Terry Wahls, M.D.

Terry Wahls, M.D.

Author and Professor of Medicine

Terry Wahls, M.D. is a professor of medicine at the University of Iowa, where she conducts clinical research on the use of diet and lifestyle to treat brain-related problems. She has also worked at the V.A. for many years in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic and was the Director of the Therapeutic Lifestyle Clinic. In both clinics, she focused on using diet and lifestyle to treat traumatic brain injury and neurological and neurodegenerative disorders.

She received her master's in medicine from The University of Iowa, as well as her master's in business administration from the University of St. Thomas.

Wahls has progressive MS. For seven years, she declined steadily, and though she took the newest drugs, including very potent biologic drugs, she ended up in a tilt-recline wheelchair for four years. When she started studying the latest brain science and designed a diet and lifestyle program specifically to support her brain cells, her decline slowed, then stopped, then she recovered. Now, she bikes five miles to work. She uses these principles to help others with a wide variety of brain-related symptoms end their decline and suffering, and restore their lives.

She has authored The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles, as well as its companion cookbook, The Wahls Protocol Cooking for Life. Terry also holds her Wahls Protocol® Seminar every August.

Practices and Articles


What's your wellness philosophy?

I teach people how a lifetime of diet choices, lifestyle choices, and environmental exposures create the health that we have or do not have. I inspire them to create hope and curiosity, to believe that they have far more power and can create a healthier lives for themselves and their families.

What brought you into wellness?

I became severely disabled due to progressive MS, so disabled that it was a struggle to sit up. I was exhausted by 10 a.m. and could walk 10 feet using two walking sticks—all despite using the newest drugs, seeing the best MS doctors in the country. I studied the basic science and would begin experimenting upon myself and would in due time, create a diet and lifestyle program that restored my health. I now bike to work 5 miles each way. I have changed my clinical practice and the focus of my research. I have made it my mission to teach the public, my clinical colleagues and conduct the research into how diet and lifestyle choices create health, reduce symptoms and improve the quality of our lives.

What renews you?

Creating an epidemic of health is my mission, but it requires a community to be effective. It takes all of us, telling our stories, teaching one another, inspiring each other, learning from another to create a healthier future.