In recent years, there has been a steady rise in female participation in the world of sports. While this is taken as good news, but with the increase in participation, increased occurrence of a triad of disorders, particularly in women, has also been observed. This disorder is aptly named as the female triad.
Found to be more common in the athletic population, people who are non-athletic too however, can develop this condition. Interestingly enough, decades were spent observing the syndrome before giving it a formal name. Experts at the American College of Sports Medicine first described the condition at a 1993 meeting.
An association was found out between the condition and symptoms as a result of the observations and that historic meeting, laying down the basis for further study of the female athlete triad syndrome.
What Is the Female Athlete Triad?
In a nutshell, the female athlete triad consists of three primary conditions, which, according to recent studies, are becoming increasingly common, specifically in young and active girls. The medical conditions are;
- Menstrual Disturbances
- An imbalance in Energy, either with or without an Eating Disorder
- A Significant Decrease in Bone Mineral Density, with or without osteoporosis
In the case of an eating disorder, the first thing to look out for is the regular consumption of a low-calorie diet. Another sign that could ring a bell is excessive exercise or an obsession with staying fit.
One other condition that is linked to female athlete triad is amenorrhea, which in turn is linked to lower than normal estrogen levels. This condition is prevalent in teens who are really thin, have an exercise obsession, and may or may not have an eating disorder as well. A contributor to low bone density can also be an unbalanced diet, low in vitamin D and calcium.
How Is Female Athlete Triad Treated?
Female triad is a serious condition and should be treated as such. As an athlete, it’s very important for you to know what are the risks involved in this condition and find ways of minimizing those risks. For example, it’s important to be fully aware of the effects training has on your body and also know the limits which you can push through by.
Consult with a doctor if you notice irregular menstrual cycles, as that could indicate a menstrual disorder which might eventually lead to a lower bone mass. Research done on the subject found out that a young woman who hasn’t had a menstrual period in four years, may quite possibly develop a bone density a woman twice her age.
Prevention is always better than the actual treatment; therefore, be sure to include or increase calcium intake in your diet. If that isn’t possible, consider taking supplements. Keeping your athletic prowess in mind, always try to keep your body weight from dropping too low. This will also help you to develop stronger bones.
In the end, the more carefully you look after your body, the higher accolades you will achieve for your athletic abilities.
OSPI offers the top orthopedic doctors in Gilbert, Chandler and Mesa AZ for comprehensive treatment options. This includes issues that pop up in female athletes including ligament tears, stress fractures and tendonitis. Most of the time, surgery can be avoided and patients can get back safely to elite sporting activities.
Most insurance is accepted at OSPI, call for the top sports orthopedic treatment today in the East Valley!