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Female Athlete Triad

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

The female athlete triad is a condition that affects females who exercise too much or play sports. It is a combination of disordered eating, loss of monthly period, and low bone density.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Even with treatment, your bone density may not recover completely. Without treatment, low bone density and exercise increase your risk of fractures. Low bone density can lead to osteoporosis. You may have trouble exercising and performing well in sports. You may develop heart rhythm problems, which can cause a slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat. You could develop low blood pressure or other health problems later in life. The female athlete triad can be a serious, life-threatening problem if it is not treated.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

Medicines:

  • Calcitonin: This helps prevent the breakdown of bone and increases bone density.

  • Hormone replacement therapy: You may be given estrogen to bring your level back to normal. Caregivers will monitor you closely while you use this medicine.

  • Other medicines: These may include medicines to treat depression, mood changes, abnormal heartbeat, or low blood pressure.

  • Vitamins and minerals: You may need vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, calcium, and iron.

Tests:

  • EKG: This test records the electrical activity of your heart. It is used to check your heart rhythm.

  • Abdominal ultrasound: This test is done so caregivers can see the tissues and organs of your abdomen. Gel will be put on your abdomen and a small sensor will be moved across your abdomen. The sensor uses sound waves to send pictures of your abdomen to a TV-like screen.

  • Blood and urine tests: Samples of your blood and urine are tested to measure the amount of estrogen and other chemicals in your body.

  • Bone density scan: This test uses a type of x-ray to take pictures of your bones and measure your bone density.

Treatment:

  • Nutrition counseling: The best meal plan for you may depend on your weight, age, sport, and other factors. You may need to see a dietitian who can help you plan and adjust the amount of food that you need. He can help you reach or stay at your ideal body weight with proper nutrition and healthy eating habits. Ask your caregiver for more information on the best nutrition plan and weight for you.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: This is also called CBT. You and a therapist will work together to learn the reasons you are unhappy with your body. The therapist will work with you to change your behaviors and decrease your negative feelings about food and your weight.

  • Psychotherapy: This is a type of counseling that is usually done in a series of meetings or talks. You, your family members, coaches, teammates, or people who are close to you may also attend.

IV fluids:

Caregivers may need to give you fluids and nutrients through an IV. IV fluids are used to treat dehydration. The fluids may contain water, mineral salts, sugar, and protein.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Female Athlete Triad (Inpatient Care)

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