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Daniel L. gastro issues and TMS

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Penny2007, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. Penny2007

    Penny2007 formerly Pain2007

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    This is a question about IBS and TMS. As background, I've suffered from TMS back pain and anxiety which was helped with self-help techniques and therapy. I don't like to say cured because I still have episodes but I know it's TMS so they usually go away pretty quickly.

    In the last few years I've had episodes of IBS. These are generally stomach pains high up in the abdomen caused by trapped gas. Certain gas releasing pills make it feel better as does lying down. Tests have been done in the past but nothing has been found. When I have a bad attack it goes on for weeks and I can barely eat. I'm having an attack now.

    Over a year ago my doctor said it's probably IBS. This time however she diagnosed me with gastritis because I have some additional symptoms like pain when my stomach is empty and a bit of heartburn. She gave me acid reducing pills. For the first time I made an appt with a gastro to hear what he has to say - however the appt isn't for another month.

    While I can totally see how IBS is a form of TMS I also feel there is some physical component. Since switching to a plant-based diet over a year ago I greatly improved and have never had a serious attack. This current attack came after eating something that bothered my stomach. That's how my attacks usually start - they are triggered by something I eat and then go on for several weeks.

    I know I can get a bad attack of IBS when I'm extremely stressed. Right now I don't feel consciously stressed but I did have a very stressful period in the winter with a grandchild born sick and in the hospital for months. He's home now but his illness is ongoing with lots of question marks for the future. I also have another potentially stressful situation approaching which I've tried to ignore. I'm probably pushing both of these under the rug so I can function. I just don't feel like dealing with TMS yet AGAIN. Maybe that's the problem?
     
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    I’m not exactly sure what the question is, but I’ll make some comments on the information you’re giving me.

    1. It sounds like you’re unsure if this is a TMS symptom or not. I’d say that IBS is one of the most common TMS symptoms, so much so that most gastroenterologists will ask you about stress levels in your life, as your GI tract is often times first to respond to more stress. That said, you’ve had some success by altering your diet, so there seems to be some sort of physical component to your problem. But many TMS doctors will diagnose a patient has having both a physical problem and a TMS issue. What does that mean? That means that there might be something going on with your stomach, but the hyper vigilance and concern about the symptom exacerbates the problem by quite a bit. So even if there is a physical problem (and your GI doctor will help you discern what’s going on), remind yourself that you’ve overcome pain in the past, you can do so again.

    2. TMS symptoms come and go, and will continue to come until you have your fear under control. Do you think you’ve significantly reduced fear in your life? My guess is that you’re still struggling with how to manage fear as it arises. Your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) will never slow down until you manage the amount of fear in your life. With your ANS acting up, there’s a good chance that you’ll experience more symptoms.

    3. Perhaps the foods that trigger your problems might be a conditioned response issue. You test yourself (on accident or on purpose) by eating a food that might cause an issue or has caused an issue in the past. So when you eat that food, you’re anxious (whether consciously or unconsciously) about what might happen to your body. That anxiety in and of itself can manifest these symptoms. Read more about conditioned responses here: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/overcoming-conditioned-responses.4846/

    4. When you say that you don’t feel like ‘dealing with TMS’ again, I’m not sure what that means. The best thing to do with TMS symptom is to not deal with it at all! TMS symptoms only become an issue if you let them scare you. Your body can manifest all kinds of weird symptoms, but it only matters once you start to get fearful of them. Have confidence in yourself. Whatever issue comes your way, you can handle it.


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  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Great advice, Dr. Lyman.

    Emotional stress causes TMS gastro pain. I even got a bowel obstruction from it.
    Doctors found no reason I had the bowel obstruction but I knew it was from emotional stress.
    I was cut open so a doctor could find something that caused it.Another needless operation.
     

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