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Female Athlete Triad
WHAT YOU NEED TO 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.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Prevent the female athlete triad:
- Do not be afraid to ask for help at any time: Talk to your coach, trainers, friends, or family if you have problems with your health. Talk with a dietitian if you need help with meal planning. Weight loss or gain should be guided by a caregiver.
- Do not compare yourself to others: Focus on your own ideal body weight and sports performance. Try to choose friends or role models with healthy body images and eating habits. Coaches, trainers, teammates, or family members should not pressure you to diet and lose weight.
- Eat healthy foods: Healthy foods may help you feel better and have more energy. Eat foods that are high in calcium, iron, and protein. Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Protein and iron are found in chicken, fish, meat, and beans. Include fruit, colorful vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. You may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements if you are not getting enough nutrients in your food. Do not skip meals or snacks.
- Monitor your weight and monthly period: You or a caregiver may need to check your weight regularly. Keep track of your menstrual periods so that you can check the number of days between cycles.
- Change your activities: Include other activities in your life, such as spending time with your family and friends.
- Sports and exercise: You do not need to stop exercising completely. Talk to your primary healthcare provider before you start exercising again. Together you can plan an exercise program that is safe for you. You may have to start with a low-impact sport, such as walking or swimming, and do more as you get stronger.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You feel you cannot cope at home, work, or school.
- Your symptoms get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a seizure.
- You have trouble breathing, chest pains, or a fast heartbeat.
- You feel like hurting yourself.
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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.