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jules200262 05-09-2012 09:47 AM

Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
I have read a lot from women here who are experiencing symptoms dismissed by doctors (and others!), that they know full well to be due to either peri or full menopause.

I am experiencing many utterly foul things, including severe tendon pain and tendonitis in various parts of my body, that will simply not heal up. As you can imagine, this is insufferable and there is apparently no help available, leaving me searching the internet endlessly for research papers linked to menopausal symptoms, to no avail. My sporting life is in tatters, which will mean little to those who do not indulge, but a great deal to those who do.

I am also so fatigued that I feel I can no longer function. I have seen many, many mentions of this ghastly fatigue on this forum, but even here, folk are trying to help by advising exercise. I have had to STOP exercising because I simply can't do it any more. Being a highly active sportswoman, I am finding this impossible to deal with and am actually feeling suicidal, as the life I am facing, or think I am facing, is not one I can deal with. Getting out of bed and finding my legs shaking prior to feeling like I just want to get right back in again is not my idea of a quality day!

I am not writing this to gain sympathy, but to ascertain whether or not there are in fact thousands of others out there who are suffering this. I am particularly interested to hear of other people's experiences with tendon pain, as I have hit a brick wall with my research on this one! Although joint pain is often mentioned, I have yet to come across a reference to tendonitis, which has practically crippled the right side of my body and both Achilles tendons.

Titchou 05-09-2012 10:52 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
I'm sure you'll find some suggestions here. It would be helpful to know what meds or treatments you have tried for the various ailments - menopausal symptoms and the tendonitis....

Cindy89 05-09-2012 11:27 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
hi Jules
Hugs to you. Peri is such a trying time. Mine is achy body pain in abdomen and my back. It is only on the right side. why is it only half the body? I feel like I am about to be diagnosed with something terrible that they have no cure for. I am exhausted all the time, part of it is i am not sleeping well at all with my achy body. hope we get some kind of relief soon.

jenlouise16 05-09-2012 11:38 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
I too am experiencing horrible pain on my left side, I am sure it is menopause as I am in full blown menopause and the left side was very painful when I had periods. I am in agony but I have just started HRT as I was trying to avoid that and was told by my doctor that I should see a significant improvement in my symptoms. Are you on HRT?

Titchou 05-09-2012 11:44 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
I have been for years. Works great for me for all symptoms. Hope it does for as well for you.

jules200262 05-09-2012 12:34 PM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause

Interesting - it's my right side that is suffering the most, but I had put this down to it being the side I lead with in sport, etc, making it more vulnerable.

You didn't say whether your pain was joint pain or tendonitis. Maybe it's neither?

I'm not on HRT as the medical profession seem to be shying away from it these days. I started taking Maca root in desperation four weeks ago, but there doesn't seem to be any effect so far! My thoughts are turning back towards trying HRT...

irisrose 05-11-2012 08:34 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
There are bioidentical hormones that might help. Conventional doctors will turn to birth control pills as their form of hormone treatment.

I began taking natural progesterone and testosterone. My testosterone was low and my progesterone was actually within the normal range at the time of the blood draw. But because I was experiencing symptoms of perimeno that were affecting my day to day life, my BHRT doctor prescribed the hormones. It took about 3 cycles to get used to the hormones and to some level that works for me. But now things seem to be improving. I have to say when I'm on the progesterone, I am much more alert and energetic during the day. I take it at bedtime to help with sleep and the testosterone in the morning to also help with energy. I'm not perfect but much better off than I was before the BHRT.

If you can, try to seek out a doctor that deals with bioidentical hormones. You will need to have your levels checked before hand. I tried all the herbal/root supplements, but I think this time around my hormones had finally gotten to the point of whackiness that mild herbal remedies had no effect. The prescribed bioidentical has been much more beneficial.

WW2ER 07-23-2012 07:52 PM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
I just stumbled across this site! I'm so excited!

I too am convinced that my tendinitis issues are heavily influenced by what I call my "Menopausal Hormonal Hiccups"
for me, it's bilateral wrist tendinitis which first showed up in 2001 as a result of RMI. Until today, I hadn't been able to find a reference between the two, I guess it all depends upon how you "Google" it (admittedly it's been several years since the last serious Google search)!

When my hormones hiccup, my tendinitis hiccups to.

I was also having severe problems with what I call "foggy headed" and started on Black Cohosh, which worked very well for about a year to keep it under control. It also seemed to help with the tendinitis flareups. When the Black Cohosh stopped working, I tried the bioidentical hormone therapy estrogen, progesterone, and a mixture, which unfortunately for me did not work at all.

Right now, last month and a half, the wrists are not happy, "foggy headedness" and hot flashes are on the increase again.

Jules, I hope the bioidentical hormone therapy is working for you. I sympathize with your loss of sports activity, as mine unfortunately have been radically curtailed also.

SusieBuddy 07-24-2012 03:54 PM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
OMG YES!!! I have HORRIFIC tendonitis pains..... I have plantar faschitis (sp) and my Elbows, knees, just about every joint in my body hurts! It's not my bones though, it's the tendons... My feet hurt so bad I don't really walk normally anymore and I am at my wits end.... I am also NORMALLY a very active woman... I live on a horse ranch and take care of 50 horses and my daily life now consists of checking them once a day to make sure they are eating and drinking (most are out on pasture) and I swear, sometimes I am on the verge of tears just getting through my day. You are not alone, that's for sure....

WW2ER 07-26-2012 12:19 PM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
First off, obviously I'm not the only one out there who has these tendinitis-menopause problems. I'm actually relieved, as my various healthcare providers never really took me serious my thoughts that there was a connection.

1. So, is there someone out there who had these issues, but finally "got beyond it"? Or is it something that we are going to have to struggle with

2. Has anybody been tested positive for either rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid problems, as my understanding tendinitis issues can be symptoms. I was tested 10 years ago, but both came back negative, but an thinking about redoing both as thyroid problems can start occurring at this time in our lives, as can rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Has anybody had success in treatment-relief other than HRT?

aussiejenni 07-27-2012 02:03 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
Sorry to hear of your suffering. I have had a total thyroidectomy some years back. Sounds like you should get a complete testing of your thyroid function including FT4, FT3
and TSH done by blood test. I would post the results on the thyroid message board here because what the doctor says is normal is quite often not so!!!! Also Vitamin D and Iron/Ferritin checks as well.
Take Care

jules200262 07-27-2012 11:27 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
Well, as awful as this sounds, I am actually (in a twisted sort of way!) rather pleased to hear that I am not alone in this. Unfortunately, I am still hitting brick walls regarding the issue of tendonitis and menopause. Unless the person you are speaking to has experienced it themselves, they usually immediately dismiss what you are saying. All I know is that it is spoiling my life considerably and that I have had enough of it.

DC1962 09-30-2012 03:25 PM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
Hello. I found this page while researching the subject which has been uppermost on my mind for the last few months....menopausal tendonitis. I am a 50 year old woman well into peri, who woke up one morning in June, with a slightly sore left arm....and am now in crippling, debilitating daily pain with what I think is tendonitis in my left shoulder and elbow, and the beginnings of problems in my right shoulder. Oh joy. I am in the UK, and I have had a hell of a time trying to get a doctor to listen to me and agree is it all hormonal in origin. I have posted about a hundred questions on health boards all over the Internet, and have done quite a lot of my own research. I am on my iPad just now, which is not the easiest to type on, so I will come back on tomorrow to write more and share my information.


jw90 09-30-2012 07:26 PM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
Hi Susiebuddy
maybe this will give you some help.. I'm on Hrt and have been for about 16 years..I use bioidentical hormones...and like you i'm very active just did a 30 mile bike ride and have been hiking mountains all summer..also ski as soon as winter sets in.. I'm one of those people like you who was hit hard with menopause could barely funtion..wasn't sleeping had joint and tendon pain and anxiety..and the worse hot flashes I made a decision that if I only have one life to live then I was going to live it to the fullest..not live like I was dying every day..I know there is a lot of hype against HRT..but I think the study was flawed because they never looked at lifesyles of the women what they were eating or whether they excercised I'm now 67 and still on hormones and plan to stay on them..its a personal choice but it would not hurt to try them for a few months and see if you feel better....

DC1962 10-01-2012 05:15 AM

Re: Tendonitis and severe fatigue during peri and full menopause
I am 50, have been in peri for at least five years - missed a few periods last year, and though I had escaped quite lightly until June. I had NO symptoms of perimenopause at all - flushes sweats etc. However, I have suffered with [B]severe [/B]tendonitis in the shoulders and arms since June. Two male GP's dismissed the idea of it being hormonal. I was in despair as no one would listen to me.

On my routine smear appointment with an older female Nurse Practitioner, I hobbled into the room like 90 year old, and after a little discussion was finally 'diagnosed' with menopausal tendonitis by this nurse who researched the subject years ago for her thesis. (I later saw a GP who agreed with the diagnosis but said it was the 'joint' that was causing the pain. It is not my joints. It is my tendons.) However, this condition is also sometimes known as menopausal arthritis. The Nurse explained that it is probably still an area that is not recognised or understood by GP's, and there are very few gynae/meno experts who specialise in it. She explained that estrogen is the WD40 of the body, and without it, (in some women) the soft connective tissue (mainly the large tendons) go hard and brittle and fray - and sometimes suffer complete 'cell death' (tendinosis). This causes extreme pain as we know! Not all women suffer from connective tissue problems in menopause, but interesting it is usually the ladies who were a bit smug, because they got got to 50/55 ish with no real symptoms or hot flushes - then bam, hit like a ton of bricks with tendonitis or frozen shoulder. I also had the beginnings of stiffness and pain in the other shoulder, other large joints, elbows and fingers. Mornings were terrible, it could take up to ten minutes to actually get OUT of bed, and sleep? Forget it, being woken with shoulder pain every half an hour. I would never EVER have thought that simple 'hormones' could cause so much pain and change me from being a fairly fit, sports playing 50 year old into a crippled 90 year old. I genuinely thought I had some awful disease, from bone cancer, to polymyalgia - because I could not believe my body could change so quickly and be so painful and debilitating. (And, no GP recognised the hormonal connection which had me even more worried it was something sinister.)

Most women complain of 'joint' pain, because they simply don't know it is actually the tendons that are the problem.

Typically, the women who go to the doctor with symptoms of pain and stiffness are tested for inflammatory conditions. Because they actually have menopausal tendonitis, which (although it feels inflamed!) will not raise inflammatory markers - they will test negative, and their bloods will show a very low ESR and CPR. This does not help, as the baffled GP will tend to then assume it is nerve pain...or all in the mind, or Fibromyalgia. I believe a lot of women with Fibro actually are suffering from menopausal issues.

It seems to be the the women who have a sudden abrupt decline in estrogen/ovarian failure at the end of perimenopause who seem to sufffer the worst, so suddenly and with such ferocity. Most women have a gradual decline. If you google estrogen and joint pain, lots of information comes up. I also discovered that much younger women who have breast cancer are sometimes treated with with drugs to completely suppress estrogen. These women often complain of sudden onset 'joint' ( tendon!) problems soon after commencing treatment - which is so debilitating that a lot of them refuse to continue on it. I was speaking to a lady last week about this who I met on another forum. She is 51, has breast cancer and has been on estrogen supressing drugs for six months. She has developed sudden onset severe pain and stiffness in both shoulders and also has problems with both elbow tendons. She is on the waiting list for a scan, and is terrified the cancer has spread to her bones because no one has offered any other idea why she is in so much pain. We both think the estrogen link is just too much of a coincidence and she feels much less concerned now she knows there could be a reason for this sudden condition after never having had so much as a neck twinge in her life.

As for HRT...I have been on conjugated estrogen for just over a month now, and sadly the cripplingly severe tendon pain in my arm/shoulder has NOT gone - in fact it is getting progressivly worse. Thankfully I no longer have pains in other areas - as I once did, and perhaps the hormone replacement HAS halted any further issues. However, I am sadly coming to the conclusion that nothing can actually 'cure' this tendonitis if hormonal loss is indeed the cause. It seems once the damage is done, we are playing the same long waiting game as everyone else and tendons take a notoriously long time to heal.

I have found some interesting information regarding this condition in Japanese women, where hot flushes are so unknown that there is not even a Japanese word for it, but the number one symptom of menopause is known over there as 'Fifties Shoulder' (which is probably rotator cuff tendonitis, or frozen shoulder.) I also found a site from a Vancouver based physio who states that the number one reason for developing frozen shoulder anywhere in the world is guessed it, fifty and female!
I am not allowed to post the link, but if you are interested google Mike Dixon and Electra Health.

I am at my wits end with the pain. While I am convinced (unlike doctors) I have now identified and understand the condition I have - it doesn't help find a cure. I am on constant pain killers and can no longer do the sports I love (tennis and swimming) even walking the dogs is awful if one pulls the lead. Dressing is impossible, I need help to pull clothes over my head, and even putting my arms behind me into sleeves is hard, as is pulling up jeans. I cannot sleep at night on either shoulder (I find it hard to sleep on my back, always have done) I can't even itch my own back, put my hand in my back pocket, or wash and dry, or brush my hair. Driving is difficult, as is anything that involves stretching into a cupboards, carrying shopping bags..the list is endless. It is a nightmare with no apparent end! Deep tissue icing is supposed to help (freeze water in paper cups to form a huge ice 'cube', tear off the the top inch of the paper, hold the base of the cup and and massage the ice into the tendon for as long as you can stand it, as often as you can)

I have also read recently that adrenal fatigue, or adrenal failure can cause severe fatigue and tendon issues but haven't yet had a chance to look into this. Don't the adrenal glands control hormone production? Maybe there is a link - getting the adrenals healthy may help. Massive doses of Vitamic C apparently does this.

I wish every single one of you with this condition peace and a swift end to your misery. If you find anything that help PLEASE let me know!!!
Sorry for the mega post...

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