What Is Female Athlete Triad?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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13y ago

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It is a result of three medical conditions that are commonly seen in female athelets.

Disordered eating is a range of unusual or atypical eating behaviors that are used to keep or maintain a lower body weight but are not severe enough to make the person extremely ill. Some of these abnormal eating behaviors for active women include frequently avoiding eating animal based foods, limiting their fat intake, etc. Women who may feel pressured to maintain a low body weight include women who are in the military or are athletes as well.

Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density which can be a result of female athletes when they reduce the levels of hormone production of estrogen and progesterone. When these hormone levels are low, its difficult for the bones to retain calcium and gradual bones loss may occur. Research estimates that the lumbar spinal regions experiences 14% bone density reduction in amenorrheic athletes.

Menstrual dysfunction is another component of the female athlete triad. Some of these dysfunctions include irregular periods, amenorrhea, or failure to ovulate. Energy restriction combined with high activity levels disrupts the menstrual cycle. Exercise-induced menstrual dysfunction may be as high as 50% in female athletes.

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Q: What Is Female Athlete Triad?
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Which of the following is NOT associated with the female athlete triad?


What reading material is available on the female athlete triad?

Donaldson, M. L. "The Female Athlete Triad. A Growing Health Concern." Orthopedic Nursing 22 (September-October 2003): 322-324.

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Secondary amenorrhea in athletes or dancers can be caused by what sources?

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