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Alan G. TMS and lyme disease

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by KatieDid123, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. KatieDid123

    KatieDid123 Peer Supporter

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.


    My TMS mostly manifests as pain in my right foot and ankle, which I've had for about 3 years following an injury. I found out about TMS about a year and half ago and went to see Dr. Schechter who diagnosed me as a clear-cut TMS case. Since then, I've had ups and downs with the pain, and I believe the reason it hasn't completely resolved is because I don't believe it 100%. While the pain used to only be in my one foot, it's now in my right buttock, left shoulder blade area, left arm, and sometimes upper back and neck. I told a family friend about my widespread pain and she urged me to get checked for Lyme disease. I went to a Lyme specialist and got bloodwork done from a specialty lab in CA called Igenex. My results came back negative according to the CDC's guidelines, but positive according to Igenex's guidelines. Lyme doctors claim that the CDC's guidelines are too lax and miss the majority of cases. I used to have extreme fatigue, brain fog, etc. too, which further supported the Lyme diagnosis, although these symptoms (fatigue, fog) have largely resolved.

    My question is, what are your thoughts about Lyme in regards to TMS? I know Sarno mentions it in The Mindbody Prescription. I understand that Lyme is a real disease that can affect a person, but the symptoms are usually sudden and obvious (ie. rash, headache, fever, etc.) and are resolved with a course of antibiotics. Lyme doctors claim that if you're infected, but don't get treatment, the Lyme can become chronic and cause problems for you down the line. This is a roadblock for me, in that I'm worrying that I might actually have Lyme, which could be the cause of all my pain. On the other hand, I don't recall an acute phase of the disease where I got suddenly sick. I also didn't see a rash (but this doesn't occur in all people). According to Lyme docs, the symptoms are extremely broad and seem to include literally every possible physical symptom someone could have. These broad symptoms make for a go-to diagnosis for doctors to give if they can't find any other reasons for your pain. "Oh you're tired? It must be Lyme." "Oh you have ankle and shoulder pain? It must be Lyme." Kind of in the same vein as Fibromyalgia.

    I just can't seem to get the positive Igenex test out of my head. It's preventing me from moving forward with TMS 100%. I understand you can't diagnose, but I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about chronic Lyme in relation to TMS.

    Thank you,

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2015
    map76 likes this.
  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Hey Katie,
    Get it out of your head. I'm guessing a large percentage of the population would test positive with these more liberal tests. I've worked with dozens of people who tested positive with these lax parameters who have been able to get rid of their symptoms.

    You may want to consult with Dr. Howard Schubiner. He's pretty adept at helping people overcome their doubt with regard to this particular diagnosis.

    Also, if you're interested, I have a TMS therapist colleague, Amber Murphy, who's worked with a lot of patients who have been given this diagnosis with great success. She's based in Los Angeles but works over Skype as well. Let me know if you'd like me to introduce you to her.

    Lastly, as a rule, always trust the Center for Disease Control over a private lab.


    Any advice or information provided here does not and is not intended to be and should not be taken to constitute specific professional or psychological advice given to any group or individual. This general advice is provided with the guidance that any person who believes that they may be suffering from any medical, psychological, or mindbody condition should seek professional advice from a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions. No general advice provided here should be taken to replace or in any way contradict advice provided by a qualified, registered/licensed physician and/or psychotherapist who has the opportunity to meet with the patient, take a history, possibly examine the patient, review medical and/or mental health records, and provide specific advice and/or treatment based on their experience diagnosing and treating that condition or range of conditions.

    The general advice and information provided in this format is for informational purposes only and cannot serve as a way to screen for, identify, or diagnose depression, anxiety, or other psychological conditions. If you feel you may be suffering from any of these conditions please contact a licensed mental health practitioner for an in-person consultation.

    Questions may be edited for brevity and/or readability.

    Balsa11 and map76 like this.
  3. KatieDid123

    KatieDid123 Peer Supporter

    Thank you for your response Alan, I greatly appreciate it.
  4. annfitz

    annfitz New Member

    My son has a somewhat different experience concerning Lyme. He contracted it about 3.5 years ago now---yes, he had the classic CDC onset symptoms including Bells Palsy and tested positive (not sure if it was Igenex or CDC lab, but it doesn't matter). The disease was in the dissemination stage by the time we realized what it was and he did start antibiotics at that time. The palsy went away and we thought he'd be fine, but he continued to have a lot of pain and other things, such as one eye going blind at random times. We went to a "Lyme literate" doctor and he was on various antibiotics for a solid 3 years. We finally decided to discontinue this because it was too expensive and he was not getting any better anymore. Now he is still feeling arthritic type pain and maybe some other symptoms, including major sleep disruption (he was never a great sleeper). I have TMS myself and wonder if his pain is no longer Lyme at all but TMS. What do you think?
  5. Flying away

    Flying away Newcomer

    Hi alan

    I am having the same experience as Katie. Could you please give me the info of the therapist in Los Angeles.
    Thank you,
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

  7. MommaCat

    MommaCat Peer Supporter

    If you look up the side effects of the antibiotics they give lyme patients you will find every symptom is the same.
  8. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Could be TMS or not, he'd need to see a TMS doctor to confirm.
  9. MommaCat

    MommaCat Peer Supporter

    I spoke with a man the other day who "thinks" he has chronic Lyme. His conversation with me was disturbing.
    He said he went into remission and then opened some base ball cards that had mold and he went back into Lyme. He said he could see the Lyme in his vision. ( I guess the black squiggles everyone sees).
    He told be his eye balls felt like something was scrapping them on the back.
    He has posted his fits on his FB page.
    But in the conversation he brought up taking 6 Klonopin day and then said he'd taken only one a day since his mom died. Then he mentioned the baseball cards belonging to his dead father.
    Makes me wonder about him.

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