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IBS-D Severe Abdominal Cramping and Diarrhea

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BrooklynGal, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter


    I have recovered from full body pain and bizarre unexplainable (but clearly explained by TMS) symptoms. 2 years ago I had back as well as full body pain, nerve issues, and all around very scary symptoms. After working with a TMS Dr. and my TMS therapist for a few months, I was virtually symptom free and doing great save for continuing to suffer from anxiety and OCD, which I was actively working on.

    Over this past summer I got severe, severe food poisoning. Like hospitalized, taking a bunch of antibiotics bad. It took me 3 1/2 months to start feeling somewhat normal again. In that time I was sick I was having a litany of GI and other issues from nausea, diarrhea, generalized anxiety, to horrible gas and bloating. By mid October I was feeling ok, November even better and then December almost completely back to normal. I was tested for everything like IBD and C-Diff and given a colonoscopy in the hospital, everything was normal. In September stool tests showed that I had gut dysbiosis and candida, also according to alternative Drs I had parasites. So I ate a candida diet and took supplements to help rid me of the parasites and candida, which are both subsequently gone. One more test which they wanted me to do, which I didn't do was a SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) test. I chose not to do this for many reasons and maybe I should still so it.

    I was feeling OK until about Jan. 16th when I started feeling nauseated again, save for the random time I was eating on Jan 4th and just randomly threw up (I've only thrown up a handful of times in my life, so that was weird). I also didn't feel sick at all aside from 30 seconds - a first time for me. Then on the 20th I got really bad stomach pain and diarrhea. I call it Trump Tummy, as I feel like I'm having a bad reaction to the stress of the political climate (I'm not trying to start a political debate, but this is contributing to my personal overall stress level). I could live like this, but it was hard. I now had to stay away from so much food and was eating such a limited diet. Last week, my dog got really sick and ended up in the animal hospital. On my way to pick her up, my car broke down. I was so stressed out I could barely function and my adrenals went into overdrive. I didn't eat or sleep for days and I was having severe diarrhea. It has now been a week and I have calmed down but my diarrhea is still in full force.

    When I go to my alternative Drs one says that my intestines are weak but my gut is ok and its almost all my adrenals - she says it could be SIBO. The other says that there is nothing wrong with my gut and it's all my nervous system. When I talk to my TMS MD, he says that it's NOT candida or SIBO, as he doesn't believe those exist, and that it's all TMS. I'm sure if I went to my regular, more of a functional medicine Dr. she would want to to run more stool samples for gut dysbiosis. My other MD (yes, I have a few) would say that it's long term affects from antibiotics. Most everyone else says that after 6 months your gut should be healed from antibiotic use. My point is writing all this is that I'm confused. I so desperately want to accept TMS as the diagnosis, as it is one that has worked for me so much and completely changed my life, however, the gut seems tricker to me than my other problems (probably why my body picked it).

    Does the gut really heal from such a severe infection and many different types of antibiotics in 6 months? Does anyone really know the answer to that? I did feel better, but now I feel so bad I can barely leave my house and can only do so after taking massive quantities of bentonite clay to stop me up. I am practically glued to the toilet and this clearly affecting every aspect of my life. Also, this past summer I was on an IV for fluids on and off for a almost a whole month. I'm scared I'm going to lose so much fluid that might happen again. Additionally, my stomach now makes the weirdest sounds - gurgling and I don't even know what.

    Please, if you have any insights into this I'd like to hear them. Before this, I had near perfect digestion. I had had digestive issues BUT for about 1 year before this, they were all gone. My prior digestive issues weren't fun but they were NOTHING compared to how it is now.

    Please help me get my life back.

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Brooklyn Gal,

    Sorry to hear about all that you are going through. I think you have way too many doctors in your life. This would confuse anyone. I would see your TMS doctor and have him/her tell you if what you have is TMS or not. TMS is very opportunistic and may just be having a field day with your previous food poisoning and antibiotic use, using that to create fear and symptoms.

    Alternative doctors give dubious information at best in my experience. Many of us on this Forum have spent a fortune on alternative medicine with no results. You are fortunate to have access to a TMS doctor and therapist, and I believe that is where you should focus. You've successfully conquered TMS before, and you can do it again. You just need to hear from someone you trust that what you are experiencing is TMS. If not, the TMS doctor can refer you to a good specialist to ensure you get the treatment you need.
    MindBodyPT likes this.
  3. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter

    Than you, Ellen. I believe you are right. These are not Doctors I see on the regular though, yet each of them have served a purpose for me at different points in my life. I talked to my TMS Dr again tonight and I agree to fully commit to his homework, which is what helped me so much in the past. It's still very hard to accept a TMS diagnosis for this because it feels like it's lingering affects of gut dysbiosis and in my mind, I believe, that the gut is more complex and less understood than the back. Whether that's true or not is another story. So I will fully commit to the homework. He said I didn't necessarily have to believe the diagnosis (which I thought you did) so long as I do the homework. Thank you for your support and I will update you to see if I can fully heal myself of whatever it is that is ailing me.
  4. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    I'd like to know more details about that homework.
  5. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter

    Hey Jaumeb,

    The homework has saved my life in the past. I don't know why it's harder for me to believe it with gut issues. It's basically chapter 4 in The Divided Mind. My Doctor said I could share it with you, so here it goes:

    Make a list of all the things that are bothering you... could be anything from slight annoyances to deep seeded dark anger. In fact, when I first started making my lists over 2 years ago, I had such repressed memories, they weren't even on the list until I dug deep with my therapist.

    For example, and these are just hypotheticals as I don't know you, but it could be anything from that the fact that your neighbor was dismissive of you this morning to the fact that you were abused as a child. Again, pure hypotheticals.

    Then you make a list of your symptoms - let's say it's back pain. 2 years ago, I had like 30 symptoms and I would list them all. You write down and say or think: I know that (for example) my back pain is not due to physical causes, but instead due to the fact that I don't want to think about the fact that my neighbor was dismissive this morning, the fact that I was abused as a child.. and so on.

    Bonus points if you can feel the anger or the other emotions you're unconscious might be repressing. It can work instantaneously, or it can take time.

    For me, one of the most beneficial things I did was read these boards and learn from the people's success stories. If only it weren't so hard for me with this symptom.

    But last time it was hard too. For example I had a lot of nerve issues that came on all of a sudden. I went to a neurologist and had a positive nerve conduction test. Everyone else on the boards with nerve issues tested negative. I was convinced it meant I had some horrible neurological disease. 2 years later and I've been able to keep those symptoms at bay with my mind. The psyche is extraordinary. And now it's tricked me once again.

    I guess the lesson learned is to do the homework anytime you start to feel something physical or mental out of the ordinary, so it doesn't get to the point where mine just got to.

    I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes. Good luck!
    Lotus, jaumeb and Ellen like this.
  6. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    Thanks for all that info. I know that the list of things that bothered me would be endless. In a way, it bothers me that I am so easily bothered.

    I believe there is a gut-brain connection. I was just looking at a research paper ... G. De Palma et al., “Transplantation of fecal microbiota from patients with irritable bowel syndrome alters gut function and behavior in recipient mice,” Science Translational Medicine, doi:10.1038/nature21356, 2017.

    I've been experimenting with diet and observing how it impacts my psyche. I still have no conclusive results, but if this is something you are interested in I can share some ideas.
  7. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter

    Ha! That's hilarious. I literally read the same article today too! Or a similar one.

    See, that's what I'm wrestling with though. I talked to my TMS doctor about FMT and he says for something like this it's placebo. I don't know if I agree, but I'm not a doctor or researcher and I don't understand the facts or how to interpret the science. I'm not even sure there's enough science for anyone to make a conclusive judgment. But that's why it's difficult for me to believe my newfound IBS is TMS. On the other hand, in the past when I get fearful or stressed, I have developed symptoms on the other end of my vagus nerve. I have had a tendency towards air hunger (feeling like you can't catch a breath and that all you need is a deep breath and you can't take one) and have had coughing fits so hard that I vomit, the latter has lasted up to a month. That's kind of what leads to me to believe it is in fact TMS because looking back, those were responses and no different than this. It's all my muscles spasming and contracting involuntarily. It's like a wire gets tripped in my brain and the only thing that can untrip it is patience and understanding.

    I'm really stuck with this one. On one hand, I never really had digestive issues before this, save for a little bit in high school - but nothing like this. 1/2 of me really believes I have this now because of the food poisoning/antibiotics and if I tried FMT, not only would I cure my digestive issues but also my anxiety/OCD and all sorts of other issues. But in fact, most of those things are also TMS equivalents. It's hard to say what came first, the chicken or the egg. I practically lived on antibiotics throughout my childhood as I always had an ear infection or strep throat. There is a direct link between Strep and OCD (but only a specific kind - believe called PANDAS). However, I also have a history of childhood trauma, which I discovered at the age of 31 after digging deep to find the route of my TMS issues.

    On another note, there is a thread somewhere in here by a guy named Shane M. who said after he had severe food poisoning and antibiotics as a kid, his gut was completely messed up thereafter. He then went on to try FMT - the first round didn't work and the second round, after a bit of tweaking, did. I told my TMS Doc this and his extremely astute response was, "Well, did Shane M. ever have any other TMS symptoms after that?" Just because Shane was able to cure his IBS through FMT doesn't mean he was getting to the route cause. If other TMS issues arose for him, one can possibly deduce that the FMT was a placebo, just like back surgery is, and the problems will appear elsewhere. It's an interesting question, and I think I'll try and find that thread and ask Shane.

    So, I'm torn. I will say though that since I started doing my homework religiously, I do feel a slight improvement. Additionally, I wrote another TMS Doctor with my case and he also agreed it's TMS.

    I'm currently reading the book 'Self-Compassion' by Kristin Neff. I recommend you read it, as it sounds like a little self-compassion could help with the judgement on yourself for getting bothered by how easily bothered you get. I get it. I am the same way, which is why someone told me to read this book.

    I also have to remind myself that when I first read 'Healing Back Pain' I saw myself on every page and I have the classic TMS personality traits AND I have healed myself this way in the past. Even if it is the gut, I think the power of the mind is even more powerful. Now I just need to apply my nice little lecture ;-)

    But please do share what you find.
  8. jaumeb

    jaumeb Peer Supporter

    I read Shane's story and it was not clear to me how he got better. He said FMT but he also said Sarno. My symptoms were so different from his that I didn't pay too much attention. I don't have too much faith in FMT, so I'm inclined to believe it was Sarno/placebo what got him better.

    Plum mentioned the Weston Price foundation and I am currently eating foods like buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, some veggies, some wild fish, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, squeezed lemon, some walnuts ...
  9. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    I developed severe chronic pain and IBS over 3 years ago, both of which ruled my life. The ibs was caused by the stress of the chronic pain and taking an antibiotic. Like you, I have been in ibs hell. I know what it's like to have my digestive system ruling my life. Through my healing journey, I went to almost every alternative medical practitioner you can think of. They all helped me to a point in my healing journey. My naturopath had me off 5 different things for awhile. She is excellent, but I haven't seen her in 2 years and eat what I want while maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet. (I celebrated Pancake Tuesday with pancakes and sausages, and veggies, for the first time in 4 years with no next morning issue. yeay.) Other than getting over a cold right now, I'm symptom free. My mind shock off the last of symptoms recently when I came back to this website to help reinforce in my mind that the problems I suffered are in the past. I don't have to keep reliving them.

    If you keep going to alternative medical practitioners, they will keep trying to find a solution to your issue using their method because that's what they are trained to do and that's their business. If you keep giving them money, they will keep taking it. The gut is ruled by our most primitive part of our brain. In fact many people, gut researchers included, say it's like a 2nd brain. It has muscles, but like our heart, they are involuntary muscles that we have little control over. The control we have over our guts is the control your TMS doctor wants you to learn with the exercises. Your brain wants to control your gut with fear by causing doubts that you really were healed when you felt all better. We've all been there. We feel symptom free and then the bully is waiting around the next corner trying to scare us again. You know what's causing your issues; you put it in your initial post. "Then on the 20th I got really bad Stomach pain and diarrhea. I call it Trump Tummy, as I feel like I'm having a bad reaction to the stress of the political climate (I'm not trying to start a political debate, but this is contributing to my personal overall stress level). "

    I strongly suggest you read Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program to create an evidence sheet and follow your TMS doctor's advice.
  10. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter


    It's funny you should say that, as actually all my alternative Doctors are telling me it's just stress. It's me who's the one who's searching for another answer. From my Applied Kinesiologist, to my EAV testing nutritionist, to my acupuncturist, none of them can find anything wrong with my gut. They all say it's my nervous system and to meditate. In fact, my energy healers (I have 3 aside from these guys mentioned) have all told me that intuitively (even though they love me) had to stop working with me on this because I was not responding, which to them means I have to heal myself. I don't know why I'm so resistant to that - and yesterday I did an exercise with a dear friend to help me uncover my resistance - which is exactly the TMS stuff - it is that I'm scared to find out what's really causing all of this. Like the deep seeded dark issues. I don't know what could be darker and more anger inducing than the revelation in healing myself 2 years ago that I was abused by a family member growing up. Like that's about as messed up as it gets. And in my homework, I'm still reminding myself that that's contributing to this. I'm doing now, what I did 2 years ago, which is to lock myself in my apt and not come out until I figure this out. It's a really dark place to be in and I wish it didn't come to this, but staying in my cocoon seems like the only way to get my nervous system back on track. Everything feels overstimulating when I go out now. Even yesterday when I was grocery shopping the smells were so overwhelming. This seems like a public journal now, in fact I think I prefer journaling when it is public but anonymous.

    Eileen - I'm so glad that you're feeling better and it gives me much hope. I have a tendency to be hyper-sensitive and overreact to things. Like even when my stomach gurgles, which it as been doing loudly for the last 45 minutes, I think - Oh my goodness, this is never going to end - this is my life. But there's also something to be said for clinging to symptoms, so I really need to get to the bottom of that too and that's also where the resistance comes in. Why do I feel the need to keep giving my self symptoms..?

    Oh to have control over your mind. I hope I get there soon. I think I will try Alan's program - along with my continued Kundalini meditation and breathing exercises specifically to calm the nervous system down.

    The more people write me about their success stories, the better I feel and the better my chances of recovery are. So thank you so much for sharing your story. It is much much much appreciated :)
  11. EileenS

    EileenS Well known member

    Every night my husband's system gurgles loudly as his dinner digests and he can't even feel it. It means the plumbing is working properly. I too used to have trouble grocery shopping. When I looked at something I had like before ibs I would get symptoms.
    You certainly know what to do, although I really question locking yourself in your apt. This relieves stress because it's a safe place to hide. Talk to your tms dr about this. Abuse as a small child is huge. There may be no other issues to uncover, just a releasing of what you already know. I've read about kundalini. It sounds amazing. But try to get out there and don't hide. You're safe now.
  12. BrooklynGal

    BrooklynGal Peer Supporter

    I just wanted to update this and say, I found out I actually had a bacterial gut infection causing these symptoms. I nearly fainted and had to go to the walk in clinic by my house and after some more tests, they diagnosed me and that diagnosis was confirmed at my GIs office. It was getting pretty serious, with a low grade fever and tons of pain - so yes, TMS is a great diagnosis if you rule out everything else first.

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