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Female Athlete Triad
Transcript of Female Athlete Triad
Getting help if you or someone you know has it:
Some girls tend to ignore the problem thinking that it will magically go away. But the thing is that it sadly won’t. And these girls need to seek help from a health professional or their doctor in order to get rid of it. If they don’t seek help immediately, then the girl could suffer stress factors, reduce ability in her performance and in the long term, it could cause bone weakening, heart problems, and reproductive system damages. Here are some well guided tips to help teen athletes stay healthy and ensure that Female Athlete Triad isn't a concern.
Girls, keep track of your periods. You could write it down on a calendar or your phone. That way, you can notice irregular patterns, or skips in your menstruation cycle and inform your doctor.
Don’t skip meals! If you skip meals it affects your body negatively and doesn't help you in the long term (or short term)
Seek help from a dietitians or a nutritionist that can help you create a plan to get in all the nutrients (like iron) that your body needs.
When a doctor gets a patient they think has Female Athlete Triad, they’ll perform a number of different tests (such as a blood test to test to see if the girl might just have a disease like anemia. Or a bone density measurement check to check for Osteoporosis). But the girl’s: parents, medicine specialize, sports medicine doctors, mental health specialists, and dietitians can all help her get back into shape! Doctors may even prescribe hormones for the girl to take help improve her estrogen levels. As well as calcium, or vitamin D to help with bone loss. Speaking of dietitians, a girl with Female Athlete Triad might parenter up with a dietitian to help her get back into a healthy weight. The girl may also have to reduce the length of her workouts. And if she’s feeling depressed, she can talk to a psychologist or therapist that can help her deal with sport/or weight related pressure. Therefore, knowing the best way to get rid of Female AThlete Triad is to seek help, and not to let it linger on!
Why is it significant to our understanding of health and nutrition?
Knowing about Female Athlete Triad is significant for all girls because it can have long and short term effects on our bodies. Girls with it need to seek help from a health professional or their doctor in order to get rid of it. If they don’t seek help immediately, then the girl could suffer stress factors, reduced ability in her performance, and in the long term, it could cause bone weakening, heart problems, a damaged reproductive system, and more! That is why girls should be weary of the factors now so if something does happen, they’re ready. The three factors (as stated above) include disordered eating, Amenorrhea, and Osteoporosis. Sometimes Female Athlete Triad can get confused with other diseases too. Such that a girl might just have one of the three factors (like bone weakening and Osteoporosis) and not have Female Athlete Triad. That is why it’s important to keep track of irregular periods, or a decrease in weight, or any other suspicious activity and contact a family doctor who you can talk to. It’s important for us girls to know about it too because if you obtained Female Athlete Triad and didn't know about it, you’d be scared not getting your period. Thus, knowing the factors of it, girls can reassess and maybe acknowledge that they do have it, and to seek help. It is therefore very important to know what Female Athlete Triad is, as it can effect a girls long term and short term health.
What is Female Athlete Triad?
Female Athlete Triad is a combinations of three factors. These three factors are: disordered eating, Amenorrhea, and Osteoporosis (which we’ll give a brief intro to each).
Am I at risk?
Who is at risk? A lot of girls/women are at risk of Female Athlete Triad, especially if you’re involved in a sport. This is because athletes will do anything to achieve their goals and meet their expectations and standards. Some sports even revolve around your body weight such as rowing, and boxing. Whereas some sports focus more on appearance and body image (like dancing, skating, gymnastics). But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Sometimes, a girl is just pressured to lose weight by coaches (who suggest losing a couple of pounds could help win), or even friends, or sadly herself due to society's constant revolving around perfection. The truth that may girls don’t know/realize is that losing weight doesn’t help. When a girl decides to starve herself/get into disordered eating, she is only starving the muscle which she needs. This can lead to an irregular menstruation cycle, plus a lack in bone density. Therefore, any girl is at risk of Female Athlete Triad. But luckily, if you do get it, there is help!
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms/risk factors of Female Athlete Triad include the following:
The feeling of being tired all the time
Harder to concentrate
Whereas symptoms of disordered eating include:
An intense diet routine
Mental fixation on food/weight
Bathroom needs before and after meals
Taking Laxatives to help bowel movements
The feeling of being cold all the time
Low heat rate and blood pressure levels
Heart irregularities and chest pains
Cavities (because if you have Bulimia, the tooth enamel is worn down by constant vomiting)
Factor #1: Disordered eating
Disordered eating links to Female Athlete Triad because athletic girls tend to focus a lot on their weight in order to achieve athletic goals they posses. Most female athletes think losing weight is the key to success, so they’ll stop eating certain foods that they assume are “fatty” or “bad”, thus their in the process not getting the nutrition and calories their bodies need. This can be very hard on our bodies and even harder when some girls go to the lengths of eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.
Factor #2: Ammenorhea
Secondary, Amenorrhea is another factor of Female Athlete Triad. This is when girls obtain a combination of a) not eating properly, and b) exercising at a very high level. This causes their periods to become unpunctual (some girls even don’t get their periods if their working out too intensely).
And lastly, the final factor of Female Athlete Triad is Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is when your bone density and your bone formation start to weaken. If a girl isn't eating right, she is skipping vast nutrition our bodies need (such as estrogen). If a girl's estrogen levels are low, plus she’s not eating right can lead to Osteoporosis. This is very dangerous because our teen years are a time meant to build up our bone mass to “top” levels called “Peak Bone Mass”. If these young female athletes aren’t building up their bone mass now, it can greatly affect them in the future. Therefore, Female Athlete Triad is a combination of not eating right, Amenorrhea, and Osteoporosis.
How Can You Treat It?
The main thing that you can do is take in more calories. This will make you gain weight which in this case it is needed to recover.
Make sure you take in the required amount of calories to ensure that you have enough energy to withstand your workout.
There are also medicated options you can turn to which is taken orally. This medication will lower the amount of amenorrhea and hypoestrogenemia which regulate blood- estrogen levels.
Vitamin supplements are another way to treat this condition. Woman with Female Athlete Triad are normally low in Vitamin D, or calcium. Female athletes should have a diet rich in these nutrents to remain healthy.