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Supplements and CFS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Dave, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Dave

    Dave New Member

    Hey again,
    Something else has sprung to mind.
    For some time I have been taking a bevy of supplements to counter my CFS - B12, glutathione, probiotics, etc. On Saturday, I gave them all up, cold turkey.
    I'll admit freely that I have been using them as a crutch, psychologically as much as physically, although, I feel, they have had some physical benefit.
    At the same time, blood results reveal that I am low in some of the things I am supplementing, due to the CFS.
    How do I reconcile this fact with TMS?
    I have accepted that TMS has caused my CFS but can't get around the notion that the supplements might be correcting for something that is causing actual, physical symptoms.
    Any thoughts are appreciated.
  2. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    In the context of supplements, I noticed something very interesting the other day. I heard that Norman Cousins "cured" his rheumatoid arthritis with a cheerful attitude and by mega-dosing Vitamin C. Well, when my sciatic nerve was hurting a few days ago, I took a couple thousand mics of Vitamin C with my evening meal, but first I told myself that based on Cousins' example it would reduce the pain in my butt. I held that thought in my mind just before taking the C and then completely forgot about it. Put it out of my mind. Well, sure enough, a couple hours later I noticed that the pain in my butt had disappeared and then I recalled taking the Vit C (in that order). I'd say that because I subconsciously believed in the efficacy of taking Vitamin C that the pain disappeared based on my belief in the treatment. I don't know of course whether Vitamin C is effective at banishing sciatic pain, but I'd say that my belief in those two big horse pills of the vitamin functioned as a very strong placebo that in effect got rid of my sciatica. I would say that it's the strength of your belief in those supplements you're taking that makes them seem to work on your TMS and CFS symptoms. It's interesting to note that even with the supplements you're taking, you still have deficiencies in the very areas you're supplementing. Sounds as though the CFS process itself is what's causing the deficiencies since you obviously have a bunch of B12 running around your system.

    I too take B12 and a bunch of other stuff. But my TMS pain and attendent CFS seem to be going down of their own accord over time as I do the Structured Program found on the TMS Wiki and work my way through the journal exercises found in Dr. Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain. I'd say it's doing these psychological exercises and meditations that's actually changing the biochemistry of my brain, which, in turn, causes my TMS to decline in intensity while reducing frequency of its occurrence, which seems to validate the body-mind connection.

    This has been my experience, but there must be someone on this forum who know more about this phenomenon who could answer some of your questions. It seems to me that it doesn't matter whether you pack yourself with supplements if the TMS/CFS process is still in place they're just not going to do that much good unless the mind-body division has been reconciled with meditation, journaling and some form of psychotherapy as practiced by Alan Gordon or Howard Schubiner.
  3. Dave

    Dave New Member

    Thanks for your experience, MorComm.
    As I mentioned, I've gone cold turkey on my supps, for a week now, and frankly haven't felt this well in a year! Have been doing the structured programme pretty intensively and put my improvement down to this.
    I gave up the supps because I felt they were doing more harm psychologically than they were benefitting physically. They were stopping me from accepting a psychological diagnosis for my condition.
    Have a good weekend!
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    MorComm, the one thing that stands our about your post is the role placebos can play in our health. It is part of the reason why some modalities work for a short time, whether it is surgery, or PT, massage, pain meds, ergonomic devices, or in your case vitamins. The amount of confidence we have in something can adjust how we initially respond to it. Of course, after awhile this affect wares off and we are in pain again. This is because we are so easily tricked into believing our symptoms are from structural causes.

    Dave, it is great that you are feeling better. One thing that I noticed is that when we do preventive measures (for me this was using ergonomic devices) we can very easily reinforce that we are fragile or broken. After that initial placebo effect wares off, you are conditioned to thinking you have to have them and you are stuck thinking physical.

    It is great that you were able to recognize that these supplements were preventing you from thinking psychologically. This can be very challenging, so it's a great sign that you were able to take this big step. Be proud of the progress you are making so far. You are on the right path.
    MorComm likes this.
  5. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Just as a foot note, Dave and Forest, the ability of Vitamin C to banish the pain in my sciatic nerve disappeared the next day. I'd say the real reason for the pain was having to borrow $1,200 out of my home equity account to pay for refurbishing and refinishing the deck on top of my patio. Interesting the psycho-symbolic meanings associated with the deck: my father had it built just after he retired in 1979 and I've had to fix it several times since. My sciatic pain actually seemed to get worse when I was moving back my late father's patio furniture around after the deck coat had dried. Sounds to me like the deck and furniture are all associated with my relationship with my late father. Moving his things and spending his money all must have put me into conflict with the so-called internal parent and that insoluble child-parent conflict within me caused my sciatica to flare up momentarily. Really hard to notice these kinds of things unless you're practicing 'mindfulness' or as Dr. Sarno would put it, "Thinking psychological". The Vitamin C and other supplements just distract you from seeing these deeper psychological issues behind TMS pain.
  6. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    Hi Dave:

    I do believe in some supplements. If your blood levels show you require a "boost" then you should take them and move on with the rest of your work. My husband is 70, and has a host of medical issues which I won't go into here. Two weeks ago, he had such bad restless leg and sciatica issues, we were both up all night. Nothing the medical community provided was working.

    A did some research and found he was really low on Magnesium. I got some Homeopathic remedies for him and viola: he was on the streets yesterday, pain free, playing music. And he plays a variety of instruments which require a lot of loading and lifting.

    While I suspect that many of his issues are TMS, the Magnesium deficiency was a reality. Once I got this in him - it was a matter of 4 days in which he showed improvement. The rest of the issues (he had 2 MRIS's) I pretty much know are TMS. But rather than start him on something that isn't his idea, I think I'll continue with what is working and add swimming. We could both use it and it's something we can do together.

    So - if you think you were using the supplements as a crutch? Then by all means try and stop. But if your body actually requires them, now isn't the time to stop.

    Just some recent experience and my own thoughts. Ultimately it's up to you,

    quasar731 likes this.

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