after my first MRI showed a ‘brain full of lesions’. As a single mum I’m determined to stay as able bodied as possible and am desperate to learn every possible way to potentially grasp onto physical health as long as I can. The brain fog, vertigo and horrific migraines and headaches are frequently keeping me housebound. I’m not asking for a miracle but hoping for anything to make life more positive and fulfilling.

  • Rebecca
    Posted at 22:36h, 30 March Reply

    I’ve been unwell since I was 8 and I just turned 21, so it’s been a long journey, that I’m still navigating and trying to find answers to. I have an autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue and gut issues, and I know I would greatly benefit to hear Terry speak. She has an amazing story – one that can inspire and change the lives of many, and I would love to be one of those lucky attendees to soak up her wisdom and knowledge, and also get a kick of inspiration. I know the power of diet, having gone paleo, and I’m eager to learn more, know more and hopefully be able to share that with others one day.

  • Susie Venkat
    Posted at 09:00h, 05 April Reply

    I have read about Dr Terry Wahls and as a student of Nutrition I am VERY interested in her work. After reversing her MS with diet – I think she is A-MAZING! I too, have an autoimmune condition and would dearly love to hear more from this fabulous doctor.

  • Amanda Vodic
    Posted at 13:31h, 05 April Reply

    When I was 24, I got engaged to my now-husband and was happier than I ever thought possible. The weeks that followed were a blurr of champagne and celebrations. That same month my friend, who was also 24, was going through numerous testing to figure out why she’d suddenly gone blind in one eye. The diagnosis came back that she had MS. I will never forget the moment she told me. She had only moments before been congratulating me (and trying on my ring). The stark contrast of what we were both experiencing has never left me, and what a champion she was to still be and share in my happiness with me despite the terrifying diagnosis. 8 years later and she’s now at the point where she’s at a crossroads with medications, which are causing problems, but noone can give her any good answers on what to do. I would love to gift this ticket to her. Perhaps it might shine some light in a new direction and provide some new answers.

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 14:48h, 10 April Reply

      Congrats Amanda – you’re one of the winners! I’ll be in touch via email shortly.

  • Ciera Livings
    Posted at 22:41h, 05 April Reply

    Dr Terry Wahls rocks my socks! She is a true inspiration and a testament that food is indeed medicine. So often we look to others to heal our symptoms and give away that power but her message is clear, take responsibility for what you put in to your body. Nourish your body and it will nourish back. Dr Wahls has so much to teach and I’m always in awe when I hear her speak, be it in documentaries or interviews. It would be amazing to have access to more of what she has to offer and to be able to share her knowledge with others.

  • Jess
    Posted at 22:06h, 06 April Reply

    Ooh! Would love this to pass on to my mum who has auto immune issues…and as of yet is unaware of the power of healing protocols such as Dr Wahl’s! Would love for her to broaden her perspective outside of the narrow thinking of GP & typical Western Medicine land 😀

  • Wendy
    Posted at 22:36h, 06 April Reply

    ‪My daughter helped me write my entry as my speech and brain function has gone down hill quickly over the last year and I find a task like writing difficult and taxing, as my brain scrambles to find the words. I’m currently unable to work, fatigued all the time and going from doctor to doctor to find the answer. I’ve been told it’s depression, but I know it’s not, what I’m feeling and experiencing is REAL. Terry focuses on the power of diet and her results, reversing MS, is an incredible story of hope for people who are suffering with poor health. To learn that I could support my mitochondria and eat for brain health – this is information I need. It’s ironic (in a terribly sad way) that doctors don’t mention diet at all because it sounds like this is *just* what the doctor ordered and information we could all greatly benefit from. Thanks for the chance to win this life changing experience and for letting me share my story.‬

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 14:50h, 10 April Reply

      Congrats Wendy – you’re one of our winners! I’ll be in touch via email shortly.

  • Debbie Wolthuis
    Posted at 15:35h, 07 April Reply

    I have never heard of Terry Wahl before. I want to study the Wahls protocol in more depth. I am want to look more in-depth of managing my diabetes and autoimmune disease and look at alternatives. I have thought for along time “I can’t undo what I have already done, but I can preserve what I have left”. After listening to your podcast and watching the Ted talks I can challenge that believe and rescue, recover and restore what l have lost. The benefits of attending this would give me the opportunity to listen to the new research Developments.

    • Debbie Wolthuis
      Posted at 15:37h, 07 April Reply

      Auto correction is painful. It should read “I had not heard of Terry Wahl before.

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