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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Female Athlete Triad: A Dangerous Condition Among Female Athletes

By Samantha Van Vleet

Most women benefit from the exercise involved in participating in sports and athletic activities. Participating in sports has a great deal of health benefits for men and women alike.
However, women who participate in sports who do not pay close attention to their level of health and nutrition may suffer from a condition known as the female athlete triad.

What is female athlete triad?
Although the condition is referred to as the female athlete triad, it is truly a combination of three different conditions, all of which are related to a female's participation in sports without taking proper care health and nutrition. These three conditions are amenorrhea, osteoporosis and disordered eating. In order to be diagnosed with female athlete triad, a woman may suffer from just two, or all three of the disorders included in the triad.

What are the individual's conditions behind the female athlete triad?
Disordered eating does not necessarily refer to an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia, but can refer to abnormal eating habits, such as binging, purging, strange diets and excessive exercise. Disordered eating can refer to specific eating disorders as well, such as anorexia, bulimia or eating disorder not otherwise specified (ED-NOS).
Amenorrhea is a condition in which women experience a lack of menstrual cycles, most likely due to malnutrition. Amenorrhea may also be related to hormonal disruptions resulting from poor nutrition and health choices. (See my article, "Understanding Amenorrhea.")
Osteoporosis is a common condition among older women, and is characterized by an abnormal weakening of the density of the bones. However, osteoporosis in younger women is especially alarming. Osteoporosis is more likely to develop in women who are experiencing amenorrhea and can make a woman more susceptible to bone fractures.
...Continue reading here.
How can the increased pressures and demands from participating in competitive sports promote female athlete triad?  What are symptoms to be aware of?

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