ABSTRACT: The female athlete triad is a medical condition observed in physically active females involving three components: 1) low energy availability with or without disordered eating, 2) menstrual dysfunction, and 3) low bone density. A female athlete can have one, two, or all three parts of the triad. I returned to running as soon as the doctor hinted that I might be ok to run, and I just wasn’t feeling good. You must make sure you treat the athlete as a person, and not just a body. I was in no way overweight, or at an unhealthy weight, but I was a little perplexed that I was eating intelligently and was still at a higher than normal for me weight. But eventually, more and more food will become off-limits which may lead to either bingeing or starvation. An individual does not need to show clinical manifestations of all three components of the female athlete triad simultaneously to be affected by the condition. For young women athletes who partake in either disordered eating or have amennorhea, they may never reach the full potential for bone density. I knew life was different, but I honestly felt like crap and was at a loss as to why. I do think that calculating macro target goals and tracking food can be helpful for a number of reasons. This disorder often goes unrecognized. Approach: It is difficult to approach an athlete who is suspected of having an eating disorder, and careful steps must be taken. Premature bone loss relates to the incidence of bone stress and fracture. Effects of Strenuous Physical Activity on the athlete's body: How nutrition can helpDerived from: ww, By: Laura HennigFor many female competitive athletes, success may be directly related to their weigh, Just how much does an athlete need?By Danelle SwearingenThough protein is indeed necessary for the b, AA/EEO/Title IX/Veteran/Disability Employer, preoccupation with food, calories and weight, wide fluctuations in weight over a short period, ACSM's Hot Topics and Fundamentals of Sports Medicine Series: A Physician's Guide. Counting macros requires a lot of planning and obviously tracking, so it’s not a good option for anyone who has experienced any kind of food obsession. Or crankiness in my case. I stumbled on a dieting program (and I want to emphasize 100% that it is intended to be a diet) known as IIFYM or if it fits your macros. I don’t love that I need to track what I eat in order to ensure that I eat enough, and it’s something I think I need to continue to work on. As female participation in sports continues to increase and become more competitive, it is important to prevent, diagnose, and manage the components of the female athlete triad in athletes. With bodies and activities in constant flux, nutritional habits that were once adequate might no longer be. I was speechless. This is where I am today. The best meal plan for you may depend on your weight, age, sport, and other factors. The fatigue in the training program is a result limited time between runs, not caloric deficiency. Essentially, based on your height, weight, age, and energy output, you get a target number of calories broken up into fats, proteins, and carbs. One of the most detrimental errors a person can make in working to get a bulimic individual into treatment is following or watching her in an effort to catch her in the act of bingeing and purging. Triad Factor #1: Disordered Eating. Adolescent female athletes can face even larger energy and n… Nutrition counseling: You may need to see a dietitian who can help you plan and adjust the amount of food that you need. The longer and harder young athletes exercise, the more calories that are burned, but young athletes don't always eat more to compensate for the added activity. Calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones. Female Athlete Triad. Prevention and treatment: The first step to prevent the triad from happening is to eliminate the notion that we can change our physical structure to resemble the body image of an extremely thin or small athlete. Accounts of injuries, disrupted training and long term health consequences that arise from inappropriate energy intake for training and life requirements. Discussed are characteristics of disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis, along with what to do if you suspect someone may be falling into this devastating cycle. 2019 Apr 20. If you are interested in learning more about counting macros as a runner or seeing what your target macros would be for your activity level, please take a look at this article from Runners World on calculating macros for runners. So, people like me. Treatment involves increasing calorie consumption, decrease training, and taking Calcium supplements. I’m still counting macros and running. Pretty significant. I was doing all of the things that are recommended: staying hydrated, only eating when hungry, stopping when I wasn’t hungry, and eating nutrient-dense foods. Female athlete triad. Use a diary or calendar to monitor your menstrual cycle. I  don’t track when I travel because it’s inconvenient, and I almost always end up feeling more depleted after a long trip. This lets me know I’m still not eating enough when I don’t track. As a mental health therapist, I really want to encourage everyone to who struggles (so everyone) to reach out and seek support. Nutrition Rehabilitation for the Athlete Recovering From Female Triad Syndrome This entry was posted in Uncategorized on March 9, 2016 by Baxter Ekern . Being able to recognize when you are hungry before you scream at your loved ones is important. This is usually a pretty good indicator for me that I am hungry and need to eat. Because I don’t recognize when I am hungry, and if I’m not focusing on eating what I have planned to eat, it becomes easy for me to not eat enough. Disordered e … I don’t think counting macros and running is a long-term solution for me, but it’s something that helps me ensure I am fueling appropriately. Athletes in these sports all have one thing in common - they are at higher risk to develop disordered eating, the first of three "stages" of the female athlete triad. The 2014 female athlete triad coalition consensus statement defined the female athlete triad as involving three components: (1) low energy availability with or without disordered eating, (2) menstrual dysfunction, and (3) low bone mineral density. Female athletes with eating disorders must receive professional counseling because they can not possibly perform to their potential without the proper diet. It’s not uncommon for me to realize that I’m losing patience faster than usual. Home Diet and Nutrition Female Athlete Triad and RED-S In Endurance Runners The Female Athlete Triad (FAT) is a syndrome involving the interplay between low energy availability, menstrual dysfunction and altered bone mineral density. If you have any questions about counseling or therapy, I am happy to provide some information. In fact, I had only gained about 25 pounds during my pregnancy, but still was about 15 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight after 6 months. In fact, what I normally recognize is that I am yelling at people more than baseline Andrea does (I’m kinda baseline angry in everyday life). You have successfully joined our subscriber list! I like to eat, and I love snacks, so I think that despite not really getting hungry, I generally ate enough to stay healthy. With RED-S, the female athlete triad, and eating disorder awareness being so relevant right now, I want to share my own difficulties with nutrition and my experience with counting macros and running. Not because I don’t like food. I want to point out that RED-S and the female athlete triad are completely different from cumulative fatigue. Unfortunately, my husband and I had two pregnancy losses before getting pregnant with our son, and these losses only exacerbated my difficulty with anxiety. When I first tracked what I was eating I was shocked to see that I was eating an average of 400-500 calories less than what I should be. After we had our son, I noticed that I just wasn’t getting back to regular weight. Viewpoints presented in this blog reflect opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM. This is a very serious problem that most people cannot deal with on their own. The female athlete triad (Triad) links low availability (EA), with menstrual dysfunction (MD), and impaired bone health. Journal of Sports Sciences: Vol. A common route is to first cut out sweets and fruit. RED-S Syndrome & The Female Athlete Triad My difficulty interpreting cues hadn’t really caused me any significant issues for most of my life. For many female competitive athletes, success may be directly related to their weight. Osteoporosis is the severe form of weakened bones. Before I get into my personal history with food and nutrition, I want to emphasize that I am not a dietician, and I am not giving nutrition advice to anyone. Raj MA(1), Rogol AD(2). Symptoms of starvation include intolerance to the cold, bloating, fatigue, constipation, lightheadedness, and a lack of concentration. Related Post: Weekly Recap: 11.17.19 – Cumulative Fatigue. A female athlete can have one, two, or all three parts of the triad. Author information: (1)Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Milam Hall 103, Corvallis, OR, USA. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. That’s when I started to do some nutrition research. Related Post: My Love/Hate Relationship with Turkey Trots. I’ve taken breaks from counting, and I have found myself returning to unintentionally under-eating. The Female Athlete Triad is a related syndrome in women that is a combination of low energy availability, amenorrhea (irregular or lost periods), and low bone mineral density. Yup. Osteoporosis: The last and most severe stage of the female athlete triad is osteoporosis. WebMD explains the dangers of this triad. If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, please contact the Sports Nutrition Center at 963-2094, and we can refer you to a dietitian for counseling. S61-S71. The words of warning resonate a little too… Not trauma that I intend to share with everyone on the interwebs, but trauma that resulted in a physical detachment from my body. You’re going to have days where you don’t hit your macros, and guilt should never be associated with food and eating. Both RED-S and the female athlete triad are a result of not eating a sufficient amount of food in relation to the amount of energy expended in physical activities. Patients with female athlete triad get osteoporosis due to hypoestrogenemia, or low estrogen levels. Well, I am the poster girl for “hangry.”. It can help highlight under-fueling, it can help teach people to learn what a portion of meat or carbs or dairy actually looks like, and it can give someone an idea of what fueling for activity output looks like. In the case of bingeing and purging (through vomiting ,or laxatives) the individual may experience chest or throat pain, fatigue, abdominal pain, and constipation or diarrhea. J.J.B. Also, stress from a job, school, friends, boyfriends, or family may play a role in the development. So, for those who are not engrossed with running news the way I am, you may be wondering, what in the world is RED-S and the female athlete triad. Many of us have heard the harrowing stories of athletes suffering the consequences of the female athlete triad (triad) or Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Counting macros is also somewhat dangerous for anyone who struggles with wanting to control things. It is not limited to women, but there are specific negative consequences (like loss of fertility) that only impact women. The female athlete triad: Components, nutrition issues, and health consequences. The goal is to hit these targets without going over. Low estrogen levels and poor nutrition, especially low calcium intake, can lead to osteoporosis, the third aspect of the triad. Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope I want to start by saying that I have never suffered from an eating disorder, but I am a person who is at a fairly high risk.
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