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Association between allergies and muscle pain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Hiawatha922, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Over the years, I have visited a number of allergists in an attempt to resolve various environmental allergies--especially ragweed, dust, grass and tree pollens. I have always asked allergists about the association between allergies and muscle aches. For some reason, as allergies became more acute (spring and fall), I would notice muscle tightness and aches. This association in symptoms continues today.

    In the past, I routinely received the answer that allergies had nothing to do with muscle pain, that allergies only cause upper respiratory symptoms. Yet, trusting my body, I know these symptoms (upper respiratory and muscle aches) always intensified at the same time.

    Now, I am left with the question as to the cause of this association. Today, some allergists acknowledge that there may be a connection but they don't know what it is.

    My belief now (especially after reading Dr. Sarno's work) is that the root of allergies comes from unresolved emotional issues. Since I had severe allergies as far back as early childhood, I am thinking that these issues have been around for a long time. What a relief it would be to process some of these emotions and create more peace, reducing the allergies and muscle aches.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, I've had both muscle aches (fibromyalgia diagnosis) and allergy symptoms. I've gotten rid of the muscle aches, but the allergy symptoms persist. I know they are both TMS, and that the allergy symptoms are due to an over reactive immune system (per Sarno). There are times when I think that the watery eyes and runny nose are a substitute for crying, which I almost never do. That may be a stretch, but the symptoms are a great distraction from emotional pain. I obviously still have work to do to get rid of the allergy symptoms. (I ruled out real allergic reactions with an allergy specialist.)

    Wishing you success on your healing journey...
    tarala likes this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    The world has become so polluted it's no wonder our eyes are watery and our nose runs.
    But if we have repressed emotions, our subconscious may create what we think are allergies.
    We need to discover the TMS that is encouraging our subcon to give us those symptoms.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Only my two-bits as a life-long allergy-asthma sufferer, but I do believe that, based on my own experience, TMS and allergies are both conditioned, programmed learned behaviors. If the autonomic nervous system regulates the flow of oxygenated blood to nerves, tendons and muscles and if, as Dr Sarno asserts, minor reductions in oxygen levels are responsible (at least in part) for TMS pain, then it is possible that the hyper-activity of the autoimmune system that causes the allergic response is also a learned or programmed behavior. Of course, this all takes place beneath the level of our conscious awareness, so this kind of programming is very, very deep. Not something you can stop with a conscious act of will. In my own case, my allergies and asthma began when I was about 5 or 6 when my parents were fighting constantly and on the edge of a divorce. Lots of fear, violence and danger in the home. I have a hunch that a conflicted family situation during the first 6 years of life might make it easier for the allergic response to develop and become programmed in your brain. Would be very interesting if someone conducted a randomized scientifically-based double blind study to determine whether there is a correlation between allergies and TMS. Of course, I think it's well known that a whole set of other PPDs (psycho-physiological disorders) like IBS, GERD, tension headaches, CFS, psoriasis, frequent urination etc. etc. etc. are often found in back pain and chronic pain patients. Even though a traditional MD might say these other conditions are unrelated to TMS back pain, my own gut feeling is that they are connected to the underlying process driving the pain. I sure do notice that as my TMS has diminished in intensity, a lot of my other quirky symptoms have disappeared.

    This sure sounds like a question for "Ask a TMS expert"!
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  5. chickenbone

    chickenbone Well known member

    I also have and still do struggle with both muscle tension causing pain in my lower back AND allergies. And they often occur at the same time when I am unusually excited or under stress.
  6. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thank you all for your responses.

    BruceMC, my early childhood was also filled with fear and tension due to my dad's alcoholism. I know that an association has been demonstrated between stress and allergies, but I don't think the traditional MDs identify stress as causative. So, much like other physical manifestations of TMS, unless it is demonstrated scientifically, traditional medical professionals are pretty dismissive.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think that traditional MDs would say that stress intensifies allergies and/or chronic pain, but it is not their primary cause. But it seems to me that on-going stress and a emotionally conflicted childhood can both change the neuro-chemistry of the brain in such a fashion that such symptoms as pain and allergies develop and manifest. This is a big area of disagreement between traditional MDs and mind-body medicine. To my way of thinking, chronic pain and allergies-asthma are both programmed behaviors that occur in response to external stressors and self-imposed stress due to personality traits. I bet there are ways to test these hypotheses scientifically.
    tarala and Ellen like this.
  8. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    I agree. Even as a metaphor this makes sense to me. Fear and stress often lead to overreactions (fight or flight) and allergies do the same. Like other manifestations of TMS, with allergies, our mind-body believes it's acting in our best interest.
  9. tarala

    tarala Well known member

    Hi Hiawatha, I too have had muscle pain and allergies at the same time. Since learning about and working with TMS, my allergies are completely gone, and my asthma is completely gone, but I still have pain sometimes. I think for me they are both clearly TMS, but the difference is that I have focused on the pain differently.
    The allergies seemed annoying but I'm guessing not enough to really fulfill the role of distractor of emotions. But with the pain I zeroed in on it single mindedly, as if my life would be 100% problem free if only it would go away. Really, really hard not to do, but I am getting there. I still have some, but it's not stopping me from doing what I want nearly as much as it was.
    Cheers, Terry
  10. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Terry. I appreciate hearing that it is possible to make progress with allergies and muscle aches by treating TMS!
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    "Fear and stress often lead to overreactions (fight or flight) and allergies do the same."

    Hiawatha: I have a sense that the fight/flight/freeze mammalian survival response is directly implicated in a whole lot of symptoms, including TMS, IBS, GERD, asthma, allergies, PTSD, even drug addiction, alcoholism and schizophrenia. Traditional MDs would say it's an intensifier but I would bet a dollar-to-a-donut that it's a trigger too. Psychologically conditioned behavior, I would say, also plays a big role in the complex process leading to the development of allergies and TMS. What we need, though, are more than shared anecdotes to convince the skeptics. What we need are some randomized peer-reviewed double blind tests to prove these sort of hunches out. You sure notice how afraid an asthma patient is about having another attack, how he or she modifies their daily behavior to avoid allergens and stressors. And you sure notice how TMS patients are generally always afraid of setting off another back attack. The common element here is fear.

    I do notice in myself that as my TMS symptoms have gone down, many (but not all) of my allergic and asthmatic symptoms has reduced and even disappeared. Makes you strongly suspect there's a link between the psychological conditioning driving allergies and the psychological conditioning driving chronic pain. Dunno! Like the network engineers always say: Test, Don't Guess!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  12. Hiawatha922

    Hiawatha922 Peer Supporter

    I am currently working with a Jungian therapist who has encouraged me to begin dialogue with my "inner child". She believes that staying away from interpretations and rationalizations will help me better connect with the emotional experiences I encountered as a child.

    I realize that I want there to be a direct connection between this work (exploring emotions etc) and allergies/physical health--but I have been encouraged to let go of the need to know. My therapist mentioned, for example, that experiencing disconnections with myself will likely lead to poor health but seeking to identify cause and effect may actually get in the way of what is needed (back to interpretations and rationalizations).

    BruceMC, I think the network engineers have this right. I think that exploring (feeling) my own emotional history, particularly in association with childhood, will give me the answers I am looking for.
  13. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes, over intellectualizing the process often gets in the way of the real work of healing the pain.

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