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Female Athlete Triad

Girls who play sports or exercise may be at risk for Female Athlete Triad. Find out more about this condition here.

What Is Female Athlete Triad

Female athlete triad is a combination of three conditions caused by exercising and poor diet.
  • Disordered Eating - Girls who play sports may try to lose weight to improve their athletic performance, especially in sports where a thin, lean body shape is valued - such as gymnastics, figure skating or ballet dancing. Teen girls may try to limit how much they eat, purge themselves or over exercise as a way to lose weight. Symptoms are similar to bulimia and anorexia and include having a low body weight for their height and age and episodes of binge eating and purging.
  • Amenorrhea - A girl with female athlete triad may experience decreases in estrogen (the hormone that helps to regulate the menstrual cycle), because she is participating in intense exercise and reducing her weight. This can cause a girl's periods to become out of whack or stop altogether. Some girls who participate intensively in sports may never even get their first period because they've been training so hard - this is called primary amenorrhea.
  • Osteoporosis - Low estrogen levels and poor nutrition can lead to osteoporosi, which is a weakening of the bones due to the loss of bone density and improper bone formation. This condition can lead to stress fractures and other injuries due to weakened bones - causing long term damage to a female athlete's career. Because of poor nutrition, a girl's body may not be able to help these injuries heal properly. If you find yourself getting a bone fractures without any significant injury - that may be a sign of osteoporosis.
  • How Do Girls Get Female Athlete Triad

    Girls who are highly competitive athletes and participate in sports that require frequent training are at risk of getting female athlete triad. Girls with female athlete triad often care so much about their sports that they'll do almost anything to improve their performance. Some girls may even be told by coaches, [kwlink]parents [/kwlink] or teammates that losing weight would improve their scores or times. Focusing on weight or body appearance in sports such as gymnastics, diving, figure skating or martial arts, can put a girl at risk for disordered eating. Poor nutrition, combined with the intense exercise can lead to one or all of the three conditions that are part of female athlete triad.

    Female Athlete Triad - Prevention

    Female athletes can prevent female athlete triad simply by following a healthy exercise and eating routine. Losing a few pounds usually won't improve an athlete's performance at all. If a girl loses weight when she doesn't need to, it interferes with healthy body functions such as menstruation and bone growth. If you're a female athlete who's exercising lots, make sure you don't skip any meals or snacks and are eating enough food to take you through periods of intense exercise. It's also a good idea to keep track of your periods on a calendar. If you start missing your periods, you'll know right away and can talk to your doctor. Most importantly, make sure you're exercising and playing sports the way YOU want to. If parents, coaches or anyone else is putting pressure on you to eat or exercise in a way that's not healthy, make a change.

    Related Stories:

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  • Getting Your First Period
  • Quiz the Coach - I'm Overweight For My Age
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  • 1 Comment

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    How Often Do You Exercise?

    • Every day.
    • Two or three times a week.
    • Once a month.
    • Exercise? What's that?

    Sports In The Forums

    yes trying out for it
    reply about 4 hours
    Lolly20 posted in Cheerleading:
    yes it is  :)
    reply about 5 hours
    "FBGirl" wrote:I like cheerleading, but definitely NOT a sport! Sports are physical activity with competition and GEAR. The closest thing cheerleaders have to gear are pom-poms. And, yeah. Boys CAN cheerlead, but chances are they will be made fun of(not by me). Cheerleaders do A LOT of physical cheers and stunts, and we use ourselves instead of gear. A lot and most people underestimate cheerleaders for just some girls with poms and uniforms going "go team! yay!" because they have seen that in movies and tv. look up some cheer comp videos and still only some people with change their view of cheerleaders as girls on the sidelines doing uncreative cheers and stupid words to match. I hope this helped you understand a little bit more about cheerleading and cheerleaders. Peace Out!
    reply about 14 hours
    "lamiraclelemiracle" wrote:no cheering is not a sport it's something to turn people and the players up I was a cheerleader for 2 years (before I aged out) and we do not only wave pom poms int the air and yell "go team!!". All cheerleaders and coaches put A LOT of effort and time into making and practicing cheers. It is true that cheerleaders turn people and the players on...but it's much more than that. it's about having fun, teamwork, having some more fun, getting some exercise (uh that kinda makes it a sport right?), and great times with the other girls on your squad.   Rant over lol
    reply about 14 hours
    Lolly20 posted in Xtreme Sports:
    of coarse girls can be stronger than boys but some are not :wave
    reply 3 days