What is “female athlete triad”?

The rising tide of sports related injuries among female athletes has stirred the interest of doctors involved in sports medicine. Studies carried out have revealed three interrelated symptoms in athletic girls and women, who experience frequent injury. The condition is known as the ‘female athlete triad,’ and often prevents them from pursuing their athletic passions without injury. But what is the female athlete triad, and how can it be prevented.

Female Athlete Triad explained
Female athlete triad refers to a syndrome that affects physically active females. It consists of three conditions that although distinct, are interrelated in several ways.  The specific conditions are amenorrhea (menstrual abnormality), osteoporosis (low bone density), and low energy due to inadequate nutrition. Not all females with the problem exhibit all the symptoms, as they can occur on a spectrum.

A lot of the fractures, cramps, and wear and tear of the joints that female athletes suffer, stem from an epidemic of overuse and poor nutrition. Many of them underestimate how important it is to get the right amount of calories and nutrients, and as a result, they are not eating enough to stay nourished. This can adversely affect their health in the long term. Disordered eating also weakens their bones, making them susceptible to injury.

Preventing the Female athlete triad
Early recognition of the symptoms is important, in order to prevent the condition from taking hold. Proper nutrition is a key component of staying healthy, and that means eating the food necessary to fuel your physical activity. It also requires attention to rest and recovery, to avoid over training.

If you reside in or around south Florida, consult orthopedic surgeon Frank McCormick, MD, of the SOAR Institute for more information on the female athlete triad. SOAR Institute has offices in Doral, Miami Beach, and Delray. Call 866-956-3837 to schedule a consultation.

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