Female Athlete Triad Essay

1955 Words Nov 26th, 2010 8 Pages
The female athlete triad is a health condition in which active women experience three inter-related disorders due to unhealthy body weight and eating habits. In the case of the triad, the word active refers to females who display moderate to high intensity levels of performance. The rate of performance must be high in order to counterbalance the decrease in calorie intake. Females who perform at a high intensity are at risk for the triad since they do not take in enough calories to fulfill the amount expended. The three disorders within the female athlete triad are osteoporosis, disordered eating, and menstrual dysfunction. Not all females experience all three of the conditions, however new data has indicated that even having one or …show more content…
Low bone mineral density can result in stress fractures within a female’s body (6). Female athletes with menstrual dysfunction often display low levels of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. When the levels of these hormones are low, it is difficult for bones to retain calcium which causes a gradual loss of bone mass. It has been proven that when comparing amenorrhic athletes to athletes with regular menstrual cycles, the bone mineral density if reduced by 14% in amenorrhic athletes and 27% in regular athletic women (7). All three conditions result in serious health and body conditions which can decrease a female’s ability to participate in physical activities. The female athlete triad is considered to be a significant health concern. In relation to the female athlete triad, some women are more prone to the condition than others. Sports that emphasize performance based on weight specifications increase the prevalence of the female athlete triad. Women who participate in sports such as ballet, figure skating, gymnastics, diving, and other aesthetic component sports have a higher risk of developing aspects of the female athlete triad in addition to women who participate in sports that involve weight classes such as tae kwon do, judo, wrestling, rowing, and equestrian (6). Most female athletes who participate in either high-intensity or endurance exercise have a greater chance of developing the triad. Studies have shown that women who
Open Document