Wahls Therapeutic Lifestyle Research Fund
By Donating To The Wahls Therapeutic Lifestyle Research Fund, You Will Help Support:
- The first scientific study comparing a therapeutic diet and lifestyle without drugs to disease-modifying drugs for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).
- Analysis of the MRI data, and blood, urine, and stool biomarkers data from the MS and CIS study.
- Future studies on additional autoimmune disease states, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, and other disease states, such as macular degeneration.
I am often asked if using diet and lifestyle without drugs is just as effective as taking disease-modifying drugs for controlling symptoms and stopping disease progression. Patients and clinicians ask me this question often, but there are no studies that are attempting to answer that question. Clinically, we have observed that many patients who adopt a therapeutic diet and lifestyle experience tremendous success at stopping symptoms and regressing brain lesions. But there are no studies prospectively comparing the two approaches.
We are committed to doing a scientific study to compare these two approaches to treating autoimmune disease. We will first investigate in the setting of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). Ours will be the first scientific study comparing therapeutic diet and lifestyle without drugs to disease-modifying drugs for MS and CIS patients. We want to know how therapeutic diet and lifestyle compares to disease-modifying drug therapy. Are the two approaches equivalent or is one better than the other?
The aim of this study is to compare a usual care cohort of patients to a cohort that is using a therapeutic diet and lifestyle without disease-modifying drugs and monitor change in quality of life. We will assess change in motor, visual, and cognitive function and biomarkers, including MRI (presence of new lesions and level of inflammation) and blood, urine, and stool.
This will be a landmark study because it is one of the first to compare, head to head, a therapeutic diet and lifestyle without drugs to usual care in the setting of serious systemic autoimmune conditions. If we are able to show that therapeutic diet and lifestyle is equivalent (or better than) to using drug-based disease modifying therapy for in the setting of MS and CIS – that would be a huge finding! It will be a landmark study, one that has potential to change the way serious systemic autoimmune conditions are treated. It will allow patients wanting to use therapeutic diet and lifestyle (and their treating medical teams) to have more confidence in giving a trial of therapeutic diet and lifestyle before starting disease-modifying drugs. It will also give us more impetus to investigate therapeutic diet and lifestyle in other serious autoimmune disease states.