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Digestive issues

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jos, Mar 16, 2024.

  1. jos

    jos New Member

    Hi there,

    Years ago I was suffering from lower back pain, and after two years of looking for a physical solution, I typed in 'chronic lower back pain' on YouTube and came accross a TMS success story. Two or three months later I was healed from lower back pain. Same story for RSI.

    Now, I'm 33, suffering from (social) anxiety; I'm a pleaser and perfectionistic, highly sensitive, gifted.

    My main physical problems are: digestive issues (no appetite, diarrhea, strange taste in my mouth, a little bit of nausea, looking pale), feeling exhausted, tension in the usual places (jaw, head, neck etc.)... The digestive issues combined with the exhaustion are most debilatating.

    When I eat too much sugar, I really notice it, I'll feel worse...

    Long story short: I find it really hard to heal from the digestive issues. Trying hard not to loose too much weight, to eat clean and healthy foods... To relax, take care of myself, to exercise. But often I just feel under the weather and can't really find an upward spiral. Feels like everything has to be just right (the weather, no stress, fun activities, good food etc. etc.) for me to feel good.

    On the forum I found someone with digestive issues referring to Monte Hueftle. His website runningpain.com doesn't seem to work? Someone described his program as 'not suppressing emotions in the here and now' - I like that. I can hide in work/controlling everything / distractions in order not to feel... My coping mechanisms might not be very helpful at times.

    Any ideas or tips? I'm already in therapy, I do yoga and meditation... If I'm really honest with myself, I do notice I have a hard time just relaxing and feeling safe, being OK with me and my life situation. It's like a spiral (I HAVE TO FIX THIS!)... I long for love and purpose in work, I long for joy and play, relaxation... And I do my best to provide the right conditions for myself, but often I get stuck. With lower back pain I could really challenge the pain (go running), but with the digestive issues it just feels a lot harder.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    It’s really all just obsession and it is exactly the same as back pain. It’s not challenging the body that helps TMS it’s the mind. All the mind
    You are using perfectionism for your diet, and so the TMS chose to show up there. You are so super hyper focused you notice a difference with eating sugars.
    So my next question, is did you ever read a book by Dr. Sarno? Did you follow his advice.. the think psychological and to feel into the anger and rage that your personality traits often create, unknowingly? This is a part of TMS that unless a therapist is familiar with Sarno, they are probably not going to work with. Talk therapists most often only delve into the conscious, and their methods can’t really delve into the subconscious. You can do that work on your own. Scroll down the page at TMSwiki.org and you’d see two free programs. You are going to need the Structured Educational Program as a guide to begin this work. I would also suggest reading some of the entries Dani Fagan has on her mytmsjourney.com website to get more insight into your personality traits. She has some good info.
    You will have to delve into your mindset and attitude and stop perseverating on how you have been operating in the past. It can be a habit to continue to think that way, but use your yoga superpowers to live by a sankalpa.
    I am working towards finding joy in life, and focusing on the present.
    I love “X” about myself and recognize I don’t have to fix this.
    Use the skills you have to challenge your thinking. Don’t lie to yourself, use truths (they are safe) and work towards softening these thoughts and attitudes that used to serve you, but now make you feel unsafe. I’ve found that the “control” you exert over yourself/body is because you don’t like yourself.. and your mind thinks it can then at least control your appearance or weight or one piece of the you it has fabricated. You need to recognize the true you, and in recognizing who you really are and what you like or love about yourself, you take back that controlling part of the mind. Journaling (the SEP teaches this) can help sort that all out for you.
    I can start with at least one of your joys: I love to run! Which means you may also identify as being a fit person. You challenge yourself with eating habits just like you did with running. You soften your attitude. Eat clean but find time to enjoy tasty pleasures - you don’t have to be a food perfectionist (I have been, you can bread this habit),
    - find enjoyment in eating some foods instead of using them as mind and thought control. It can be hard, but it can be done.
    Remember that your current symptoms are no different than past - that hurdle is only a TMS brain stump - protection.
    jos likes this.
  3. Fal

    Fal Peer Supporter

    In 2020/2021 I was losing weight and had no idea why, I noticed my toilet habits had changed but again didn’t understand why. I got concerned and started the google black hole and things got slowly worse to the point I was checking every morning and was looking at how many calories I was getting. Went to the hospital and had an endoscopy and colonoscopy and found nothing at all sinister and also a ct scan and for a few months I felt better until I was asked to provide a stool sample to close of my gastro referral.

    A week later a doctor called me and said I need to start taking some tablets because I had pancreatis (diagnosed me over the phone) judging by my stool sample, panic then set in and things got worse. He later changed his mind when I sent a second one in and it was within normal range somehow, he soon changed his tune and said maybe you have a pancreatic insufficiency.

    Around the same time I had read a lot of about gluten causing problems and tried gluten free expecting it to work and to my amazement it absolutely did as a lot of symptoms vanished over night and my weight stabilised. A naturopath diagnosed me with leaky gut and talked about my microbiome so I went down that black hole and things slowly got worse again and I started to lose weight even more.

    A year later I decided after dropping to 9 stone that enough was enough, went on anti depressants and told myself to eat whatever I wanted. I’ve never had a problem since and I came of those tablets 10 months ago and my weight has come back to pre 2020 levels and my toilet habits are back to normal!

    So the point is all i did was worry worry worry so my body was constantly in fight or flight, and couldn’t digest any of my food as that it what it does it stops digestion. Change your mindset, stop worrying about (assuming you have had some tests to clear anything sinister), forget diets and watching what you eat as you are just causing yourself unnecessary worry and your brain is thinking you’re in danger!
    jos and JanAtheCPA like this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah, I've tried to find Monte again without any luck. Here is his page on our main wiki: Archive of Monte Hueftle's Runningpain.com updates - The TMS Wiki

    @Fal has given you an outstanding response.

    And @Cactusflower has recommended that you do the Structured Educational Program. Just do it! You will learn tools to manage future setbacks and flares with less time, more skill, and much more equanimity.
    jos likes this.
  5. jos

    jos New Member

    Thank you for your reply's, that's a compassionate and kind thing to do.

    I felt like I was losing touch with what Sarno thought me (I read Ozanich and Sarno and that healed my chronic back pain).

    I did spend a lot of time and energy on perfecting my diet (not a fun thing to do). In the tests they found minor candida overgrowth which I was able to fix with diet. Now, most days between 8am - 7pm I feel a bit nauseated, there is always a little bit of fear or unease in my body. I can distract myself by thinking it is because of certain foods but the real cause is 'deeper' and, I have to be honest, hard to heal or embrace. But I feel like a good step for me will be to let go a bit of the physical focus and bring my emotions to the surface again (it has been a very challenging time, haven't worked for two years, lots of anxiety, a bit isolated at times).

    I also liked the sankhalpa suggestion. I choose joy, I'm here, I'm a fit person, I love to run, I feel my feelings... A tense stomach is a sign I'm worried and anxious, which is normal...

    I'll start the 40 day program that was suggested. I already did a program with a TMS therapist years ago, but I have some more to uncover ;)

    The success stories are very empowering btw. I shared my back pain and RSI success story in great length on my own website. The back pain healing was like a miracle. Just started running after two years and realised: 'hmmm how odd that the pain doesn't get worse...' I kept running and slowly the tension left (this was a process of a few weeks).

    Did Sarno also write about chronic fatigue? I've been exhausted for a few years now, haven't worked for two years and I'm still exhausted. The last comment about taking an antidepressant was interesting; maybe i'm so exhausted because 1) i'm not feeling and expressing my anger and frustration and 2) I'm actually more depressed and sad than I want to admit (i've tried a 1000 things to get in touch with gratitude and find an upward spiral).

    OK enough rambling for now
  6. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    I believe the fatigue is two part:
    1: not being true to ourselves is absolutely exhausting. Putting up a facade, barreling through, in other words anxiety and stress and on high alert in body and mind. Don't even worry about it. If you need to rest, do it.

    Eventually you will realize that your focus on sensations of "a bit nauseated" etc. are exactly the same as RSI and back pain. Your brain is just telling you it's not. It is protecting you by saying it's far more difficult or "worse" or whatever.

    The "overgrowth", the exhaustion all of it is absolutely stress related. Rebecca Tolin who is a TMS therapist (and has some videos on Youtube telling her story) has been through all of this and much more and it was 100% TMS even though Doctors gave her diagnoses of incurable illnesses, overgrowths, and many more frightening things. It might help you to hear her story.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yep - all stress - whether it's the stress of outside pressures, the distress of a dysfunctional world, or the unconscious repression of negative emotions - will weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections, infestations, and physiological imbalances. This is a fact and well-accepted even among traditional medical practitioners.

    Well, @jos, me too. I rarely have pain, and I almost never have disabling symptoms of any kind. The few times that I have extremely painful flares, usually in my shoulders or wrists, these go away or at least reduce by more than 90% in 24 hours or less - I often need to reflect (JournalSpeak!) on whatever is in the back of my mind, causing unease. So that's good. I get to the most important question very quickly, which is "okay, Jan - what's going on psychologically?" It's typically something that is pretty minor - to my rational brain. But it causes enough of a stress reponse that my irrational TMS brain freaks out and thinks there's something about to attack and eat me and I better pay attention. As Fal put it so well:
    Still, my tendency towards general anxiety (I was literally born with it but that's another story) and nervous system hypersensitivity translates to a tendency towards less-than-ideal digestion. I often have a sensation of sour stomach, or reflux, maybe a twinge of queasiness, whatever. If I were to REALLY address the anxiety, with a committed practice of regular meditation, breathing, and overall calming of my nervous system, I know I could beat that, too. I sometimes am able to spend a few days consciously breathing deeply as often as I can, and it leads to noticeable improvement! And then I stop - because, you know, I feel good! And then it eventually comes back.

    Bottom line - these symtpoms simply do not get in the way of living my life, so I guess that ultimately I'm not motivated enough to "fix them" once and for all. Often, it's just not at the top of my list.

    Nicole Sachs always tells us that "life is a choice between what hurts, and what hurts worse". I think that I long ago reached the point where it's more like a choice between what is bothersome, and whether I care enough to do anything about it. LOL.

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