1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern U.S.(New York) Daylight Time. It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. BruceMC is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern (now US Daylight Time).
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Gastrointestinal TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by LocalGazelle9528, Aug 9, 2023.

  1. LocalGazelle9528

    LocalGazelle9528 Newcomer

    Hi everyone,

    I recently found this site after someone suggested my GI issues could be TMS. Hope you could help.

    Around 19 months ago I experienced high anxiety, stress, and depression and I had stabbing abdominal pain or cramps, but nothing else. A few months later (15 months ago) I started cutting my abdominal area and made some pink scars (I stopped many months ago).

    I developed symptoms including involuntary abdomen lurching, abdominal discomfort, bubbles popping in abdomen, buzzing sensation near rectum/anus, diarrhea, weight loss, which I currently still have. I also had bloating, constipation, and regurgitation which greatly subsided now. Now I occasionally have abdominal pain but it is more dull and not as painful. My primary concern now is that I can't really control my gas anymore.

    Five months ago I tested positive for SIBO through a breath test and took metronidazole and rifaximin but I’m not sure if it helped.

    Could this be TMS or something similar from cutting or something else? If so, how can it be treated? Thanks for your help.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello @LocalGazelle9528 and welcome.

    I've had many, if not all, of your GI symptoms at one time or another. Back in 2011, before I discovered Dr. Sarno and this forum, I was also losing weight rapidly, and not in a good way. I turned that completely around within days of discovering this work.

    So, while your GI symptoms all sound like they could be created by the brain mechanism that we call TMS, the cutting sounds like more serious mental illness than the average anxiety and stress response that typical people with "TMS" suffer from. I get that you haven't done it in months, but we should ask if you are in therapy or ever engaged in therapy?

    I'm guessing that you are fairly young, and it sounds like you would benefit from some basic education in this thing we call TMS. That term was created in the 1980s by Dr John Sarno, and quite frankly, it is outdated, since the neuroscience of mindbody knowledge has come a long way since then, but we still use it in his honor. The more correct terms are MBS (mind-body syndrome) or PPD (psycho-physiological disorder). Whatever term we use, it's all the same mechanism, which is to accept that our brains are in charge of every single physical process or sensation that we experience - and that our brains are capable of creating any physical sensation, or process (like changes in digestion) purely for the purpose of distracting us from emotional distress.

    A major source of emotional distress, especially in those who engage in OCD behavior, is childhood trauma, neglect, or abuse. There is a simple ten-question "quiz" you can take to determine if there were aspects of your childhood that may have resulted in a higher liklihood of health issues in adulthood. The factors are called ACEs - Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the quiz and short article are here:
    Take The ACE Quiz — And Learn What It Does And Doesn't Mean : Shots - Health News : NPR

    I would suggest that you read The Divided Mind, which was Dr. Sarno's last book (2008) with six chapters by other MDs (and one psychologist).

    You can start doing our Structured Educational Program (the SEP) which is on the main tmswiki.org site. It's free, with no registration or signup needed. You just do it on your own. Don't rush through it, and take each exercise seriously and try to do it honestly.

    I would also recommend that you read and/or listen to Nicole Sachs, LCSW. Her book is The Meaning of Truth, and her podcast is The Cure For Chronic Pain With Nicole Sachs. It might not be easy to find her first season from back in 2018, but all of the podcast platforms have all of her episodes, and if you are new to these concepts, I strongly recommend starting with her first episode. Each one is like a therapy session, and her compassion is boundless.

    Good luck!

    Ellen likes this.
  3. LocalGazelle9528

    LocalGazelle9528 Newcomer

    Got it, thank you for your help!

Share This Page