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.
- weight loss
- absent or irregular periods
- stress fractures
- binge eating
- restrictive dieting
- induced vomiting
- excessive exercise
- AVOID emphasis on achieving unrealistically low body weight
- avoid out of competition weigh ins
- athletes, coaches and parents need to be aware of any warning signs
- rules encouraging excessive weight loss should be discouraged and eliminated.
- The athlete will deny, but medical help is mandatory because it can become serious and eventually cause long term issues if not death.
- they should have proper support from coaches, family, friends, teammates
- speak with a nutritionist
- 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.