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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes fluttery feeling in abdomen post TENS therapy?

Answered by
Dr. Neel Kudchadkar

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 531 Questions

Posted on Mon, 7 Sep 2015 in Brain and Spine
Question: I've been suffering from nerve damage since 2012 (I was 22 at the time and now I'm currently 25). It started when a hernia in my abdomen was diagnosed wrong and I was sent to physical therapy and given a TENS unit. Long story short the TENS unit, muscle stems, and electrical stimulation through acupuncture completely destroyed the area. They were consistent with the treatment, while I told them the stretches and exercises were making everything worse and the electricity was making everything unbearable. They would tell me that the stretches would hurt but I had to keep up with them and the electricity wasn't doing any harm, just stimulating the nerve. This went on for about a year until the last time they ran electricity through the acupuncture and I was screaming.

The sensation is hard to describe, I generally call it a "magnetic" feeling, but painful at the same time. When they finally did surgery, they put in mesh to cover the area, which made everything twice as bad. I have had the mesh removed and another surgery to remove adhesions, but neither has been useful.

The sensations I feel are insane. The nerve is in my lower right abdomen and the hernia was considered in a "weird spot" since it went through the muscle instead through the naval (a Chiropractor had screwed up and given me the hernia). I can feel the sensations of my toes and inside of my mouth in my abdomen. I respond to them without even noticing. I'll bite my lip and curl my toes without noticing, thinking they're sensations in my abdomen, as if my brain has to find something to use for it. For the first few months after surgery, if you would push on my abdomen my toes would curl in and I couldn't resist it.

I also have extreme headaches on the right side of my head, but they're not from the pain, they're from feeling the wrong sensations in the wrong parts of my body (like feeling my toes in my abdomen). The more activity they do, the worse my head gets. There's no medicine that works (I've tried Gabapentin, Nortriptyline, Hydrocodone, etc.). The headaches are hard to describe also, as if my brain can't think about anything else besides the nerve. I've also had memory loss, can't comprehend anything, especially reading, and will on occasion pass out. I also can no longer feel hunger, touch in the area, and have diarrhea, unless a tearing sensation happens (it's pretty drastic), basically as if I'm tearing an adhesion from the nerve. The nerve goes ballistic, but my headache goes away and my stomach drops, and my stools go back to normal instantly. This can last for a few minutes or at most I've gotten 2 days, but I haven't been able to do that for a year. However, the entire time the nerve is still going crazy, but I regain feeling to the area. I know this all sounds like a trapped nerve, but the nerve itself is completely screwed and any electricity terrorizes it. It feels as though all the electricity in my body is drawn to the one spot like a lightning rod.

If you have anything that can help, please let me know. I'm running out of options and doctors are clueless where to refer me and I can't get a referral anywhere anymore (I've been all over, and I saw a neurologist one time at Mayo Clinic who just shrugged his shoulders and said to try trigger point injections. Those helped minimally).

P.S. This MORE than a trapped nerve
Answered by Dr. Neel Kudchadkar 14 hours later
Brief Answer:
Hypnotherapy and SNRE medication : a new ray of hope.

Detailed Answer:

I have read your query rather very carefully. I see that you have been to many doctors and particularly ones whose profession revolves around nerve injuries, such as the neurologist you were mentioning, Furthermore you state that these physicians employing orthodox, meaning, by the book procedures and medical techniques and technology have not been able to be of any real help.

You mention that it was fine, until the herniation, was intervened with TENS and associated techniques. You have said that this was tantamount to torture. That you did not like it.

You have clearly stated that you have a "peculiar affliction" of sensations in your abdomen
reflexly "acted out" by your lips and toes. You feel that this problem may sound crazy to
most contemporary practitioners and unbelievable to lay persons.

Not to me though. I am taking you at your word and rather seriously.

We, both have to accept that when standard techniques fail, and when you have run from pillar to post looking for standard, by the book solutions and have found no avail, then you must agree that it is time to try new approaches that are not so commonly used.

Given your main issue. This is a "Phantom" phenomena. It is similar to the fact when, say for instance, an amputation of a limb has occurred, the nerves are severed, and yet the man yearns and craves to itch the limb that is not present. These sensations are referred to the brain.

Now, that we, have some background in this, let us explore our options.

I am informed that you have tried hydrocodone, a narcotic, and Gabapentin with Nortryptylin.

Keeping this in mind let me state in a sentence what we must now, practically do to gain relief.

"Hypnotherapy with SNRE agent"

Let me elaborate.

Venlafaxine is a nice medicine available in the market. This requires a prescription. It is used for people with depression and anxiety (not you). It has many other neurological uses too. It is
particularly good at resolving the issues that you seem to face. I would suggest a moderate dose of this drug. However, it is just the founding stone of your recovery.

You need to take proactive steps.

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis as we call it, is a proven scientific treatment that is used for instance in painless child birth. And major operations without any anesthesia, meaning painkillers. This has been accepted, tried, tested and proven by the medical profession
world wide, for approximately 400 years as it has evolved into the mainstream.

Hypnotherapy is not a mere gimmick. There are licensed doctors, who are certified in this.

You will be asked to relax, and will enter a trance, wherein you will be given post hypnotic suggestions, that will enable your unconscious and preconscious minds to either ignore or
redirect your physical reflexes.

Let me inform you under a profound hypnotic trance, a hypnotist can touch a persons skin with a mere lead pencil, suggesting it is a red hot poker, the hypnotized subject will get a
burn and a blister there. Dr. XXXXXXX Feynmann, a prize winning XXXXXXX Physicist describes that though he initially was skeptical of hypnosis, he himself under trance states, acknowledged it's accomlishments.

Thus physical, or as we doctors call it, organic manipulations are possible using hypnosis.

Hypnosis combined, with a moderate dose of SNRE Venlafaxine will work wonders.

I am confident of this.

However, I would wish your esteemed opinions about this new line of treatment, for you, that is, though millions have benefited from it and continue to do so.

Kindly read this carefully. Think and get back to me. I need your thoughts on this as you are after all the subject of SNRE and Hypnotherapeutic treatment.

Sincerely yours,
Dr. Neel Kudchadkar.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
Follow up: Dr. Neel Kudchadkar 1 hour later
Dr. XXXXXXX Kudchadkar

I've actually tried hypnosis in the past. I was actually in more pain by the time we were done considering the position he had me sitting in. The hypnotist was shocked that I didn't get better because I was perfect throughout the hypnosis. Though I remember everything, and I don't believe I can get my head into that deep of thought anyways. I use to be able to do this easily considering that was kind of in my line of work.

I've never tried Venlafaxine, but I'm still currently on Nortriptyline (50mg at night), which help somewhat with the digestive issues that come with the nerve damage, but has little effect on the headache. I'm assuming I would have to get off the Nortriptyline before trying Venlafaxine? Let me know if that's the case.

The head issue is weird since I use to write screenplays for a living and work in the film industry, but now I can't write. It's like I'm not allowed in that part of my brain anymore, not writers block. When I would tear the nerve up and release it (the nerve still spasms afterwards), my headache would instantly go away and I could write for hours and eat whatever I wanted. It was like it separated my abdomen from my instestinal sensations, since neither can be felt and both come back after tearing, which I haven't been able to do for over a year now. Plus I've done every diet in the book.

I'm more than willing to try anything out of the ordinary. I'm currently also taking Acetyl L-Carnitine, Alpha-Lipoid Acid, Vitamin B complex, and Melatonin at night since I absolutely cannot sleep without it since the pain flairs up at night. Again, please let me know if I can use Venlafaxine while I'm on Nortriptyline.



Answered by Dr. Neel Kudchadkar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Solitary Venlafaxine. Neuro Linguistic techniques can get you better.

Detailed Answer:

The nature of hypnosis produced, and the different types of hypnosis are dependent on the practitioner, say either a skilled hypnotist, or best of all, yourself. This is called auto hypnosis.

Let me solve your issue.

First, since you have mentioned various drugs that you have been on, in my years of practical experience drugs can create all manners of complications that patients cannot even put into words and have to coin new words, neologisms to describe the side effects, or resort to collocative tautologies like you have been forced to, to describe your suffering.

You were not wrong, in doing this.

As, your treating doctor and well wisher in general, I would like you to stop the medications that you are taking right now, to eliminate the issues of weird undocumented side effects.
Given these facts, I would request you to think and carefully note down the medications that you are taking now. The doses and when and how frequently.

In the majority of cases, such as yours, we find that medications have made the endurance of the disease worse than the cure. No wonder big pharma is being sued by people on a regular basis and for good reason.

I will systematically guide you through this. I am serenely confident of my intuitive insight into this aspect of your illness - the bizarre and unseen before - phenomena that you experience everytime your abdomen receives any stimulus. The reflexive urge to machinate your lips and toes. This can be distressing and difficult to communicate with well wishers as well as health professionals.

So, kindly paint a detailed picture of all your chemical intake, regardless of how irrelevant, silly it may sound to you. This includes "harmless" supplements. These are potent drugs themselves. Just because the FDA has not labelled and classified them does not make them any less troublesome.

I really am sorry, but both of us were taught as kids that too many cooks spoil the broth.
SNRE and TCA make for a nighmarish mix of side effects. Venlafaxine, yes, indeed, by itself that is.

Now, I want you to try a technology invented by XXXXXXX applied psychologists in the 1970's that has been embraced by the world today.

I am talking of NLP. In particular, I wish to send you into something called as a double dissociative experience. Unlike hypnosis, you are in the control seat, and are wide awake.

A DD desensitizes any stimulus-reponse pattern. Let me give you an example. Some people are terrified of plane rides. In an NLP DD in 10 to 15 minutes, the person is made to visualize specific things. Then, the subject is made to use his or her senses to "interfere" with the pattern that scares them. This results in complacency towards the stimulus. Thus we have extinction of the fear of plane rides, or snakes or tall buildings, elevators, public speaking...

The net result will be that you can in 15 to 30 minutes make extinct the stimulus link between your abdominal sensations and the reflexes in your lips and toes.

I personally find you a very interesting person.

I am very much open to alternative therapies- proven of course, that they make scientific rational sense and have actually helped people for at least decades.

If you have tried NLP - I would like to know about this. If this has also failed, I promise you, politely of course, that I happen to be a swiss army knife of alternative therapies - provided that they have passed my rigorous benchmark.

For instance, witchcraft does not fit my definition of a therapy - though it has a placebo and nocebo effect and is actually used by millions of ignorant (or perhaps desperate) persons.

I can guide you very well. In fact, I am rather determined to reverse you back to your self, before all these incidents occurred in your life, that brought you to this point today.

I am open to dialogue, if you feel a bit uncomfortable with a scientific manner of communication, I am amenable to communicating in a more amiable fashion.

The point is. We need to get you perfectly well. It may take time. and believe me it'll happen.
We must remember though that this did not happen in a day, did it?

Confidently yours,
Dr. Neel Kudchadkar.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Neel Kudchadkar 5 days later
Dr. XXXXXXX Nudchadkar

The nerve damage took a year to come in place. It was a slow process from the misdiagnosis after the hernia from all the stretches, exercises, and the main component-electrical stimulation. I also have never tried NLP.

I am currently taking from Swanson Vitamins...

Acetyl L-Carnitine (500mg) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (150 mg) 1-2 times a day. This seems to sometimes cause cramping, which is a very good thing since it seems to effect the nerve by basically fighting against the "magnetic" feeling. Also, though I know my body must be doing it, I can't feeling cramping along with stomach sensations on a normal basis. Nothing even gurgles below the bottom of my sternum (not sure if that's related to the nerve or adhesions), only on rare occasions when it feels like I've moved something from either inside my abdomen or intestines.

Super Stress B-Complex once a day.

Black Seed (500mg) taking 2 capsules twice daily. This helps with issues I've been having with my bile duct (unrelated).

Melatonin (3mg) at night which is the only thing I've found to help me sleep. When the nerve damage started I didn't have dreams anymore, but now I do since taking this.


Nortryptiline (50mg now 20mg) at night. I can get the prescription renewed, but I'm slowly getting off of it now and should be off of it in about 3 more days.

I should also mention that I had a CAT scan of my brain not too long ago (about a month) and it showed that my ventricular system was slightly asymmetrical on the right side of my head. They noted it was most likely normal, but I thought that was interesting since that's the side I've been getting the head issues.

I also have used the TENS unit and put it on the opposite side of the damage (from right side of the abdomen to the left side) and that seemed to help with the headaches some. However, I quit using it when it seemed to irritate the nerves at the same spot the nerves are already irritate, but on the other side of my body. Also, writing with my left hand seems to help a lot. As if that gives my brain something else to concentrate on and forcing the right side of my brain to work.

Just some more (hopefully I'm not repeating), urinating hurts the area, not like it burns, but using that muscle for the bladder strains the area (lower right abdomen). Other sensations come and go, like a grinding feeling, which will feel all over the abdomen, the opposite side will mimic these sensations. Also, it will feel as though they pull the nerve too far over and tucked it in, but these sensations come and go. Hopefully this isn't all too confusing.

Let me know if you need anything else from me.


Answered by Dr. Neel Kudchadkar 4 days later
Brief Answer:
Mindfulness, visualization can and will help you.

Detailed Answer:

Hi. I hope you are ready to get better.

I truly apologize for the late reply. As we both understand, your problem is rather rare and challenging. It would do you justice if I gave much thought to what would help you practically
quickly, effectively and efficiently.

Thus, I took the opinions of my colleagues, for I felt that a series of thoughts as regards your case your do you good. You probably know you feel you need the best of treatments now.

This took some time.

I have noted what you have had to report as regards your CAT scan. The fact remains that there is nothing grossly organically wrong with your brain. Though we may be tempted to think so.

You speak of ventricular asymmetry. However, I would say with confidence that the ventricles, when involved, create a totally different constellation of symptoms.

I would suggest, again, that you might need to clear your body and system off the current medications and wipe the slate clean. I understand that Nortryptilin can cause a lot of side
effects and getting off it may require some time and effort truly well spent.

I would now suggest a technique that is indeed worth trying. This method has got a lot of scientific and medical theory behind it. You might wish to understand these in depth later.

Your issue can be broken down into:

1. reflex actions that occur that cause perturbation to you.
2. stimuli that cause these reflexes to occur.
3. sensations that these stimuli produce.

Breaking it down, we can say with confidence that the problem was a problem of sensations, of different kinds.

Try doing this.

1. Feel out these sensations. This is a new methodology of handling problems.
2. All the therapies that were tried, (including n-acetyl cysteine for instance) were aimed at
numbing, or distorting the sensations so that they did not disturb you.
3. Since these approaches have not worked, we can approach the problem in the opposite
4. This method involves visualization. You need to imagine your breath and sensory focus
directed at these sensations. Take deep breaths, whenever you feel a reflex coming on,
and imagine that this breath is directed towards, via closed eyes, through imagination at
these sensations.
5. This is based on tried and tested emotional intelligence enhancement methods.
6. With practice, in time, you will feel as though these sensations are absorbed by your
body. They will cease to have any power over you.
7. You will have to work on and with yourself for this. It might take great focus and work,
unlike the ease of taking medicines, which have not worked well.
8. The sensations in your affected parts will not vanish. You will be able to tolerate them and
more importantly the reflex that occurs, will stop.
9. Thus the vicious cycle will be broken.

It will take 28 days of practice to adopt this new method. The fact is that it has been proven
that 28 days is a behavioural cycle, wherein any action that is repeated consciously in this
time is executed by default without even trying, as a habit after this time frame.

I would kindly like to know your opinions as regards this.

Dr. Neel Kudchadkar

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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