The “Female Triad” – Have you heard of it?

Female athletes beware… 

 

It is possible you have experienced this as a female athlete or maybe your child is experiencing this OR it could be that you know someone who is experiencing this. Most females have experienced this depending on the sports they played and how serious they took their athletics – many coaches and parents might not see anything wrong with it because it comes with being an athlete having the mindset of being the best, but what happens when being the best is causing health issues and making it harder on you in the long term and short term. 

 

What is the female Triad?

 
  • A syndrome in which eating disorders, amenorrhoea, and decreased bone mineral density are present. Primarily caused by an energy deficiency. 

Now you would assume, how is this considered normal? well it isn’t. Sadly, many people don’t stop to question these things until it is too late or don’t see the signs right away because they don’t pay close enough attention, or possibly because their teenager is avoiding the topic and allowing the guardian to believe all is well when it is NOT. As athletes, you know we have to make sacrifices and some can be harmful and some can be good, but we make these sacrifices because we want to be the best at whatever we do and we don’t want to make the coach or our teammates upset – we have this mindset of win, win, win and any loss is a bad loss. This was my same mindset as well, any loss was a loss I was mad about and the tantrums I would throw and the cussing and the anger and the blaming the players and the constant striving for perfection is all that mattered to me growing up playing sports. It can be tough being an athlete. 

 

We all have our downfalls but this is serious and I want to bring it to your attention in case any of you might be going through it now or know someone who is, so that maybe you can identify it and be more aware and helpful.. if anything, I hope this post teaches you something new.

 

Who is effected?

  • Typically anyone can be effected, but it primarily effects female athletes who participate in sports that emphasize leanness, such as:gymnastics, ballet, diving, figure skating, aerobics, running. Some other classes that include males experiencing this might be: wrestling, rowing, and martial arts. 

Symptoms:

  1. weight loss
  2. absent or irregular periods
  3. fatigue
  4. stress fractures
  5. binge eating 
  6. restrictive dieting
  7. induced vomiting
  8. excessive exercise

Prevention practices:

  1. AVOID emphasis on achieving unrealistically low body weight
  2. avoid out of competition weigh ins
  3. athletes, coaches and parents need to be aware of any warning signs 
  4. rules encouraging excessive weight loss should be discouraged and eliminated. 

Treatment:

  1. The athlete will deny, but medical help is mandatory because it can become serious and eventually cause long term issues if not death.
  2. they should have proper support from coaches, family, friends, teammates
  3. speak with a nutritionist
  4. many times treatment requires some kind of intervention from different specialist and family, friends, etc

Now with this being said, nothing will change if we don’t become the change. We might not be able to save every athlete or change every coach or parent’s mind but we can be aware with both eyes open and speak on this topic when necessary to avoid it happening to yourself, your child or a friend possibly. I am HUGE on body positiveness and preventing females from going down some of the paths I went down knowingly and unknowingly and hopefully helping those who may have questions or concerns dealing with this topic or any of this nature. I am not a medical doctor but I can offer an ear, advice, tips, conversation, etc that might be helpful to an individual. I don’t want men thinking this can’t happen to them, because I know both sexes deal with issues but this specific issue is more prone to female athletes. All I ask is that all of you share this and talk about it with friends and family and social media, make it an issue so that others make it their problem to change how we coach, change our rules that govern these ways of thinking and to hopefully make some type of difference. 

 

Thank you for reading, please feel free to contact me personally, to leave comments, share experiences, follow my blog and social media, and to reblog if you wish as well. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

Published by WonderWoman & Fit

You can assume I have a love for fitness & a love for Wonderwoman -- both assumptions are correct. I am an ACSM certified personal trainer of 7+ years -- I currently reside in Ohio and live a simplistic life at the age of 29. If I am not lifting, I am eating, sleeping, traveling, exploring, or movie watching. I recently moved during a pandemic, now I am focused on self care (self love), building a business of my own in personal training, becoming a professional blogger, starting a podcast and doing things that make me happy! I am a sister, daughter, and loyal friend --- I love everyone's dog and I am on a mission to pet as many dogs as possible everywhere I go! LOL. My mission is to talk health (physical/mental), design programming, motivational speak, learn, grow, prosper, build others and make as many people smile as possible because I want nothing more than to be the change I seek in the world.

8 thoughts on “The “Female Triad” – Have you heard of it?

    1. Hey!
      I am betting now many people have, and maybe that is because someone calls it something different but I feel as though it is important enough to make mention in my blog and hopefully it will be important enough to others and like you teach them something new 😀

      Like

  1. Great article, Shay-lon! I was quite seriously into gymnastics when I was a kid but luckily didn´t have any of the problems you mentioned. But I guess that´s only due to me having stopped participating in that particular sport when I changed schools and had to concentrate more on my education (learning latin for example 😉 ). I think it´s awesome that you write about it and thus try to increase awareness to this subject!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, you were a gymnast? do you regret not continuing it; or was it more for recreation for you? I like to think I am opening up on topics that seldom get talked about – people might know this exist but maybe they didn’t think anything of it until things are brought to light and the impact it can have on a person.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Shay-lon!
      Oh, I was quite serious about being a gymnast but then the trainer changed and we didn’t get along very well and also I wanted to concentrate more on my education. So no, I don’t regret it at all that I stopped doing it 😄 It’s a tough sport and like with every sports excessively training can cause more harm than not.
      You’re definitely very good at opening up on topics that need to get a broader audience. It’s always a good thing to challenge your readers a bit 😉
      Wish you a very lovely week! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Oh I see,
      Yes, I have heard stories about gymnast and the training and the diet behind it and it definitely is one of those sports where to win and do well you have to be strict on yourself. It amazes me how strong they are though, because they are very strong individuals.
      Hope you have a wonderful week ahead as well. Thank you.

      Shay-lon

      Liked by 1 person

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