Diagnosed With MS – Now Stronger And Healthier Than Ever!

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Testimonial written by Becky Chadwell:

I can’t begin to say enough thanks to the paleo world out there. In November of 2012, after a heavy workout, my pinky and ring finger on each hand started tingling. I thought to myself, “Great, turn 32 and I’m falling apart from lifting 60 pounds.” I was really careful and tried to stretch but after about a week of this the numbness and tingling invaded both of my hands entirely.

Being a nurse I thought through all sorts of terrible possibilities and settled on calling a chiropractor because I must have pulled or compressed something in my back.  It was about 2 weeks after all of this that I woke up one day and the tingling was running through both of my big toes. Now, being a healthcare professional I was vaguely aware that the only thing that would cause numbness and tingling in all limbs of the body involves severing your spine. This is a problem. I was constantly dropping things and was totally unable to insert an IV. I was more tired than I had ever been in my life.

Between 13 hour night shifts I “tried” to make an appointment to see someone. (“Tried”= slept and swore that I would take care of it my next day off. And the next one. You see where this is going.) I was working a night later that week and our house doctor came for a procedure on one of my patients so I talked to him about it. We got my MRI scheduled and by mid-January I found out that I had multiple sclerosis. All I can think of is a wheelchair.

During the time waiting for the MRI to be completed and resulted, my boyfriend and I did tons of research about MS and my mom forwarded an email from the Mercola medical site that was about a paleo diet helping with MS.  It was an article about Dr.Terry Wahls and her miraculous improvement from being wheelchair bound from progressive multiple sclerosis to riding an 18 mile bike ride 9 months later. It was amazing.

My boyfriend is a personal trainer who is very motivating and has his own story about living with cystic fibrosis and having a “you can’t mess with me” attitude towards it. He simply told me that I was doing it. So that is how my paleo adventure began. Sobbing mid-January in the grocery store, not knowing what to eat and that something was eating my brain and nerves, I tried to shop for meats and veggies.

I went through a month of steroids and ordered some medication that was $5000 a month and felt like I was injecting battery acid.  Through all of this I was slowly feeling better. The burning, aching pain in my hands and feet was getting better. And something else was happening…I realized that I was feeling more awake and healthier than I’ve ever felt before. That doesn’t seem right for someone with a debilitating disease.  And did I mention I only took the terrible injections for 10 days. It was unbearable.

Through reading and living everyday I realized  that food really is my medicine. I feel stronger and healthier than I did even one time the rest of my life.  I have been training with a personal trainer lifting some heavy weights. Who gets diagnosed with MS and then squats 165 pounds? In August I had a team in Muckfest MS which is a 5 mile mud race/obstacle course that is a fundraiser.

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I never thought I would do something like that. As far as losing weight goes, mine is unchanged but my body fat % went from 35% to 22%. It’s been a full year since my very first symptoms started and my life is totally changed from getting into the paleo lifestyle.

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I have not had a flare up since my original diagnosis. I LIVE for talking diet with anyone and everyone that will listen. It’s my passion. I’m trying to save everybody one by one. I just had a follow up MRI 7 months from the original and there was only one small new area in my brain and I healed the biggest lesion that was in my spine! It was BIG. Neck and spine are totally clear. All of that with paleo and no medicine.

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A big thanks for Terry Wahls’ TED talk video that got me started,  Robb Wolf for a great book and hundreds of hours of podcasts and Dr. Lewis for being there at the right time to diagnose me. I couldn’t have gotten through any of this without the love and support of my boyfriend Tryemoore and the physical beatings at the gym from him and my trainer Jake.

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  1. Alan Torell
    November 4, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Bravo Becky!!

  2. Andrea
    November 4, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Whooow, congratulations and thanks for your amazing story!

    Im also fighting my way back to health. I would really appreciate some more details on your paleo diet? I´ve been reading Dr Terry Wahls book and Robbs Paleo Solution and I was wondering, Robb recommends avoiding certain food for people with autoimmunity (eggs, peppers, tomato, nuts…) did you do so? and Dr. Whals accepts Quinoa whereas Robb packs it out with the grains…whats your personal experience with that?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Becky Chadwell
      November 4, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      I cut out eggs for about 3 months and then gave them a try. I had no symptoms so now I eat them freely. I do have tomatoes but not that often. I have never tried quinoa just because I haven’t gotten that adventurous. :)

  3. Debby
    November 5, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Wow, thank you for sharing you inspiring story! I would be interested in knowing if you take any nutritional supplements and or added any high nutrition super foods like in smoothies? I have been trying to follow the Wahls/paleo diet, but find it difficult to eat that many cups of vegetables a day.

    • Becky Chadwell
      November 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

      I eat all kinds of super foods. I probably have kale and avocado everyday. I keep a bin in my fridge that I chop kale and red cabbage into. I use it for my greens that I will pair with almost anything. Purple veggies help heal the blood brain barrier! I take fish oil and vitamin D since vitamin D deficiency is common in people with MS. I don’t have smoothies because it is just going to cause your blood sugar to skyrocket. Chew your food! :) Slow down that digestion. And any smoothie is just asking for some delicious fruit to be added to it and that is another kick to your blood sugar.

      • Taufiq
        December 8, 2013 at 3:56 am

        Hi Becky … great accomplishment! Do you ever buy regular kale or just organic? Some of the people I know cant afford organic. My concern is the pesticides in green vegetables and its accumulation when we eat that much greens. You mentioned not to do smoothies. How about juicing just vegetables without fruit. No blood sugar spike there. Some MS patients have ‘chewing’ fatigue. What do you think?

        • Becky Chadwell
          December 17, 2013 at 12:20 am

          I don’t think juicing veggies is a problem. Just seems like everyone is always adding fruit to make smoothies tasty. I do always get organic kale or any greens. I am very worried about how much the pesticides would be totally unwashable from such a crazy surface. I usually get big bunches of it for about $2. It’s much cheaper than those washed tubs of spinach.

  4. Bjjcaveman
    November 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

    What an amazing change on the MRI! Great story!

  5. Scott B
    November 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Becky,
    Congrats to you! This community is so amazing, supportive, and filled with awesome folks that have helped me too. Best of luck and continued good health to you and your boyfriend!
    Scott

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  7. John
    November 7, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Great story Becky, very encouraging. Love the mud photos!

  8. Selma
    December 29, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    What does a typical day/week diet look like for you? What do you eat for bkfst?

  9. Gary
    April 16, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Great story, I also am a MS person I must not be doing everthing right, I have been doing paleo about 95 percent of the time for one and a half years, the weight came off but my symptoms have not subsided, it gets very frustrating,I do eat blueberries with unsweetened coconut milk[is this a bad fruit?]I eat tons of sweet potatoes, vegies and lean meats, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Becky Chadwell
      August 18, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Gary, you may want to slow down on the sweet potatoes. Most people with MS do best on a ketogenic diet which is higher fat and low carb. Check out The Wahls Protocol. It is Dr.Terry Wahls’ newest book that totally outlines her diet protocol. If you are not familiar with her I would highly suggest that you look into her story. It was totally my inspiration.

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