Persistant, abundunt, unhealing tendonitis in 17 year old female!?

by Melanie

Hello! I'm 17 years old and have been suffering with tendinitis for 1 1/2 years, but already it's lost me an athletic scholarship, limited my mobility and made my life miserable.

Let me explain. I've been a runner since I was 12 years old and when I was 16 I began experiencing pain on the inside of my left ankle. I iced and continued running until I was forced to take a week off, then went back to running. (35-40 mile weeks, PRs: 11:35 2 mile, 5:30 mile)

Long story short, the pain progressed, I went to 4 months of PT, no more running and nothing helped. It got so bad I couldn't walk without crutches for a month.
When I was able to walk without crutches again, my pain was still severe and didn't respond to PT so the orthopedist put me in a cast for 6 weeks.

In that time I developed the same pain in my right ankle, to almost the same degree.
The cast made the issue worse and I was left with two bum ankles and no answers. We went to a surgeon and he said my pronating feet cause the reoccurring pain. He recommended reconstructing both feet- intense surgeries with 6 month recovery times.

Instead we decided to go to a rhumethologist and she discovered my thyroid was on the low end of normal. We fixed that (T-3 and T-4) and then I started getting prolotherapy in both ankles.
The prolotherapy doesn't seem to be helping but I still have hope for it.

My bigger concern is the severe wrist pain I've been experiencing for the past few weeks.

I have painful carpal tunnel-like symptoms in my right wrist and they feel like they're starting to develop in my left.

I'm so miserable- I feel like an accident waiting to happen. I can't run and now I can't swim. I feel so... old!

A few more facts:
-I'm not a hypochondriac and I have a high pain tolerance. I've given myself frost bite while icing my ankle and tend to ignore pain for as long as possible until it ruins my life.
-Dairy allergy discovered when I was 12.
-Underweight until I stopped running. Now I'm at a normal BMI, but I'm still small.
-Young caucasian female.
-Diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Mostly vegan with the exception of eggs.
(No moral reason for diet, I just don't enjoy meat.)
-Low bone density, but I always forget to take calcium. (I know, bad!)
-Currently I take thyroid and vitamin D. Sometimes a kid's multi-v if I remember. Oh, and Celebrex.
-Severe IBS in the past, but I have it mostly under control.

Recap: severe debilitating tendinitis in both ankles, more recent pain in both wrists.

Please help!! I feel so discouraged, I'm open to anything! I just want to be a kid again.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Melanie.

Yikes. Let's see what we can do for you!

First off, it's CERTAIN that you are Gluten Intolerant and Celiac Disease. And possibly parasites.

This sets you up for EVERYTHING that you just described.

There's no reason that you should have IBS at such a young age.

As far as the ankle tendonitis and pronation, if you are gluten intolerant (and have Leaky Gut), then you aren't getting all the nutrition from your food. Combined with you didn't eat enough protein.

So it makes sense that putting all those miles on your feet broke you down faster than your body could repair you.

Most doctors don't check for auto-immune markers when there is a thyroid issue. Nutrient deficiency combined with auto-immune issues from Celiac Disease can give you thyroid problems.

Also, check out the Carpal Tunnel and Thyroid connection. Potentially you are getting Carpal Tunnel Symptoms from that.

And/or, you can get them from Inflammation, as Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency.

Throwing a lot at you point being, I think the MAIN cause of all this is nutritional deficiency, coming at you from a few different directions.

You HAVE to get off ALL gluten for two months and see what happens.

You HAVE to start taking nutritional supplements to make your deficiencies 'sufficient'.

You have tendonitis, and that's valid, AND, that's the least of your worries at the moment.

Kerri is the person to talk to about this. Check out more information at her website

I can help you with the Tendonitis, but it won't help at all until you get the deeper systemic issues taken care of (and they just make take care of your tendonitis!)

So this is the beginning of a conversation.

More quetions, more answers.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Mar 10, 2010
Thank you so much for the response!
by: Melanie

So much of what you said makes sense, and I wish I could fix it by eliminating gluten.

Unfortunately, I was blood worked and biopsied for celiac's- the blood work was positive but the biopsy was negative.

I was also negative for chron's and colitis.

What supplements should I start with? Right now I take vitamin D and occasional calcium or a kid's multi.

Thank you again,


Joshua Comments:

Hi Melanie.

If you wish that going off all gluten could fix your problem, it's very likey that your wish will be fulfilled.

I suggest that you look deeper.

If your bloodwork was positive, you have gluten issues, regardless of biopsy. And cleary you have something going on that the doctors haven't fixed.

And the medical industry is essentially clueless about gluten inolerance. As proven by, you took a few tests, they told you it's not a problem, and now're still without a solution.

Check out these two sources of info explaining:

Diagnosing Gluten Allergy

Non Celiac Gluten Intolerance

Apr 07, 2010
by: Anonymous


Did you take Cipro, Levaquin or another fluoroquinolone for an infection before your tendonitis began?

If so, that could be the reason for your body wide tendonitis.

Apr 22, 2010
body-wide tendonitis
by: Anonymous

I am a 48 yr old female, having body-wide tendonitis, too...ankle, hips, thumbs, shoulder and my bones are starting to HURT. I have gluten issues. I have gluten intolerant friends hobbling around, too. What the heck is happening?

I am deficient in Vitamin D (I asked my doc. to check, since it seems literally half the world is).
I guess I have been cheating slightly on the gluten free diet, so perhaps I must be very strict, but maybe the intestinal damage has been done, maybe I can't absorb nutrients I need?

Don't really understand 'leaky gut', and wish I knew where to go from here...more nutrients, gluteen free diet. I know wt-bearing experience is good for joints, but it's getting painful to exercise:(.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

It's time to learn and understand about gluten intolerance and leaky gut. Your body-wide tendonitis pain is absolutely a nutritional deficiency kind of symptom.

See the two links at the bottom of this thread, and here's one for Leaky Gut.

They all go to my Kerri's site, She's an expert in the chronic pain side of things and gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease is a HUGE factor.

If you want to fix your problem, it will take some time, effort, and diligence. And it's safe to say that it will absolutely require that you go TOTALLY off of gluten. (when you fix the leaky gut, then you can start experimenting with re-introducing a little gluten).

Jun 19, 2010
For Melanie
by: Sabina

Hi Melanie

Thank you for sharing about your terrible health problems. I have developed tendonitis myself and know how painful it can be. One thing I noticed that has not been mentioned yet is the link between thyroid and general health issues and soy.

As an ex-vegan we were consuming a lot of soy and believed it to be a health food. We only started investigating it after a large number of friends and acquaintances became very ill (thyroid cancer in a 26 year old, very unsettled baby, a 6 year old girl developing breasts, leukemia, 'female' problems, impotence, hair loss, not healing skin, general weakness, which we had ourselves.

If you search for 'dangers of soy' you will find a lot of information. We came to the conclusion that soy is simply not fit for human consumption and decided to go off it altogether, so did a few friends. The baby settled down, the six year old girl lost her breasts and we started feeling a lot better.

Soy is also almost fully GM (over 90%) (genetically modified or GE for genetically engineered) and many animals trials showed devastating health problems in the animals that consumed the GM foods.

I hope you are feeling better soon. Post an update sometime.

Love, Sabina


Joshua Comments:

Thank you Sabina.

I totally agree with all that.

Soy, as historically/traditionally eaten, is a fermented product (so good things happen to it, like with yogurt, kombucha, raw sauerkraut, etc). So traditionally it's a good thing.

But as it is mass produced/processed now, as Sabina said, it's all GMO with huge estrogen/hormonal issues. (Plus the South American rain forests are being mowed down to make room for GMO soy crops.)

We assume that the food on store shelves MUST be safe for us...but that's not necessarily true.

Aug 20, 2012
by: Liz

I got an extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) split tear in 2009 had operation Jan 2010, went ok for a few months. Now reoccurong pain, and new tear but can't be from holding a 5kg baby!! My hand doc and hand therapist think it could be a systemic thing, got tested for diabetic but not.

Then some research said possible gluten intolerance. I was tested for cealics in 2008 and was negative, ibs has settled but yeah now you got me thinking and wondering if this could be causing my pain! Im only 28!!!


Joshua Comments:

If you have IBS, you are gluten intolerant. Period. (Ok, maybe IBS symptoms could be from a gut parasite or bacterial overgrowth from something like h pylori).

But it's a safe bet that if you have IBS, you are gluten intolerant. The tests for Celiac 'disease' are pretty accurate, but Celiac is the FAR end of the gluten sensitivity spectrum, and there's no test for light/mild/moderate gluten intolerance that's worth a damn.

Some people have immediate issue from eating gluten. Some people have slow, degenerative issue with a lifetime of eating gluten....slowly the gut gets more and more inflammed, minor IBS symptoms appear, Leaky Gut (will open a new page from Kerri's site) develops, you get less and less nutrition from your food....

And then you get pregnant/have a baby and that sucks the nutrition right out of you (literally), leaving you more nutritionally insufficient and thus MORE prone to gluten intolerance side effects, which includes weakened structures.

For the record, if you're gluten intolerant there's nothing wrong with you. Gluten is like eating gasoline. Bad for every body, but some body's can survive it longer than others.

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