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Gluten sensitivity & TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jacob, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Jacob

    Jacob New Member

    Hey guys,
    Got a question for y'all if anyone has an answer. About a year ago, I was going to a chiropractor for fibromyalgia (which I've had for a few years). One day he mentioned hearing about people overcoming fibromyalgia by giving up gluten. So I gave up gluten, which was hard, because I love bread, but I figured anything was worth it if it ended the pain. Within a couple weeks, I was feeling significantly better. My pain went from about a 9 to about a 4 or 5, so I was hopeful for a while that I would make a full recovery. However, after the first couple weeks, the pain never decreased any further. It's been a 4 or 5 ever since. So I had to keep looking for another solution.
    A few months later, I came across Dr. Sarno's method when I saw it mentioned in a John Stossel book, and I was intrigued. I've now read two of Sarno's books, and started going through the Education Program on this site, and I have no desire now to see the chiropractor. My pain hasn't really seemed to decrease yet, but I'm still hopeful.
    My question now is how I should look at the gluten free diet in the context of TMS. Is the gluten free diet a placebo that I should give up? Is the pain a conditioned response to eating foods with gluten? Or could it be that the mindbody syndrome has created an actual, physical sensitivity to gluten? Would it be safe for me to start eating gluten again, or should I wait til the pain subsides? I did try eating bread again once, a while ago, but it seems like I felt pretty poorly the next day. Of course, it could also be because I expected to feel worse, so I don't know. What do y'all think?
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I really don't know, Jacob, but lately gluten-sensitivity seems to be running wild in the US population. That this is actually a mind-body syndrome that is spreading like an epidemic by word-of-mouth is not impossible. Mind-body disorders, I read in a book on the history of psychosomatic diseases by Edward Shorter, From Paralysis to Fatigue, often shift and change to meet the expectations of what a medical examiner thinks are probable symptoms. In that way, mind-body disorders are very tricky and resourceful. It could be that the gluten-free diet you're on is actually perpetuating your symptoms. I know that we cannot prescribe and diagnose here on this Forum, only advise. However, it's strictly up to you about whether to go off it since going glutten-free was self-diagnosed and self-administered in the first place. Would be interesting to see what results ensued after you abandoned that diet. What if your pain level, instead of going up, stayed exactly the same? I'm assuming, by the way, that you've been diagnosed with fibro already? Was this a self-diagnosis too? Or did you go to a regular MD? Lots of fibro-like symptoms associated with real bona fide diseases. You want to rule those out first.
  3. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I thought about doing the Gluten thing many times because I was having terrible bladder problems. I never did.

    I started reading Sarno and gradually started feeling better. I stopped physical therapy and slowly stopped taking many medications. As Morcomm said I had no increase in pain at all.

    And I have slowly became almost pain free.
    Food for thought
  4. Jacob

    Jacob New Member

    Thanks for the input! As for the diagnosis, I guess I'll give you some background. I had a bad case of mono early 2009. I started to get over that after a few months, but before I entirely got my energy back, I started getting headaches. By the end of the summer, the headache was constant, and I soon developed similar pain throughout my whole body which has persisted ever since. I went to the doctor several times, tried different drugs that didn't help, had a blood test and an MRI, both negative. I finally gave up on the doctor, but in 2011, at a time when my pain was particularly bad, a good friend of mine suggested seeing a chiropractor, and I happened to know one. So I started seeing the chiropractor regularly, and it was him who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, and it was also him who recommended the gluten-free diet.
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, the mainstream MD did give you a clean bill of health and the blood tests and MRI did come up negative. So all you have to go on is the diagnosis of a chiropractor regarding the benefits of a gluten-free dietary regime. So, do what you will regarding stopping it. Your MD certainly isn't going to say no to abandoning a gluten-free diet. If the pain remains constant at the same level, I would suspect a placebo reaction on your part.

    I have noticed in the yuppie grocery store near me that more and more products are being advertised as "gluten-free". So there's some kind of movement afoot among more affluent members of the middle class (where there a concentration of psychogenic illnesses by the way). One of the real benefits, however, of cutting bread from your diet is reducing your salt intake. That's probably good!
  6. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter


    I agree with MorComm's statements. It does seem that more and more folks are going onto the gluten free diets. It is becoming a fad. Is it another placebo? I think there are some benefits for some people. My friend's son is on a gluten free diet and I see a change in his behavior that is incredible.

    My only question is "Does it have to be an either/or situation for you?" Why not do both? Eating well and paying attention to your emotional well being is positive, as long as you don't obsess over the diet.

    If you're linking the pain of TMS to your diet, then I would consider that you're focussing too much on the physical. And, as Dr. Sarno and other specialists on this site say, you must "think psychological." If the gluten free diet is serving as a distraction whereby you're immersed in physical solutions for TMS then you might want to reflect on that and then come to your own decisions. I am not a nutritionist, nor am I a physician, so I will not diagnose. Make the best choice for yourself. Only you know what feels best :)
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree with you 100% Lianne. Either/or solutions smack of the kind of perfectionist mindset that is often at the root of the TMS problem in the first place. There's an ancient Greek proverb: Medan agon, which translates roughly as "Nothing to excess." The Pythagorean Golden Mean that reconciles Body and Mind.
  8. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    I've looked into this as well since I know some who are sensitive to gluten. I can say that If I were to become gluten intolerant, I would be examining where in my life I feel intolerant. :)
    Layne likes this.

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