A message from Dr. Terry Wahls

Reprinted here with permission from Dr. Wahls:

I am aware that some individuals have posted concerns about the costs of functional medicine. I saw that people have been expressing concern, frustration and anger that functional medicine costs so much, or even anger that I charge so much for a consultations in my private practice. – hence I am writing this post.
Functional medicine is very time intensive. Yesterday I spent 6 hours on one person’s first visit with me. A conventional physician would have been able to spend 30 or 45 minutes and then 10 to 15 minutes per visit for the follow up. A detailed review of all of the environmental factors, diet, lifestyle and environmental factors that contributed to the health decline is very time intensive. This is why functional medicine practitioners are not able to take insurance. If they do, they cannot pay their staff (or their liability insurance) or themselves. Furthermore if they do take insurance, the health insurance company is likely to complete a practice audit and force the practitioner to refund to the health insurance company any payment for services – as functional medicine evaluations and treatments are not covered services.
I took care of people in the VA for years – and saw people using primary care labs that I described in my book – and used group encounters to teach people how to view the relationship between their diet, lifestyle and environmental exposures and their health – and then begin adopting the various diet plans we recommended.

Because I want to facilitate an epidemic of health – I have written several books, have a website and social media where my staff and I post information daily. You need a computer and an internet connection to see the information.
I receive requests daily from people around the globe who want more support and to consult with me. I have created products that provide more support to implement functional medicine principles with higher costs for higher levels of support. I am grateful for the people who choose to buy the additional support services because that allows me to pay staff and cover my costs for conducting webinars, and providing free content on social media. I am grateful that some people want to come for an intensive functional medicine evaluation in my private practice – which again allows me to support my staff so that I can provide as much free content as I do via social media.

There are many functional medicine books available in the library. There are many functional medicine podcasts, interviews and videos you can learn from. You can use my book and work with your primary care team to implement and monitor your progress.

Some of you may decide that your finances are such that you can only work with your primary care team and my book. For the vast majority of people implementing the dietary choices 100% is what restores their health. If you will commit to doing that .. likely you achieve a radical improvement in your health and will have no need for a functional medicine consult. The majority of people I have seen in my clinic at the VA additional testing was not required – people needed emotional help to do the work of changing their diet and lifestyle. They did not need more fancy testing.

Some of you may decide you have the financial resources and want to buy the additional support ( and I am grateful for those who do so I can pay staff to provide as much free content as we do) or consult with a functional medicine practitioner and understand that a functional medicine evaluation is very time intensive for the health professional and the patient.

There are many ways to find diet and lifestyle information and support for your journey. Stay positive. Do what you can. Use the library. Work with your primary care team. Do not obsess over whether you can afford functional medicine. Obsess over learning how to cook at home. Obsess over eating what is recommended and eliminating what is harmful.
Obsess over what you can do.
Let go of what you cannot do or access.
We saw remarkable success in patients who implemented the dietary recommendations – with zero fancy testing. The most critical is to understand that there is a very large difference between doing the diet most of the time (even 95%) and doing the diet all the time – 100%.

Keep working at it and keep working at doing the protocol a little better a little more effectively each week.
It took me 17 years to get my daily program to where I am today… and I am still improving my diet and lifestyle choices. You will also hopefully keep improving yours continually as well.
Terry Wahls

 

My gratitude is immeasurable for Dr. Wahls dedication to teaching everyone who seeks to recover via her reasonably books, webinars, website, online and documentary interviews, paid visits and her annual seminar.

Today was the first day I registered key tones on the keto urine strips. So excited, I feel like I’m back on the fast track. Yesterday and particularly last night was a painful detox. All good this morning. So I don’t scare you with the “painful” term, I’ll explain, very briefly. Gas, a lot of gas that became trapped under my left breast between my ribs, which created a stabbing pain that went on all night. Everyone will have some kind of detox, not everyone will have trapped gas pain like that. Wasn’t fun, but brewed bay leaf tea, took some Tylenol and finally went to sleep at 4:30 am. Right now, I feel like a million bucks! Today’s blog became about other important topics, most especially Dr. Wahls’ message above. Tomorrow, I’ll post more resources.

 

Bonne Sante

Is it worth all the trouble?

At the very beginning of my journey eight months ago, I hadn’t begun with the Wahls Protocol. I started with Direct MS and MS Hope first, I read up on Overcoming MS which is vegetarian and based on the Dr. Swank diet and had already been introduced to the Wahls Protocol two years before. I was split between the different methods. Direct MS was good, but I needed a definite structure. Direct MS is closest to Wahls. On OMS’s suggestion to be allergy tested by a Naturopathic Doctor, I called around. I found out the more reputable places and called a few and learned of how expensive it was. I can’t afford anything like that. I tried one more clinic on my street. I stopped in to inquire. I explained my financial situation and what I was working on and what I needed. He said he could allergy test me for just $100.00. Still a lot for me, but no where near what the bigger clinics were charging. I made the appointment.

I showed up, gave him my money and was led to a room. On the table were various small cobalt blue bottles and a machine that had a tray top. He asked me a series of questions and I answered what I knew I had issues with. He then explained that this was a non invasive test. He had a wand that was hooked up to a machine. He explained that he would place the bottle on the machine’s tray with the item we were testing for in it, gluten, alcohol, dairy, cat hair, whatever. I’m watching, I’m seeing that he’s holding a wand to my wrist and the unopened little bottle is resting away from me on the tray top of the machine, which looks like a scale. On the machine are Geiger counters. For the gluten bottle, which I had already told him I have a sensitivity to, he pressed harder on my wrist making the counters bounce higher. And so it went, with about fifteen bottles. I was told that I was sensitive to everything that I had already told him I was allergic too. Fifteen minutes is the total time I spent with him. It would’ve been more productive to light a one hundred dollar bill on fire leaving me with fourteen and a half minutes to do something worth something, like sweep my floor. Lesson learned. If you can’t afford more reputable places, don’t bother.

I switched over to Dr. Wahls Protocol and have followed it within the limits of my financial situation. It has required me to be creative, resourceful and to pick and choose this over that. Supplements in particular have been tough. To swing them all is over $150.00 per month and that’s being discriminatory. There are some that are ideal that are well over $100 by themselves such as the best digestives and probiotics. Obviously, they were out from the beginning. I tried to do the $150 and put myself way behind financially the second month I did it. I’ve whittled the supplement list down to $40 a month. I’m taking 10,000 IUs vitamin D3 drops (the most important), 1200 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid for an atrophied brain, 3,000 mg wild caught fish oil, 400 IUs vitamin E, 1000 mg l-lysine, vitamin B complex and vitamin B12. If I can find a way, I’ll replenish the digestive, but as of now, I’m out of it. Some months I have this and some months I have that.

The good news? Despite not having the ability to do every suggested component, I’m still healing. How am I doing since I stepped back from Nutritional Ketosis to level II? My digestive system is freaking out. Bloat, gas, and an overly full stomach. I’m considering going right back to level III. A while back I had mentioned that I was losing too much hair. I hadn’t followed up that dilemma. It was due to not enough protein when I was on level III. I upped it to another serving and my hair loss returned to normal. All this bru ha ha and struggle. Is it necessary? Is it worth it? With every fiber of my being, it definitely is. Because it pays. It pays in good health. Quite a statement for someone with MS since 2004.

 

Bonne Sante

 

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