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Stomach problems and GERD - TMS?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jula, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. jula

    jula New Member

    Hello everyone! I am new here and I really hope I am in the right place. I am really overwhelmed by the whole concept and whether or not my case is this. I really need some support. I am in the process of reading two books on the topic. I want to tell you my story to date. It’s going to be loooong, sorry. So it’s 2013, I am 22, all of a sudden after one party with alcohol I notice first acid reflux episode ever. It never goes away, but there again I don’t change my diet. It’s getting worse and worse, I start taking H2-blockers, which stop working after a while. Then in 2014 I am diagnosed with GERD and dyspepsia and given PPIs which do work somehow but wanting to be symptom free I don’t notice that and as an addition develop digestive discomfort so I am admitted to hospital for tests. Nothing is wrong in any test. I still feel bad daily, have a little nervous breakdown but after a while I mostly get used to it, still take meds, and still have a diet full of triggers bit it’s not that bad, I just move on with it. In 2017 I decide that I am fed up with that discomfort, etc., docs keep telling me it’s because of stress so I start a psychodynamic therapy. I am in it for only a short time (3 months) because I develop really bad OCD with obsessive thoughts as a result of the therapy. Something goes really wrong here. I develop major anxiety, have to take sick leave, but my stomach and GERD remain unchanged. I slowly recover from the OCD with the help of CBT and personal work. It’s the beginning of 2019, I am better when it comes to anxiety, but I notice that something bad is going on with my GERD (a lot of belching, nausea, regurgitation), I develop LPR as an addition, dyspepsia gets worse and my stomach starts hurting more and more often, not every day but like 3 days with pain, 3 days without. I try to make associations with stressful situations but cannot find any, I mean I do get more symptoms when stressed but I am pretty bad when relaxed too. In the meantime I am admitted to hospital again as the pain gets really weird and debilitating and I have it every day. I also develop health anxiety. Again, the results do not find anything serious even though when the doctor touches my abdomen and sees how much pain it gives me, he is convinced that I might have late stage cancer. But fortunately nothing is there, I am diagnosed with functional abdominal pain (something is wrong with the nerves in stomach) and told to seek psychological help. Again. But I don’t feel anything stresses me too much but my stomach. At the same time my GERD is confirmed in endoscopy and pH-study, it’s worse but I don’t have any erosions. Still it has nothing to do with the pain I keep getting. I am given an antidepressant as I am really depressed because of my stomach problems. It does not have any impact on the pain, just on my mental well-being. After that I still feel bad. I have bitter taste in my mouth, burning, nausea. So I know I have to follow a diet, I start testing many diets and none works, it’s time to work out my own diet. It’s a lot of trial and error. At the end of 2019 I catch a horrible stomach flu and since then I start feeling nauseous, I cannot eat, I lose weight. I am miserable. I also start getting gastritis-like symptoms when I eat something heavier or irritating. I am sure I have gastritis and gastroparesis. Another endoscopy, this time it shows minor duodenitis but nothing else, they tell me it can’t be blamed for my symptoms. And they see loose LES (another confirmation of GERD). No gastritis. But I still feel full all the time. During Christmas, after more than 2 months of hell my system is reset somehow, I think „to hell with the diet” and eat things I don’t think I should be. After that I start eating more and I start feeling nauseous less frequently. I still get bad days but they are amazing compared to what happened to me before. After a while I manage to find 25 products I tolerate well, they minimise GERD and LPR and my weird pressure pain in my upper abdomen is a bit less frequent. But it still happens a lot. And this one is pretty random. Food diary doesn’t help me find the culprit. The only meds that help are painkillers; antispasmodics and anti-gas meds do nothing. I still get gastritis-like flares that sweep me off my feet, it’s the worst thing ever. In the meantime I do a random test for Lyme and it’s the only thing that ever comes positive. But as you can see my symptoms are not what you can find in books. I don’t think I would even bother if it weren’t for my digestive health and hope that the treatment might help. I start treating in Feb 2020. It’s Lyme disease, which I have never treated, so it’s apparently chronic. When it comes to symptoms I have had major fatigue episodes in the recent past often with nausea bouts, before I found out about Lyme, and generally I have had little energy these days. Once I started treating I started getting herxes but they are in my joints. They last for a short time and go away when I support my liver. This seems as legitmate Lyme. I don’t feel that bad except for the stomach part. The doctor I go to tells me that he doesn’t know whether my digestive symptoms have anything to do with Lyme. So here I am now. I know that one of the worst stomach pain episodes happened 2,5 weeks after my tick bite in 2018 (I did nothing with it as I forgot about the tick) and it seems to be the beginning of the worsening of my symptoms. Back then I didn’t attribute it to Lyme of course. Now I don’t know what here is Lyme, what, if anything, TMS. I know I won’t stop Lyme treatment as I want to get pregnant soon and there is no way I do that until tests are negative. Just in case. But I am aware that most of these symptoms might be TMS but my case seems so complicated and overwhelming. I feel the process has progressed too far to be stopped, reversing it seems impossible. This condition has been the main focus of my life. I hate it! I have no idea what to do. I also have doubts as what I did (especially diet change) really made a difference and now holidays do not really bring a change in symptoms and nor does focusing on other things, but there again, I think about my stomach all the time. Also, sometimes I feel worse after stress, sometimes just without a stressor. It just doesn’t make sense. I am consumed by these thoughts, I don’t remember myself without these problems, I try to look for a solution every day and I feel like I have an illness medicine doesn’t know yet. I am also terrified of eating, because I get symptoms even on my diet. My diagnosis (functional abdominal pain) has a component of nerve pain, being sensitive to things that normal people do not feel or do not perceive as painful, but I don’t know about GERD, which is there all the time but whose severity is 100% diet-related.
    Is digging in the past necessary with this approach? I don’t want that, I have OCD tendencies and the psychoanalitic methods make me spiral into overthinking and anxiety. I know I had a happy childhood, no big trauma. I have no idea what might be the underlying cause. I thought about many things and none of them seems to matter. Right now I am in Acceptance and Committment therapy as I have major problems accepting what my life has become.
    Is there anyone who dealt with similar symptoms? I would really appreciate some support.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020

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