1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

TMS strategy vs. conventional medicine

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by DWA, Jun 1, 2021.

  1. DWA

    DWA Peer Supporter

    Hi All, I have been on and off this forum for 3 or 4 years and it definitely has helped me through a couple tough spots. I self-identify as a TMS personality and preach this approach when I see it in friends and family members. However when odd symptoms sometimes pop up with me, I sometimes have a hard time seeing it as TMS. I had night sweats a couple months ago that were eased by Ambien. Presently I'm having digestive issues (new to me) including change in bowel habits and constant gurgling, rumbling in my stomach which is abnormal for me. Low level belly pain. After a couple weeks I worried about an infection and broke down and called my Doctor. He elevated it to a Gastroenterologist. Now I'm on the medical treadmill. So far, blood work is unspectacular and stool samples are normal, but he has ordered a colonoscopy for me next week. I'm still experiencing these symptoms, but they are not getting better or worse. It has been 4 or 5 weeks from onset and I'm not eating normally, lost several pounds and fear pattern has set in causing sleep problems. I have had some work related stress just prior to onset. I know the TMS tenet is to have all the medical work done and if results are normal, then assume TMS, but a colonoscopy is pretty intense and expensive (insurance only covers a portion), so I'm really fighting whether to go through with it or just assume TMS? Thoughts?
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  2. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Hi DWA,

    So much going on with you. No wonder you are worried.

    I am almost sixty and have refused colonoscopy as a screening tool. However, since you are having symptoms then it could be justified.

    If I was in you situation, I see an acupuncturist, Ayurvedic or other alternative medicine doctors to check your stomach.

    They tend to look the overall picture rather than the mechanical conventions medicine approach.

    No matter what you decide something is definitely going on and needs attention.
    TrustIt and DWA like this.
  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi @DWA,

    I had those kind of symptoms and changed my diet to low fodmap, which stopped all of them, apart from the odd bit of loud, but not uncomfortable, gurgling every now and again. Up until I changed my diet I had thought that my stomach discomfort and gut pain were TMS. (That said, maybe they were TMS and my brain, for some reason, was and still is, willing to let me believe they were IBS and that the low fodmap diet is taking care of it...and it (my brain) has simply moved on to giving me other TMS symptoms instead, amongst the myriad of symptoms that pop up all over my body!) Here's Monash University's website about the low fodmap diet, in case you've not come across the low fodmap diet before and would like to know more about it https://www.monashfodmap.com/ibs-central/i-have-ibs/starting-the-low-fodmap-diet/ (Starting the Low FODMAP Diet - Monash Fodmap).

    I too wouldn't want to discourage you from continuing to get yourself checked out medically. I had gurgling and discomfort in my stomach and most of my gut, but the actual pain (that kept me awake at night) was quite low down in my colon, so I opted for a flexi-sigmoidoscopy with enema instead of colonoscopy with oral purging laxatives but, of course, a colonoscopy would be far more comprehensive.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
    FredAmir and DWA like this.
  4. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    DWA - what your describing reminds me a lot of when I was going through my chronic fatigue battle. To be clear, your symptoms are totally different. But I experienced the similar angst of "are these symptoms TMS or is it a serious medical condition?" The doctor's didn't find anything wrong in their tests.

    Eventually, I decided it was TMS and used Alan Gordon's excellent Pain Recovery Program to recover.

    I almost always go through these battles. So far, they always turn out to be TMS. Once I'm ready to accept it's TMS (and it often takes some time), I start getting better.
    FredAmir, DWA and Ellen like this.
  5. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    I second the FODMAP approach. Seen great results for myself and others.

    See this app for figuring out the diet.
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fast-fodmap-lookup-learn/id1357894765 (‎Fast FODMAP Lookup & Learn)
    DWA and BloodMoon like this.
  6. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    I would agree with a couple of things here said. First of all, I'm experiencing a similar resolution to digestive issues on a special high meat diet. For a long time I thought it was TMS but kept getting worse so when I changed my diet to a very high protein, low to no carbs, I immediately started getting better. I am not a fan of the conventional medical model, especially invasive tests like colonoscopies. This is not advice to you as you need to do what you need to do but I would try the diet first and save yourself some money and discomfort and even possibly harm.
    DWA likes this.
  7. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I do agree with @TrustIt that change in diet may help. But if it does not, it is likely TMS. Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been mentioned by Sarno as one of potential TMS conditions. A lot of what I have seen on the subject convinced me that it is very likely to be TMS, but I don't have first hand experience with it, so I am careful about broadcasting my conclusions.

    Here is the story worth reading: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/12/placebos-work-even-without-deception/ (Placebos work — even without deception)
    Cap'n Spanky, TrustIt and DWA like this.
  8. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Yes, tension always plays a part. Even the FODMAP’s Learn section says this:

    Dr. Simone Peters
    World renowned IBS & Gut Expert

    After conducting a clinical trial that found her gut-directed hypnotherapy protocol improved IBS symptoms by 70% in 3 out of 4, Dr. Peters helped design an app to allow anyone use the approach.

    ''The most interesting finding of all is that gut-directed hypnotherapy is equally as effective in terms of improving symptoms as the low FODMAP diet...without having to change what they eat.''- Dr. Simone Peters.”
    TrustIt, DWA and BloodMoon like this.
  9. DWA

    DWA Peer Supporter

    When I hear IBS, I typically think the Doctor's couldn't find anything substantial in their workup, so not to disappoint the suffering patient, they get the IBS designation. Same idea for Fibromyalgia and CFS etc. All TMS in my book. I just have that nagging fear that something more sinister is going on and I better get the procedure done. If it comes up clean, I know I'll be able to move forward with the TMS recovery strategy. I'm leaning toward having the procedure now. Expensive price for peace of mind, but if I don't get it done, I'm afraid I might set back my healing time. I'll update next week for those that might be curious...
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    A very interesting article!

    As with @TrustIt with her high meat diet, a change in diet worked for me (in my case low fodmap) but, in a way, I'd like its positive effect on me to be a placebo because that would mean that I could one day stop the diet which I quite enjoy but it is restrictive (just how restrictive depends on how many types fodmaps seemingly affect you adversely) and be well and pain free by means of TMS techniques and/or hypnotherapy...

    What intrigues me, however, in the light of the placebo possibility, is why the fodmap diet worked for me whereas I tried other diets that others have found work for them to stop their 'IBS' symptoms and they didn't help me at all, despite my enthusiasm and optimism at the time to try those diets...Whereas, despite the low fodmap diet having been researched at Monash University (conveying some credence) and them finding it to be effective for many people, albeit not all, I remember starting the low fodmap diet and telling myself: 'I'll try it but, knowing my luck, I expect I'll be one of those people it doesn't work for' and also feeling quite miserable about it as I was sorting my food cupboards and trying out my new diet. Maybe my brain/mind was (and still is) just being kind of 'perverse' for want of a better word...I think the brain works in mysterious ways and we still have a lot to learn about it, so I don't rule out the low fodmap diet possibly being a placebo for some people like me.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
    TG957 likes this.
  11. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I totally agree with what you're saying, but I have to say that when I got my diagnosis of 'IBS', I was actually disappointed as I knew that meant I was being tossed on to the 'can't do anything about that' scrap heap...However, I know that some people do feel relieved that a 'validating' label has been given to their symptoms and they are then often hopeful that the medical profession will be able to cure them, or at least alleviate their symptoms, with prescription meds or some other kind of treatment...until they eventually and usually find out differently! One doctor did tell me that my gut symptoms were 'all in my head' but then didn't go on to suggest anything helpful, like referring me to this TMS wiki or telling me about any mind/body techniques.

    I hope all will go smoothly with your colonoscopy and, yes, I for one would be interested to hear how you get on.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
    TG957 likes this.
  12. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    @BloodMoon I feel exactly the way you do. I wonder about the placebo effect as well but this was such an instant turn around, the very day after I started this new diet, and I feel intuitively that it was some thing(s) I was eating that was not agreeing with me. Then, maybe it was just my mind not agreeing with me. I would love to just go to a hypnotherapy session and clear out the webs and this be over. Or for it to be TMS and only deal with it psychologically even if it takes a little time. My diet is very restrictive as well and I can't see being on it really long-term but hopefully I'm getting a reset and I can add things back soon having broken the cycle of pain and discomfort. It's been there so long I wonder just how much I'm hanging on to it for some payoff that I don't see yet. That said, however, the memory is so recent of how awful i felt, I would do most anything to stop it. And I know that is not a TMS way to think. I'm feeling so much better now I can't imagine giving up on something that is working and doing it strictly as TMS just because I want it to be that. The mind is a mystery.
    BloodMoon likes this.
  13. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    Thank you Fred, do you happen to know how to get one of her apps? I went to her site and didn't see any information on it.
    FredAmir likes this.
  14. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    TrustIt likes this.
  15. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I believe I've found it (or maybe something similar to it) @TrustIt. Here's a link https://www.fodmapeveryday.com/meet-nerva-the-science-backed-app-for-managing-ibs-with-hypnotherapy/ (Meet Nerva: The Science Backed App For Managing IBS With Hypnotherapy - FODMAP Everyday). I'm also thinking of trying the hypnotherapy.
    And I also feel exactly the way you do about not giving up on doing something that has been so life changing. The low fodmap diet made me feel completely better after 4 days...which, if you pardon the 'too much information' would have been enough time for my former diet's food to have passed completely through me (my gut pain was low down in the colon); however the relatively light discomfort in my stomach went within 24 hours.

    I'm not on a low fodmap diet crusade or anything, so it's just a thought, but I wonder if your high meat diet has the effect of cutting out high and medium fodmap foods by default, so to speak. If so, maybe you could consider gradually introduce some low fodmap fruit and vegetables, one kind of fruit and veg at a time, to give yourself some variety because I know that a high meat diet (when I tried one many years ago for weight loss, long before I got gut problems) can cut out a lot of fruit and veg. I can more than understand though if you would be loathe to consider doing that as your current diet works so well for you and you wouldn't want to stir things up. I'm loathe to change my current diet...An example of this is that with the low fodmap diet you are supposed to cut out all the high fodmap foods to start with and then, after symptoms resolve, add one type of high fodmap food at a time, over a period of 2 to 3 days, to work out what you're okay with....I've done this for some of the high fodmap food groups, but I haven't done it with all of them because I can't face possibly triggering off gut pain, even though it would only last for about 2 to 3 (max 4) days!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
    TrustIt likes this.
  16. TrustIt

    TrustIt Well known member

    we are really on the same page. i'm sure the fodmap triggers are indeed cut out by default since carnivore is strict and cuts out everything that is not an animal product. carnivore gave me relief within 2 days and i am feeling better everyday. i am hesitant to keep talking about diet here as well as i am not at all promoting it. this is on the fringes of the conversations here and an attempt to resolve the possible both/ands - something real AND TMS...in this process. i think this is the most confusing fence any one of us sits on. again, everyone being different must decide for themselves. that said, i will definitely be adding things soon but i want to level out completely, remaining strict until i feel the need to start adding back. in fact, this is primarily what this is about as well, much like the fodmap, meaning it's an elimination diet. our food supply has become so toxic, i'm not surprised that it accumulates and things that did not bother us in the past, are suddenly a problem. i will be very careful doing this since, like you, i don't want to risk all that old stuff returning! i will have ample opportunity to face whatever fears and emotions come up with a TMS process.

    thank you so much for the link on the app. i will check it out. i look for all things that are helpful. nothing is all or nothing or for every body.
    BloodMoon likes this.
  17. Cap'n Spanky

    Cap'n Spanky Well known member

    I think having the procedure is a good idea. It's best to error on the side of caution, especially if your worried. The only caveat is to watch out for them "finding something" that really isn't anything, like they sometimes do with MRIs. I can still see that image of my degenerated L5 disc many years after Dr. Sarno fixed my sciatica and back pain.

    On the other hand, I don't think colonoscopies are as widely open to interpretation as MRIs sometimes are. I'm no medical expert, but I'm thinking it's a more cut and dried test.
  18. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I couldn't agree more, @Cap'n Spanky. My flexi-sigmoidoscopy (like a colonoscopy, but it only views the lower part of the gut) showed that I have diverticula (small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of the digestive system) in the area where I was experiencing most of my gut pain. The symptoms in relation to inflamed diverticula are very similar to the gut pain I was experiencing at the time. I was told by my colorectal consultant that, even when they are not inflamed, some people experience symptoms with their diverticula, but the vast majority don't. I (somehow) thankfully managed to believe that my gut pain wasn't anything to do with my diverticula. And my low fodmap diet having worked to alleviate my symptoms, proved to my brain that my gut pain was indeed nothing to do with my diverticula...Now, I would like it to be that my gut pain wasn't 'IBS' and my positive response to the low fodmap diet was a placebo -- and to prove that to my brain...I'm/it's a work in progress!)
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  19. DWA

    DWA Peer Supporter

    Funny you mention the diverticulosis. I've been fairly healthy in my life, but my gut has always been a problem. GERD for a couple of decades in my 20's and 30's and I took PPI's for 15 years straight. Then diverticulitis in my mid 40's. There is no pain like DV. Lost a year of my life to continued attacks/antibiotic treatments before they cut the diseased section out and reconnected my bowels. No problems with the DV in the last 5 years, and they don't suspect DV this time around and I would agree as the symptoms are different and the intense pain is not there this time. I'm sure no matter what they find, my future will include strict diet restrictions. I can very much relate to the fear/PTSD involved in adding back foods. I've been eating light breakfast foods and soup for over a month now, too afraid to try anything heavier...
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  20. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    I hope they find nothing and you'll be able to go down the TMS route...and you'll be able to eat properly again. At one point I was living on liquid meals and that was no fun, so I sympathise. The hypnotherapy for IBS is calling very strongly to me...I'll post up with how I do with it, if I decide to go ahead.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
    Cap'n Spanky and TrustIt like this.

Share This Page