In this article we will deal with the Women's Sports Triad. A syndrome which is found in sports and consists of three symptoms: Eating disorders, amenorrhea and osteoporosis.
Approximately 1 in 4 female athletes are at risk of Female Athlete Triad Syndrome, which quite often occurs in participants in demanding sports that require low body fat.
Some of the signs that we can distinguish in female athletes suffering from this syndrome are excessive exercise/exercise, low self-confidence, frequent self-criticism, competitiveness, symptoms that could otherwise be attributed to depression, sudden mood swings, frequent injuries and low body weight.
The first symptom, the eating disorders, is the root of the problem. The most common forms found in female athletes are Anorexia (deliberate withholding of food, excessive exercise, use of laxatives and diuretics for weight loss) and Psychogenic or Neurogenic Bulimia (overeating followed by compensatory behaviour to prevent weight gain, such as vomiting and laxatives).
Thus, low calorie intake combined with excessive exercise and stress result in low estrogen levels, which in turn disrupt the menstrual cycle and calcium regulation, leading to poor bone health and ultimately osteoporosis.
If you are an athlete or parent and want to enroll your daughter in a sporting activity, I would like to make a few comments:
- Parents, pay attention to the signs and symptoms of the triad.
- In the long term, the effects on the body are dramatic and lead to frequent injuries. How good an athlete can you be when your hormone levels are at such poor levels, your bones are so brittle and your muscles are vulnerable to injury?
- In the short term: How well do you think someone with a poor diet can perform?
- If the coach is pushing in that direction, either indirectly or directly, change him even if you think he's otherwise doing a good job. Without a second thought.
- Weight training can dull the symptoms and can make any athlete even better. But when we're talking about an ongoing, long-term condition this is not enough.
- If it is feasible to hire a sports nutritionist, this is highly recommended.
-Suprastratum: The authority on health, fitness and nutrition
- Putukian M. The female athlete triad. clin Sports Med. 1998 Oct;17(4):675-96, v. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0278-5919(05)70111-3
- Lebrun CM, Rumball, JS. female athlete triad. sports medicine and arthroscopy review 10 (1), 23-32.