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Seronegative autoimmune disorders = TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by PaperCrane, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. PaperCrane

    PaperCrane Peer Supporter

    I had success using TMS-related concepts to treat chronic pain that followed a neck and back injury and am interested in using them again to treat some newer health problems I suspect could also be TMS. I want to rule out any serious problems before moving forward, though, both because I don't want to miss conventional treatment that could be important to my long-term health and, truthfully, I don't know that I'll be able to fully accept the idea that this is all TMS until I do. The problem, though, is that I am in limbo with actually getting a diagnosis.

    I have had a variety of symptoms including dizzy spells, neuropathy in my feet and ankles, musculoskeletal pain, achy joints, fatigue and dry eyes and mouth, as well as frequent headaches and insomnia that I think are being caused by the stress of dealing with all the other stuff. Doctors I have seen seem to think it's something autoimmune, but have not been able to give me specifics. I saw a Rheumatologist who ran a great deal of blood work that came back negative, with the exception of my B6 levels, which were too high and could have been causing some of my symptoms, then was referred to a Neurologist.

    The Neurologist thought the B6 levels, which were twice the normal range, were not high enough to be causing my problems, decided it was more likely I had advanced Lyme Disease (I have a history of tick bites and live in a Lyme endemic area) or MS. He had me undergo a spinal tap, MRI's of my spine and various blood tests. When they all came back clean, he decided to refer me back to the Rheumatologist.

    My symptoms do mirror several autoimmune disorders and, just looking at the clinical picture, a diagnosis of something like MS or Sjogren's might make sense, but all of the testing I've had has come back looking great. I've been told, though, that the blood tests for autoimmune conditions are not fully reliable and not having the antibodies show up in my blood or spinal fluid doesn't neccessarily mean I don't have one. But, to me, symptoms like I have been having, clean blood and CSF tests, clean imaging and a previous history of TMS all make it really, really sound like more TMS.

    All that said, I'm getting rather frustrated at this point, both with the doctors I've seen and with myself for not being able to take a leap of faith. I'm curious to hear if anyone else has had similar experiences and/or has helpful advice for my situation.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    PaperCrane, if you want to look into the relationship between AI disorders and stress, read Gabor Mate's When the Body Says No (2003?). Or first check out his video in the Media section of this forum entitled, "How Stress Can Cause Disease":


    Lyme Disease is a slippery topic since people who've been bitten by a tick and have traces of Lyme Disease in their blood work often don't have any symptoms. I know that Dr Sarno questions the existence of such a disorder, but others do not since horses seem to get it.

    From reading and listening to Dr Mate, it seems as though the same emotionally repressive coping styles that lead to the development of TMS pain symptoms can also lead to AI disorders as well. Seems as though it's a question of how long and how severe the emotional repression is that determines the relative severity of the symptoms or disorder. Of course, I must add that I'm not a doctor, but it certainly sounds as though you've been checked out thoroughly at this point.
    Balsa11 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  3. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    I agree with Bruce. Once the doctors start sending you back to each other, you need to move on. Your tests are clean. I think Sarno states that he believes auto-immune disorders are either TMS equivalents or are affected by emotions. Is it possible that your back and neck problems subsided and that this is the symptom imperative at work?
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  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    PC, if Bruce and Gail hadn't already posted their answers, I would have said what they said. Dr. Mate is awesome on this subject.

    Every one of your symptoms is one that I've had, some of which come right back when I'm stressed (dizziness in particular, but I also have a clean bill of health).

    Hang in there, keep the faith, and, if you haven't read them (or not read them lately) I was reminded recently to go back to the Thank You Dr. Sarno project (google it) and read the success stories there.

    Balsa11 likes this.
  5. PaperCrane

    PaperCrane Peer Supporter

    Thank-you, you guys are great. You verbalized much of what I was feeling in my gut and I think I really needed that validation. When you are regularly receiving the types of messages I've been getting from doctors over the last six months, it's easy to get sucked up in all of that and start doubting your instincts.

    Last night, I started journaling and felt I was hitting at some of what might be causing my physical symptoms and, shortly afterwards, my nerve and joint pain flared up like crazy. I also started having weakness and heaviness in my feet and legs for the first time that scared me half to death. It had me so upset that I was up most of the night worrying about it, actually.

    In hindsight, though, I guess it was just my body fighting progress.

    These symptoms started shortly after the point when my neck and back pain subsided. So, yes, I think it's even more than possible. :)

    When I made the progress I did with my neck and back, I recalled having an uneasy feeling that it had been too easy or too good to be true. I guess maybe I was right and there's more work to do.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  6. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi PaperCrane - I agree with all of the other posters here. It certainly could be the symptom imperative at work (in order to create a distraction from deeply held emotional feelings). Just going through all of those medical tests can be very stressful. Keep journaling. I'd also suggest keeping a diary of your dreams - they may tell you what is going on too.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Small world, PaperCrane: Just as the lower lumbar pain and sciatica on my left side have almost disappeared, bango, I started getting a skin rash in exactly the same location on low lower back where the TMS pain used to be. Think it's a coincidence? No way. That's classic symptom imperative. I was tempted to put some Cortisone cream on the spots, but said to myself: Don't acknowledge and reinforce the symptom in any way. So after a week or so, the rash seems to be going down. Last month, I had a flare up of allergies out of the blue that have gradually disappeared likewise. It seems like the closer I get to being completely pain-free, the more of these quirky little flare ups occur, apparently from out of nowhere. Mine seem to disappear when I don't pay attention to them that much. Hope thing occurs in your own case.
    Balsa11 likes this.

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