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Can TMS start to cover the emotional upset of a 'real' disease?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Karrie, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. Karrie

    Karrie New Member


    I was reading today that women who suffer from endometriosis are 12 times more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Since we know for sure that fibromyalgia is TMS, does that mean that a 'real' condition (endometriosis) and the emotional upset generated by that can generate 'TMS', or does it indicate that endometriosis is in fact too, (in some cases at least) TMS as well?

    @Steve Ozanich and @Alan Gordon LCSW

    If you happen to have the time to comment, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

    (Endometriosis, if you aren't aware is where small patches of the lining of the uterus implants in other parts of a woman's body e.g. ovaries or bowel and causes pain either as very bad period pain or contestant pain. It is becoming a very common condition with some studies indicating that unto one in ten women seek treatment for symptoms matching that of endometriois. You can't read a newspaper or go on Facebook without coming across an article or new treatment.

    A few interesting facts, that in some ways sound quite similar to 'grey hair of the spine':

    -No one knows what causes it. The latest theory is an autoimmune disease but a lot of disagreement

    -Endometriosis is often asymptomatic (i.e. found by accident when a women is having her tubes tied etc. It can only be diagnoses during laparoscopy and sometimes MRI)

    -The amount of endometriosis present does not often correlate to the amount of pain felt (small amount - sometimes great pain, huge amount - sometimes little pain). The amount of pain ranges from annoyance to total disability.

    -It is said to effect about 10%of women yet a small number of surgeon have said that 100% of women actually have it (and it would be found in any women if a well trained surgeon with the best equipment and unlimited surgery time was to look and take enough samples) and that it is sometimes misattributed as the cause of pelvic pain (although definitely the cause in some cases, esp where widespread disease is found - they mean more that when small amounts are found, which is actually my situation, doctors are too quick to blame the 'abnormality'. Other surgeons 'strongly' disagree with all of this and say endometriosis is never normal in any women.)

    -In 50% of cases where it is discovered by accident (and the women are not in pain), it just spontaneously decreases or disappears over time. In the other 50% it gets worse (but does not necessarily cause any pain).

    -Women often have one laparoscopy for pelvic pain, are told there was none present and that their pain is unexplained, then go to another surgeon, have the procedure again and are told endometriosis was found, and that the inexperience of the other surgeon was why it wasn't found before

    -Treatments are largely unsuccessful and women are often told to have hysterectomies (which are successful in some cases but sometimes these women go onto develop different conditions following treatment).

    -Endometriosis is a tricky diagnosis to be given because it can apparently be 'on the surface' and seen with the naked eye during surgery or 'deep inside' other tissue and hidden, and 'missed' during scans even as detailed as MRIs. So once a women is told all her symptoms indicate this, and she has containing pain, having scans and surgery that show nothing, still leaves her with doctors saying "just because we didn't find it, doesn't mean it isn't there".

    So getting back to my question, can a 'real' condition (such as endometriosis) cause TMS (Fibromyalgia) (since the latter often develops in women who have the former) or does this indicate, that at least in some cases, endometriosis is really TMS?

    (My own situation is one year of one-sided pelvic pain, a lap revealed some endometriosis and adhesions. Other diagnosis of pelvic floor hypertension (some say as a result of the endometriosis, not the cause of the pain itself. Chicken-egg) and idiopathic nerve irritation. I fit the TMS personality profile, this started during a stressful time, out of the blue but this lingering diagnosis makes it hard establish belief in TMS which I know is key.

    Thanks for taking the time to read :)
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  2. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Karrie. Well, this is an interesting and tough question. I am in my mid fifties and have successfully recovered after a great deal of patience and effort from over 20+ years of a large list of TMS related conditions. While reading your post I was reminded of pelvic pain I suffered from over 30 years ago when I was in college. I saw many doctors and had all the tests they knew to perform at the time, and one of the doctors suggested endometriosis. I did a lot of research(this was pre computers and internet) and remember being very frustrated that there were no clear cut answers or treatment for endometriosis. Then I spent the summer in Russia and Europe in my third year of college, and during my travels on a ferry down the coast of Yugloslavia(yes, that's how long ago it was!) I developed the worst imaginable bladder infection. In some foreign clinic where very little English was spoken, I was given some pills so large I could barely swallow them. After that I had terrible stomach problems for about a year and lived on white food - rice and bananas. Eventually I came to believe it was an ulcer... I guess my point is that TMS can create all kinds of conditions that feel very real and serious. The pain is real and so it is particularly difficult when it is attached to a medical condition that we don't completely understand or have a treatment for. I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but I would not accept that diagnosis because it was just too ambiguous to me. I also had DCIS(a potential early form of breast cancer) and in this case decided to have a mastectomy. There are many people that believe cancer can be caused by psychological stress. For instance, women who constantly nurture others but do not adequately take care of their own needs, tend to get breast cancer. And there is some evidence to support this. I certainly fit this profile. At the same time, if I discovered I had cancer again, I would go for traditional medical treatment again, barbaric as it currently is. So I guess for me it comes down to calculating the risk involved in treating something purely as TMS. I see no risk in treating fibromyalgia as TMS. I see many people who live with what in their minds is an incurable chronic pain condition because they believe they have fibromyalgia. Not sure if what I am saying is making sense. I have not researched endometriosis in a very long time. If there is not an immediate medical treatment for you to consider, I would dive into TMS recovery with all that you've got. There is nothing about TMS work that is harmful. Its like vegetables and exercise, its good for you no matter what you've got. Pain is a signal and prompt to action - take your hand off the stove, run to safety, get treatment for something... but if the pain is leading you no where, making you feel trapped and living less than a full life, then it is good to find a way past it.
  3. Karrie

    Karrie New Member

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for your reply. There really is no immediate treatment for me to try nor is endometriosis 'dangerous' just painful so it does lend itself to a TMS approach. The bit I struggle with is the lack of diagnosis and the doubt this leaves me with. I suppose I get stuck thinking: I have no way of knowing if this is TMS or a real issue and I can't get better from TMS, if that's what it is, unless I fully accept it is!!! So I'm stuck in a loop!

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    See a TMS physician for an objective DX.
  5. Karrie

    Karrie New Member

    If that was at all possible, I would do so immediately. There are none in my country and the closest is a 12hr flight. I'm not sure if any of the currently practicing TMS doctors would even be confident commenting on such an issue?
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Karrie,

    I think you should post your question in the Ask-A-Therapist sub-forum. I'm interested in the answer too, since I had endometriosis that morphed into fibromyalgia.
    Karrie likes this.
  7. Karrie

    Karrie New Member

    Good idea, thanks Ellen. I did think of you when I read about the link :)
  8. Renee

    Renee Well known member

    Karrie saying you are stuck in a loop describes how I feel as well. I have had a hypertonic pelvic floor since childhood which has compromised my vaginal tissues leading to what "doctors" call vulvodynia. I believe my unconcious has restricted the blood flow but a few years ago through the Vulvar Pain Foundation I discovered that limiting food high in oxalate crystals and certain supplements decreased the pain and irritation.

    So even though I believe it is TMS the major flare up I had starting in May of 2015 was only diminished when I remembered that I had somehow strayed from the diet. When I went back on it the horrible symptoms for the most part went away. So because of this I'm not thinking 100% TMS like you are supposed to. I'm still treating it as a physical issue.

    But then I also think that my unconscious mind is so devious that it caused the flare-up to keep me distracted about what I can and cannot eat, joining a low oxalates Facebook group, etc. I'm terrified to go off the diet, but I did go a few years without many symptoms and I still ate pretty much what I wanted to. I'm so confused, and just keep going round and round in that loop.
    Karrie likes this.
  9. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  10. ezer

    ezer Well known member

    Many fibroid and endometriosis patients complain of major stress along with their symptoms according to several doctors.
    I have absolutely no idea if Drs. Lissa Rankin and Christiane Northrup are right but they seem to think that painful endometriosis is a mindbody syndrome:

    http://lissarankin.com/the-critical-thing-your-doctor-needs-to-know-probably-doesnt (The #1 Thing Your Doctor Needs To Know - & Probably Doesn’t | Lissa Rankin)
    http://www.drnorthrup.com/endometriosis/ (What is Endometriosis? Do You Have It?)
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
    plum and Karrie like this.
  11. Karrie

    Karrie New Member

    Thanks of much for these links. I had never come across the Lissa Rankin endometriosis success story before :)
    ezer likes this.

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