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New: 4 years Chronic Everyday Upper GI discomfort

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Jobyrd, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. Jobyrd

    Jobyrd New Member

    Over the past year I've read two of Sarno's books and a few other mindbody type books in an effort to find relief or at least hope that one day this will pass.

    Can anyone relate to these symptoms? How likely is it that my symptoms are a type of TMS?

    Over 4 years ago symptoms began. Symptoms include:
    -mixture of somewhat nebulous heartburn sensations
    -sometimes burning tongue/ burning soft palate
    -sometimes strange tastes...sour taste in back of throat (not bile/vomit tasting...just sort of sour)
    -sometimes white coating on tongue or gritty texture in way back of throat
    -stomach fullness sensations that last hours and hours and hours after a meal
    -burping every 4 minutes following meals for hours and hours
    -feelings of tightness across my lower rib cage and upper stomach
    -no hunger pains...can eat normal portions but don't ever get that "I'm hungry must eat" feeling
    -stomach feels tight, uncomfortable, don't want to bend over, feels somewhat bloated but definitely not bloated
    -even drinking a large glass of water leaves me feeling very uncomfortable for a long time.
    -eye floaters developed when symptoms began as well

    During these 4 years I've had a full GI workup (ultrasound, cscan, hyda scan, gastric emptying study, 2 endoscopies, colonoscopy), tried lots of different alternative med treatments, diets, soft tissue work, liver cleanses, supplements, etc, etc. No medications for stomach issues have helped. The only thing that I thought might help a little are digestive enzymes but now i'm not even sure they help.

    I do not have headaches, muscle weakness, pain that keeps me from daily life. I have normal energy. I am an avid crossfitter. I have 4 children and quite by surprise became pregnant with #4 about 6 months after symptoms began. I can take care of all of life demands BUT I'm very very uncomfortable 90% of the time which makes me not have patience with my kids and truly has sucked the joy of life out of me. I would do anything...give anything to feel normal again. I hate that my kids are all 4 years older since these chronic symptoms began; I hate that they know mommy doesn't feel good most of the time; I hate that I am not the wife or mother that I wanted to be. I don't feel guilty because I know I'm doing the best I can with the way I feel but I'm just so angry that this has taken control of my life...in many ways has taken my life away. I'm angry that no one can find anything wrong; I hate that to the world I look amazingly healthy and have a picture perfect life, I hate that I don't know a single person with chronic (all day everyday...NOT EPISODIC) stomach issues, I hate that I don't have a diagnosis....at least then I'd have something to fight.

    The only management of symptoms that works is not eating...or eating very little because typically as soon as I eat a small meal I feel awful for just about the entire day. When I do eat a normal meal the only relief I get is lying down on my back either breathing or napping. I have very little body fat because I don't eat much during the day and I crossfit on a regular basis. BUT, I do eat a normal size healthy dinner and ice cream. I have plenty of energy and since I don't get hunger sensations not eating during the day isn't difficult. My GI Doc is most concerned about weight and says i'm in a catabolic state of burning more than I'm putting into my body but I don't really know what to do about this because weight is NOT my concern and whenever I try to trick my body and re-train my stomach to maybe get use to eating 3 normal meals a day it leaves me too uncomfortable to take care of daily tasks, be a mom, etc. So I can't do that.

    I know that there are so many people living with pain that puts them in bed all day long...or with disabilities that leave them unable to leave the house. So I am grateful to be able to participate in life but I'm so very very uncomfortable all of the time. There is just something(s) not right in my stomach. Anyway, not sure exactly why i'm posting...I guess just wondering if anyone has ever had or heard of someone with these types of symptoms that did recover. My mom and all docs just think it will go away someday as mysteriously as it came but it's so hard for me to have hope because it's been so chronic for over 4 years. I'm looking for a real life miracle at this point. Thanks for reading and sorry so long winded.
    TrustIt likes this.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Jobyrd. I'm not a doctor, but think you need to contact a nutritionist so you start eating again.
    It all sounds like TMS to me.
    If you haven't yet taken the Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum on this web site, I urge you to do so.
    It will help you to discover the emotional causes of your GI symptoms. Having four kids would be enough to give anyone
    some pains. But your TMS may be because of other stresses or repressed emotions.

    The symptoms you list are those experienced by various people who have come to the TMSWiki about their TMS pain.
    The SEP has helped them to heal. It helped me.
    Kira likes this.
  3. Camila

    Camila New Member

    Thanks for posting Jobyrd. I hope you get some responses. I'm so sorry you are having such misery with your GI symptoms. I can relate to having a chronic situation that makes you impatient and sucks the joy out of life. For me it is headaches that I have had every day for over 35 years. A couple of weeks ago, like you, I asked this forum if anyone else out there had a similar problem. I didn't get any yeses, although many people have periodic headaches as one of their TMS symptoms. Please don't be discouraged if no one has your same situation. Many, many people carry their tension in their guts and have all sorts of GI issues, usually labeled as IBS, and are able to recover. Have you read "They Can't Find Anything Wrong!" by David Clarke? He is a gastroenterologist who has treated many TMS sufferers. The case studies he uses in his book are all people with gut issues. Their recovery stories are very inspirational. You may be able to relate more to his book than some of the other ones you've read. With such a chronic situation, I would imagine you have fear and avoidance issues every time you face eating a meal. This could definitely be TMS. Your first step is trying to eliminate that fear. You have nothing to lose by trying some of the healing strategies contained on this website. You may want to start by reading through Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program. I found it to be very helpful. I know you must have precious little free time with four children, but if there's any way you could try doing some meditation or deep breathing exercises before each meal, I would strongly recommend it. Tell yourself there is nothing wrong with you physically, that it is all tension related and try to breathe into your gut and relax. I wish you luck in your recovery.
    TrustIt and Homestead Hermit like this.
  4. Jobyrd

    Jobyrd New Member

    I will definitely begin looking into the Structured Educational Program and also Alan Gordon's TMS Recovery Program.

    Walt, thank you for the nutritionist advice...but what I know is that eating makes me feel very uncomfortable so when I eat I try to make those meals as nutrient dense as possible. Yes, I have very little body fat BUT I have plenty of energy, Rarely get sick/common cold/bug, and have retained and even built muscle strength over the past 4 years so I think my body is getting enough of what it needs nutritionally.

    Camila, so funny because had you come to me complaining of chronic headaches my immediate response would be "Of course that's definitely TMS". But here I am with GI stuff and it's so hard to believe it's TMS when it feel so completely organic (for lack of a better word). YES, I have Dr. Clarke's book and I'm half way through reading it the second time through. It is very encouraging except this one MAJOR point.... I do not believe there is an example in that book (or any other book that i've read) of Chronic issues. I believe that all the stories involve episodes of GI issues. Now, the episodes may be far more painful/debilitating than what I'm dealing with but they are episodic and the people have completely normal days between episodes. Mine is the exact opposite which makes me really question TMS. Mine is so chronic...so everyday...so predictable (i.e., I know that after i eat a normal/small size meal I will want to hold my belly and lay down for the next 4 hours...again not because I'm in PAIN but because I'm very uncomfortable.

    Yes, before I eat I am 100% aware of the fact that I won't feel good after and so I guess there is some level of fear there. It's not fear that I'm going to be in severe pain so I must avoid it; or fear that I have something more serious like cancer...but I suppose there could be some fear that "yup...here we go again...you're going to eat and then your going to feel awful and need to lie down, etc. Every now and then I give myself this huge pep talk before I eat trying to convince myself that "I am normal, nothing is wrong, I can eat and feel normal afterwards...I can do it I can do it i can do it....etc. But, I have found that when I pretend to be normal...pretend to not have this stomach problem...pretend that my GI system is normal that it's these times that I end up eating too much and then feel awful for at least 4-8 hour after eating. That's awful....so i've learned that its not worth it....better avoid meals until late in the day.

    The less I eat or drink the better I am during the day....then I eat a lot at dinner because I know i'm done trying to be productive during the day and I can more or less lay down and dream of morning when my tummy will feel better again....at least until I eat a meal. I have occassionally gone a few days or even weeks eating normal portions at normal time intervals...hoping to stretch my stomach or get my stomach accustom to food but again this always ends with me being more miserable than ever. Honestly, i've got it figured out that if I want to feel decent I need to eat like a bird throughout the day and then try to make up all that nutrition and calories at night when I can just go to sleep and avoid the discomfort.

    so can tension related illnesses be soooo chronic because again I feel like most stories I read have pain that is episodic and this would be easier to then find triggers for symptoms. With this it is so chronic...like my body is stuck in this mode.

    It does feel like i'm in a nightmare. I'm angry that it happened. and I'm sad because I'm not the fun wife I use to be and I'm not the fun mom I thought I'd be because i'm not feeling well and i'm pretty darn sick of feeling this way.
    TrustIt and Kira like this.
  5. fholland23

    fholland23 Newcomer

    This sounds almost exactly like me. I don't know about TMS.... I would bet anything, that you have a chronically inflamed gut and low stomach acid like I do (did). A year and a half ago I became very ill and lost alot of weight and I began having all the symptoms you describe:
    -Feeling really full after a small meal sometimes (early satiety)
    -Not really hungry until I start eating, but then get hungry as I start eating
    -Sometimes heartburn/indigestion sensations
    -Very low body fat
    -Feelings of tightness in my upper stomach
    -Stomach feels uncomfortable for hours after a meal
    -Don't really want to bend over bc feel bloated, but not really bloated (that's the inflammation)
    -Feel bad after a huge glass of water, or water too soon after a meal
    -Food sits in stomach and hardly digests for hours
    -A desire to eat nutrient dense/high energy food so as not to overwhelm my stomach
    -Unable to get a diagnosis from doctors, they all told me I'm fine just underweight and having anxiety.
    -Unable to describe any major symptoms beyond "My digestion sucks and my stomach feels very uncomfortable, all day, especially right after meals"

    I don't know about the gritty texture in the back of the throat though, or white tongue, that almost sounds like the beginning of an esophageal web, which is sometimes a symptom of celiac disease.

    Also, I should mention that I can relate on what you said about still having energy, and able to maintain muscle tone, because for whatever reason I was the same way. I could still could bike, jog, lift weights, and get errands done, usually with no problem. However I had anxiety about the way I felt that consumed me and took away from living my life. And I just felt off, mentally and physically. Like something was just wrong with me. I suffered this way for over a year and a half.
    It wasn't until I started looking into researching "leaky gut" that things began to click. I begin to suspect that I may have an autoimmune disorder or chronic gut inflammation, and drastically changed my diet. I began to eat on the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP, http://www.thepaleomom.com/autoimmunity/the-autoimmune-protocol <--this is a good resource), cutting out grains (trust me, I'm very weary of the gluten free fad and industry, and thought it was a bunch of bullcrap prior to all this), cutting out refined oils and sugar, nuts/seeds, etc.. using Dr. Sarah Balantyne's (she has extensive credible research to back up her work, and is trustworthy in my opinion) book as a guide, and, slowly but surely I began to feel much better. I started to gain fat and weight back, and my anxiety and discomfort decreased significantly. However, I was busy with school, and maintaining the diet was difficult, and so I began to slip back towards my initial condition. After graduating school and getting a job, I decided to redouble my efforts towards figuring out what the hell was wrong with me. I finally found a functional GI doctor in a nearby city, and went to see her (I had been to many GI doctors and "naturopaths"). She, thankfully, was neither a hippy dippy naturopath trying to sell me supplements and raw honey or a calloused apathetic mainstream doctor who has no textbook medical answer or drug for what was happening to me. She was somewhere in between, and I mean that in the best possible way. She was familiar with all of the recent research regarding increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and other chronic GI issues, and although her treatments involved functional diet and supplementation rather than drugs she was a very educated doctor and not a dipsh*t naturopath telling me accupuncture and meditation would cure all my problems (excuse my frustration, and for the record there is huge merit to both of those things but when you're sick you're freaking SICK. Those things don't help much then!!). She ran about 10 different bloodtests on me, looking at stuff I don't quite understand relating hormone levels, immune system stuff, micronutrient deficiencies, etc.. She told me the results indicated that I have a metabolic disorder (i'm not going to mention the name of it here for various reasons) that she addressed with some supplementation but that this was secondary to, and probably a result of, a very inflamed stomach and gut lining and my body was most likely in the difficult to break cycle of leaky gut syndrome. I have been weary of the term in the past as it seems to be thrown around alot (it is a real medically documented condition, however some less reputable quacks and naturopaths tend to use it as a blanket term to describe all chronic mind-gut problems), but there is substantial evidence through credible research that has been coming out in the past few years (don't take my word for it, look it all up. I recommend starting with the Paleo Mom) that support the likelihood that leaky gut my be waaaay more widespread and common than initially thought, and can manifest in all kinds of different chronic gut and mental health problems.
    Anyways, the bottom line is she told me I needed to be on a GAPS diet, or something similar, as all of the easy to digest soups in the form of well cooked vegetables, meats, and healthy fats cooked in healing bone broths and meat stocks (again, there's all kinds of research supporting the reason meat stocks and bone broths work to heal your got, just look it up) would allow my stomach and gut to heal. She said the AIP diet was a good start, but I needed more soft textures and an emphasis on broths and stocks as they're very healing to the gut. Furthermore, she had me take supplements to support my body in the form of b-6, magnesium, multimineral, biotin, and a rotation between digestive enzymes and swedish bitters (so as not to become too dependent on enzymes) to stimulate gastric juice and acid production as she said I had very low stomach acid production (also, the homemade broths stimulate acid production). Also, she recommended adrenal health support as your body goes through alot being chronically ill and mentally stressed for so long.
    And the result....
    I'm getting my life back. I am healing, gaining weight (I gained 10 pounds the first month and a half, and am continuing to gain little by little), digestion is improving... my mood has improved so much...
    It's a miracle. I could not be happier to have finally found the problem (although I still don't quite fully understand what it is that's ailing me, I don't care, it's working. I just tell people I have Chron's disease so they don't get all weirded out by my diet). The diet is a huuuge pain in the ass, and the gut takes a very long time to heal. Almost two months before I started to notice a huge difference. The doctor said with this kind of gut condition you're in it for the long haul, and I probably will have to be on some sort of homecooked diet for the rest of my life... but I don't care I'm getting my life back. The diet requires a lot of cooking and time in the kitchen, but I said I would do anything for that (as you did too, Jobyrd) and this is what I had to do, so it's alright. I will say I have had a few times where I fell off the diet and got set back a little, from having cravings for high energy bad food to not staying on top of the shopping and cooking, but as soon as I got back on I started to feel better again. I am so happy to be starting to feel like my normal self again.
    Anyways, I hope this helps Jobyrd. Again, I would be shocked if you didn't have something similar to me as I got an eerie feeling of dejavu reading the problems you're having. I don't think you have TMS (although I don't know that much about it... the condition by nature is very ambiguous I think as is leaky gut). I think you probably have some form of leaky gut/chronic inflammation. The thing is, even if it's not what I had, it still sounds like some sort of chronic systematic GI issue, and the good news is the cure is basically the same: a GAPS diet or AIP diet will help you, I can pretty much guarantee it. Homemade broths and soups are key, you need alot of it so you can get nutrients and healing compounds while letting your stomach rest. Don't worry you can graduate to more real food over time, but it may take a long time and you may have to say goodbye to grains, legumes, processed oils, sugar, and junk food forever as I did. Maybe not. But it's worth a try to get your health back. You and your family deserve it. Good luck, and I hope this helps.
  6. fholland23

    fholland23 Newcomer

    I just posted the message above but I'm replying to your initial message so it pings your email (i think this forum has that built in). Also I wanted to mention that I had an endoscopy and several other tests as well with no problems reported by the doctor, but I sure as hell knew something was not right with my stomach. And the last thing is that, if you do indeed have a damaged/inflamed gut, you should definitely ease up on the crossfit for now as that would not be helping you. Your body may need to rest for awhile. There are documented cases of marathoners and triathletes who developed increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut) in the first place because the high physical stress can take a toll on the gut. Again, good luck and I hope you find the path to healing. Take care.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  7. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    My endosscopy revealed gastritis, and my lower GI is in trouble too. I am a small person, and I had a sudden weight gain all around my abdomen, which makes me look pregnant. I know this is mind/body disorder, but my gut is wrecked, and its very distressing. Worrying about it constantly is the distraction, but I also need a bacterial test...I recognize many mild and not-so-mild illnesses I have had all my life, from allergies to Grave's Disease to back pain, are TMS equivalents, but I still require treatment..
  8. riv44

    riv44 Well known member

    If I had tried to "think" my Grave's away 20 years ago, I might have died. So even if TMS is a factor, I encourage consulting with specialists
  9. Homestead Hermit

    Homestead Hermit Peer Supporter

    IBS has been my main TMS symptom for over 20 years and has been chronic. My symptoms have morphed over the years and I've had just about every stomach/gut symptom imaginable. While dealing with IBS, on the side my body has also presented a myriad of other physical ailments. I don't want to describe my symptoms because, at the moment, it's helping me manage them by not focusing on them, especially going into detail or hearing others talk about their symptoms in detail (I'm on a symptom fast if you will, lol. I'm just focusing on my progress instead).

    I attempted a variety of diets and foods to stay away from over the years. But, although I would lose weight, all it accomplished was depression and no clearing up of symptoms. One of my passions in life is food and drink and I want to maintain my relationship with food in order to cultivate joy, I don't want that to go away. It's important to me to NOT make the effort to stay away from my favorite things as this has been my mind's excuse to create IBS symptoms. I believed I had allergies or bacteria overgrowth, but when I took the steps to stay away, it didn't help.

    I'm having success right now with always telling myself this is TMS, believing to the fullest extent possible, while eating and drinking as I normally would and savoring food and drink. Although my symptoms are not 100% gone, I'm not in pain and not concerned with my symptoms, which, in itself, has led to a better quality of life.
    TrustIt likes this.
  10. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    personally, i agree with making this about tms rather than diet. i found that the fear of eating and the expectation of how it could make me feel robbed me of all the joy of eating. i lost a lot of weight and this is what frightened me most. however, once i accepted that my body was really ok with the weight it is, meaning i still have plenty of energy, i decided to accept that it is just a number and my body is intelligent enough to maintain itself and remain stable even if i weigh less than i want for now. the more i realized this has nothing to do with WHAT i eat...since i already eat a healthy organic diet...and everything to do with HOW i eat (no stress) and WHY i eat (to nourish and for pleasure instead of fixing and avoiding), i feel better every day. the fear is tenacious! and because it has occured nearly every single day, for years, it takes a while to re-condition the mind that stirs up all the distrust and doubt and expresses in the body in the familiar ways it knows. i stopped guessing (and especially googling) at all the labeled diseases out there to see which ones matched my symptoms, and instead developed...again, over time...a sense of the doctor within and whatever it was doing, it was to protect not harm, the more i heal. i am about 75% recovered and expect and claim that i am better every day. just catch those "what if this hurts me" thoughts and turn them into "what if this is NOT about the food but about the anxiety about the harmless food", the habituated mind will begin to match those thoughts and the healing comes. best to you and we are so fortunate to have the support of wonderful people on this site.

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