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Can mindbody disorders affect blood chemistry and other physical/chemical issues?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Water Rider, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Water Rider

    Water Rider Newcomer

    For the past eight months, I've been dealing with a couple health issues that after reading John Sarno's The Divided Mind, I'm becoming convinced are largely, maybe mostly psychosomatic. I understand from that book and from a few other sources that various health issues can exist on a spectrum between structural/physical and psychological (or purely psychosomatic). I am curious if what I’m dealing with is somewhere in the middle, and if so, what kind of treatment approach is best. Here is my recent health history:

    Around eight months ago, I developed constipation, bloating, and cramping, that looking back, coincided exactly with a very stressful couple of weeks at work. My stress level prior to that was already somewhat high due to some personal experiences in previous months including having a miscarriage. (About 10 years ago, I had also had some serious digestive issues that coincided with another stressful time in my life, relationally – it was basically chronic diarrhea. A colonoscopy at that time revealed inflammation (colitis). Through working with a chiropractor/naturopath on a strict diet and supplement regimen, I completely recovered, and had been symptom free with the exception of a few minor flare-ups since then.)

    With the constipation this past year, I was hopeful I’d be able to handle it myself through what I had learned previously about diet and nutrition. I started taking HCL which helped greatly with the constipation, bloating, and cramping. But after several months of trying different diets, I was also losing weight and had developed pretty chronic fatigue. Other symptoms were poor sleep and frequent urination. After about four months, I sought the help of another chiropractor/naturopath. Bloodwork she had me do indicated: white blood cell count was low, triiodothyronine (T3) was low, testosterone was low, among a few other numbers that were out of range. She concluded that overall, my body was inflamed, especially my stomach, and it was likely due to a chronic gut infection that I may have had for a while. However, no particular infection, virus, etc., has been identified. So she has had me on a diet (essentially paleo, with lots of animal protein) and a supplement regimen to address this presumed infection and inflammation.

    Over the last few months, I have started feeling better (more energy, gaining weight), and my blood chemistry has improved, although not everything is back in the normal range yet. Digestively, I feel much better, even without the HCL. I have also become increasingly aware of the occasional digestive flare-ups I’ve had being caused by stress, which I am managing much better. So the bigger recent symptom has been fatigue, which seemed to be improving, but very gradually. However, over the past two weeks, I’ve experienced the largest improvement in that area, I believe due to completing The Divided Mind and working through some of the treatment recommendations!

    So my two main questions are:

    1) Is it reasonable that struggling with a psychosomatic disorder over time can induce physical/chemical changes in the body that would show up by certain blood chemistry values being out of range, like I’ve seen? My hypothesis is that the psychosomatic disorder pushed my digestion out of balance which decreased my nutrient absorption which led to some of these other physical/chemical imbalances. And maybe some of the hormone imbalances are just due to chronic stress, or the psychosomatic disorder itself? Does that sound reasonable?

    2) If that is the case, does it make sense to continue with the diet and supplement guidance of my naturopath to assist the physical/chemical issues, while continuing to work on the psychological ones? My naturopath feels that there are still some physical things (most importantly anemia) that would be greatly improved, maybe more quickly, with the assistance of her guidance and supplement regimen. My struggle with this is that John Sarno and others suggest that part of the way to completely accept that you have a psychosomatic disorder and recondition your mind, is to stop any treatments you are on for issues that others have told you that you have. Any thoughts?
  2. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    first off Naturopaths are not MDs.
    It won't hurt to continue supplementation as it can and does effectively help mood/energy levels. ensure you keep convincing the brain you won't tolerate the state of affairs any longer and you are going to work on the emotional aspects of your situation.
  3. Zumbafan

    Zumbafan Well known member

    I would just like to comment on your anaemia. Have you had this verified by a doctor? There are different types of anaemia, like sickle cell, and pernicious, which spring to mind, both requiring treatment. Hope you are informed, and taking any necessary medication.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello Water Rider,
    You ask good questions. I'm not a TMS doctor or expert, but I'll share my thoughts. The mind and body are connected and so it seems logical that symptoms that are psychogenic can result in body changes including the ones you describe. When I was struggling with fibromyalgia for 20 years, I had numerous blood tests and every other kind of test, and invariably something would pop up as "low" or "deficient" and the medical providers involved in my care would jump on that and treat it. However, these treatments never made any difference in my pain levels. If we get enough tests or MRIs, something will always come up less than perfect. But if our symptoms are generated by our mind, the only way to get lasting improvement is to focus on the psychological. To me, focusing on your diet and supplements to correct a problem will undermine your recovery from TMS. It was important in my recovery for me to be able to say to myself, "You are healthy and strong. There is nothing wrong with your body." Believing that meant I didn't need anything special to be symptom free (diets, supplements, routines, pillows, etc).

    It is normal to have some doubts about the TMS diagnosis at first. The best way to get past this is to see a TMS medical doctor and have them rule out any structural/physical issues, and determine if your symptoms are 100% from TMS. So if at all possible, I suggest doing that. Then you can jump in and work on TMS with the knowledge that you can eat a healthy, normal diet and be symptom free.

    Wishing you the best. And Welcome to the Forum!
    3rdCoast, Lizzy and Tennis Tom like this.
  5. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Water Rider. Excellent advice from Ellen and the others. Total belief in TMS is what it takes to heal.

    Stay positive and try to get some fun each day.
    Katy Elise likes this.

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