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Urination issues and TMS? Advice please.

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Wings313, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    I'm so glad to have found this forum. I have tried the Interstitial Cystitis Network and an anxiety support forum with not much response/help. I'm hoping to get more help here! :) Basically, I have pretty much all of the TMS personality traits. I'm going through one of - if not the most - difficult life situation: I'm a stay at home mom of a needy toddler, and I'm just not cut out to be a stay at home mom (wasn't even sure if I wanted kids in the first place). I'm not enjoying this lifestyle, but here I am as of now. Therefore, I'm under a lot of stress, am anxious a lot and mildly depressed. My physical symptom is a sometimes constant feeling like I need to urinate/pee, even if I've just gone. I don't really have the pelvic pain, but sometimes mildly. Of course I fear I have IC, and I went to a urologist who just by hearing me describe my symptoms doesn't think I have it. Yet, I still decided to try the IC diet (which I'm still doing - what a pain!), and even take some overactive bladder medication. However, I do think this is anxiety related. My muscles are always tense (I have TMJ issues too), and now the tension seems to be more focused in my pelvic region (because I'm thinking about it - consciously or subconsciously) - so it kinda makes sense that if there's tension there, it could make you feel you need to pee a lot. My symptoms decrease if I'm on Xanax...another telltale sign. I also don't have to get up to pee a lot at night. Anyone had this specific symptom? Does it sound like TMS?
  2. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Hi Jennie. I have to pee a lot :p when I am nervous or anxious. Say, before getting on a plane. I know I have a window seat, don't want to ask other people to get up so I can get out, so I go before we board. As soon as I'm done, I feel like I have to go again. Even if I have not had a lot to drink. Once landed, I don't have to pee! Yet, if I'm at home or work, I do not have this annoyance. I do think frequent urination has emotional causes. Mine is simply because I know a bathroom is not readily available--and that alone makes me have to go! Incredible.

    As you are talking about your little cutie, I just this week read (though I can't recall where) about women who stay at home with their kids who feel the same way. The author mentioned how we are meant to be with other people--not just at home with the child. Is it possible you could get involved with an activity group like Mommy & Me or something to get the 2 of you out to interact with others?

    I think if you suspect it is TMS, it probably is!
  3. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    There is a hormone called vasopressin or ADH that regulates urine output in conjunction with the pituitary and adrenals. When you are under stress the body thinks you may have to run like hell and wants you to “lighten up” so it will dump urine and the bowels if necessary.

    Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction (a stress response) can irritate the bladder and enervate the the nerves going to the bladder.
    Tennis Tom likes this.
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Frequent urination is a symptoms that often occurs in conjunction with lower back pain, anxiety, headaches, sciatica and other TMS symptoms. I had it when I had my so-called herniated disk back in 2001-2002. But as the back pain subsided, so did the urge to urinate. I think Dr Sarno says that frequent urination is a common TMS symptom too.

    I remember reading in a book about the Battle of the Bulge ('Ardennes Offensive') how at dawn on the morning of the attack, German soldiers were leaving yellow streaks in the snow next to the long columns of tanks waiting to advance. I've also noticed that before doing a hard rock climb, there is a irresistible urge to urinate a few times before tying in to the rope. Would sound like in both these cases ADH was responsible. If TMS is caused, as Dr Sarno thinks, by brain activity activating the autonomic nervous system, ADH could certainly be at work here too.
    mm718 likes this.
  5. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Thanks guys! So, as far as Interstitial Cystitis, how come people can show actual inflamed bladders on a cystoscopy, even though IC is TMS? And why do some medications help people with the pain, urgency, frequency, etc? Sorry for the basic questions, I'm just all new to this. RikR - I do think there might be some pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, given how tense I am. Lastly, where do I start?? I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the info on TMS, but would like to explore if the treatment helps my symptoms. Again, it would be very helpful to hear from people who had the exact same symptom and overcame it. THANKS!
  6. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    Read the book: Headache in the Pelvis or You Tube for Dr. David Wise or Dr. Anderson at Stanford medical school
  7. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Thank you, yes, I've heard of that book. But I don't have pelvic pain really (if I do, it's mild), so I'm not sure if the book applies to me. Another question I have: is it worth it to stick to the IC diet? It's kinda driving me crazy because it's so strict. I'm not sure it's made any difference. In January, I was eating/drinking some of the really bad IC foods and that also didn't seem to make things particularly worse, or worse at all...
  8. RikR

    RikR Well known member

    I never had pain I had bladder upset and the diet is useless. They were ready to do surgery for prostate
  9. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Hi Wings,
    I have had numerous health problems all my life. 3 1/2 years ago I got some new ones. It was a very stressful time of moving my parents to the city where I live. My Father had kidney failure. They could not stay in the little town where they were living. I had to sell their home, rental property, figure out where, when, what and how to move them. I had to find dozens of doctors for them in a new city. It was absolutely horrible. I started falling apart physically with illnesses I had not had before.

    I started urinating all the time. I started having kidney infections all the time. I started having terrible pain in my abdomen. Make a long story short I finally got to a Uro-gynecologists. He did the scope thing telling me I had Interstitial Cystitis and what usually accompanies that is pelvic floor problems. As I understand the Pelvic floor is anything between your lower ribs and your knees. I got better the first time with few problems than had a major relapse a year later. I was still in a very stressful situation with my parents, and brother and sister. The pain was horrible and it did not matter what I took nothing helped. I ate watermelon for 6 months because it is alkaline and it was the only thing I could eat.

    The muscle cramping moved from my abdomen to my butt. I would wake up in the middle night with my butt cramping. Then it moved to my thighs (backs and sides) then my crouch (the pain moves around like Dr. Schecter says). It took me months to get over the bladder burning problem but I still had terrible pelvic floor cramping everywhere. My Doctor wanted me to see a specialist where they put a block in the spine to deaden/relax everything from the ribs down. I didn't do this because I knew it wasn't the answer. I didn't know what was but it was not that procedure.

    My physical therapist recommended I read The Divided Mind (how lucky am I) which changed my life forever. I have gotten over the bladder problems but still have a small amount of pelvic floor cramping. Both IC and Pelvic floor cramping are as Sarno describes... they are unexplainable... nobody can tell you what causes them. I have read the Headache in the Pelvis agreeing this is a anxiety disorder. The oxygen deprivation that Sarno discusses can cause swelling, redness, tenderness, burning so I totally accept that IC and Pelvic floor problems are TMS.

    All I know is I never want it again....whew... I would recommend you sign up for the Structured Education Program.... pronto. Your description reminds me of the first phase of IC that I had. You don't want a 2nd phase.
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wings, Welcome! And give yourself a lot of credit for finding our site and plunging right in - it's a great start to your recovery from TMS.

    If you've been checked out, and "they can't find anything wrong", then the best thing you can do for yourself is assume you have full-blown TMS. Or, as we like to say here, it certainly can't hurt!

    You truly don't need advice from anyone who has had your "exact symptoms". Do yourself another favor by letting go of that assumption. You wouldn't believe some of the weird symptoms I've had (and still have) that I know are TMS - and I've never heard anyone else describing them. Your brain is trying to distract you with this assumption, because it doesn't want you to look too closely at your emotional issues - gee, if you can't find someone with your exact symptoms, then it can't be TMS, can it? Just don't go there!

    Follow SandyRae's advice and start doing our Structured Educational Program on the main wiki site - and by the way, there is no sign-up needed. You just do it, one day at a time, it's totally free, and introduces you to different resources. The SEP will impress upon you the nature of TMS, including how your specific symptoms are uniquely yours, because it's your brain that is creating them, and no two brains are alike.

    Finally, I want to congratulate you for being able to say out loud that you're not comfortable with how your life turned out in having to care for your needy child. I can somewhat empathize - I didn't have kids because I don't really like babies or small children, so we fostered teenagers instead - and we ended up with a 14-year old who has alcohol brain damage, often behaved like an 8-year-old, and whose IQ tested at less than 80. She's 31 now, with two kids and an abusive ex-husband, and we're still taking care of her in many ways. I call her my little lesson, because you never know what you're going to end up with in this life.

    I'm a bit of a cynic, so positive self-talk and self-compassion are two things I have to force myself to do - but they do work!

    The SEP will ask you to journal - a LOT - and the way to improved health is to journal honestly, so don't leave anything out even if your brain tells you "oh, no, don't write that down, that's not important". Which it will try to do.

    Good luck, Wings, and keep us posted - we're all in this together, and you've already seen what a caring community we have here, so we're glad you've joined us.

    laradara and Stella like this.
  11. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much for all the replies! I forgot to respond to Lori - yes, I totally agree that it is vital to get out of the house and interact with other people. And we do; I'm in a few different moms groups, which is definitely helpful, but it's still the whole "mommy/baby" thing that I'm not super excited about (I should clarify - of course I love my child, but, like Jan, I'm not a "kids person" in general). The hormonal thing (ADH) is interesting, and makes a lot of sense. SandyRae, thanks for sharing your story. And Jan, you hit it right on the head about "needing" to know if someone has the exact same symptoms. I've struggled with OCD practically my whole life, and the fear of uncertainty is central to that...and it's rearing its ugly head now. Your advice is great though. I have started the SEP, and it is helpful to see how frequent urination and IC are listed as TMS symptoms, but again, the specific symptoms shouldn't be the sole focus. I'm still afraid to go off the IC diet...I suppose that is equivalent to someone with back pain limiting activity, being afraid to exercise, etc. Like I said, I have seen a urologist, and I have even had a pelvic ultrasound to rule out anything with my ovaries, etc. (actually, this whole thing started when I had an OCD/hypochondria attack of being afraid that I had ovarian cancer, and - big surprise - while reading about the symptoms, I developed them, including frequent urination and pelvic pain). Anyway, so I know I should just go back to eating whatever (the urologist even told me NOT to follow the IC diet but I did it anyway out of fear of the "what if I really do have IC?"). TMS makes so much sense to me and it's too bad most of the population is offended by even thinking that their symptoms could be psychological in origin...for me, it actually makes me feel BETTER to know they are "in my head" (or originating there). Thanks again, everyone!
    laradara and JanAtheCPA like this.
  12. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This was HUGE for me. Until things really came to a crisis point for me at age 60, I had spent decades being relieved by being told that various symptoms were "probably just stress" - which generally made the symptom go away. Only to be replaced by something else further down the road. Now it all makes sense and I'm more in control. Perfectly so? I wish - no, I struggle often, especially the last year when I had two losses in my life - but truly, I do feel much more in control.

    Consider, as Dr. Sarno and many of his professional and medical follows believe, that your OCD and anxiety are also forms of TMS. Distractions created by your brain for its own weird purposes.

    In the meantime, if I were you, I'd go back to eating and drinking whatever I wanted. Life is too short, and that's one less thing to obsess worry about every day! :p

  13. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    Thanks Jan! Yes, I have no considered that my OCD/anxiety are also forms of TMS. It's pretty fascinating. I did a LOT of journaling yesterday and realize I have a lot of unresolved feelings. I am in counseling though, so I hope to work it out (both on my own and with my counselor). I'm bringing back some of the foods I eliminated too! Thanks for your advice.
  14. leonardo999

    leonardo999 Well known member


    Hi... Im new here and feel sure I could gain some help here... and already have over past couple days from some great members.
    After starting to read into o the programme... and getting some more general excercise.... my bladder is flaring to its worst ever and Im peeing every 20 mins or so for past 24 hours.. burning and so tired as this general flare up has lasted 6 months.
    59 male life long spinal problems/migrain/ and bladder pain burning urgency flares each year or so for many years... and usually just dies away after a few weeks.
    Recent scan shows prostate normal/......... kidneys normal....... no bladder view as Im unable to hold sufficient urine........ so bladder still to be checked. PSA normal
    Tonite Im climbing the walls with burning and relentless visits to loo..... close to passing out with burning and stress....... :*(

    Thanksssssssss Leooooooo
  15. Wings313

    Wings313 Peer Supporter

    So sorry to hear you are going through this! I haven't had the exact same symptoms but I can say that my urinary urgency/frequency is virtually gone right now. I believe it's because of what I learned about TMS, reading many TMS books, and just not fearing it anymore. Other things to worry about came into my life too, so that could have helped the urinary stuff (taking my mind off it). If I were you, I would just try doing the TMS approach to see if it helps. And it won't help right away....it takes time.
  16. leonardo999

    leonardo999 Well known member

    Hello wings........ I appreciate your reply..... Am just getting into working on the site programme. Urinary stuff is overwhelming. I can deal with being stuck on the floor for weeks unable to get to the bathroom with spinal pain.... but this OMG... It gets deep into your core and so hard to ignore when it wakes you every few mins.. and forces a trip to the loo..... and then again a few mins later..... I never realised this type of pain could cause such physical and mental issues.
    Vey glad of your reply........ thanks and hope youre doing ok. Leooooo
  17. bordersgirl56

    bordersgirl56 New Member

    Oh guys, I can't tell you how it feels to know that others know the pain of interminable recurring bladder issues. To be honest I struggled to get my head round it being TMS. But I am having a truly horrific episode and took a sample to the doc today which showed no infection. So my unconscious mind has eased up slightly on my hip/groin/leg (because I have not been giving it any attention) and has now gone for my bladder? I totally agree leonardo999 - I would much rather have crippling leg pain than the bladder pain, it simply makes me want to crawl into a corner and curl up and die! I have just started the programme and still reading the books and listening to the cd's. Hope you are all feeling good tonight :) I have to have a really difficult conversation with my 31 year old son tomorrow and am a bit uptight about it but hopefully it will go ok.
  18. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wings - you have already had a lot of responses here but I just wanted to let you know that I have had exactly the same bladder issues as you describe. It started about 4 years ago and in the beginning, I had all the tests, sonograms etc. I also thought I might have IC and it was driving me nuts because there didn't seem to be any good answers. This was years before I realized I had TMS. After a while I started to figure out on my own that it was somehow stress related and there wasn't really anything wrong. I began to notice what seemed like the random nature of it, how the intensity would come and go. And so I trained myself to try and not worry about it when it came, to reassure myself that it would not last. After a while it would go away for months at a time and then come back for a day or two and then finally it just went away. Until... I started working on TMS for neck/shoulder pain a few months ago. As my symptoms have been moving around lately, the bladder urgency and pain has returned, sometimes for 4 hours, sometimes a day. Since now I am 100% sure it is TMS I am not focusing on it too much, although it is a very clever pain distraction because it keeps convincing you that you might have some relief if you go to the bathroom and then it is distressing when no relief comes after going. And we can't just stop going to the bathroom. Although I try not to go to frequently because I think that encourages the focus on it. Leo - I am so sorry you are going through this. I hope with all my heart you get some relief soon.
  19. leonardo999

    leonardo999 Well known member

    Hello Wings/Anne/Bordersgirl
    Thanks for the replies.
    It is good to be able to read some experiences.... especially when a pain levels get out of control and panic sets in.
    I am reading and getting to understand stuff here.. and its very interesting... and the TMS spec seems to fit me like a glove after a lifetime of searching diets/vits/ physios/shrinks etc etc.
    I know Im very hard on myself..ultimately mean over the years with so much anger at times I wouls actually punch myself very hard on the thigh when I messed up.. and you wouldnt want to hear the language either.
    I have eased on that one quite bit over the past 2 years as I realised it was crazy..... but other issues lie unresolved and thats why Im digging in here as hard as I can.
    Thanks again... best regards...Leo
  20. leonardo999

    leonardo999 Well known member

    Hope it goes well with your family meeting...... and you get some improvement with your issues here.
    Im new too and its such a helpful and interesting place....

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