Female Athlete Triad

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The female athlete triad is made up of three medical conditions that are becoming increasingly common in active teen girls: Eating disorders, Amenorrhea or lack of menstrual periods and Osteoporosis or low bone mass. Low-calorie diets are usually the first sign of eating disorders. Along with diets, excessive exercise or obsession with exercising can also be another sign of the Female athlete triad. Teenage girls that are lower weight but exercise constantly are the individuals with the higher risk. Teen girls who cut back on eating habits also called “cutting weight” for specific sporting events are more likely to have amenorrhea. Sports that are heavily linked with triads are mostly gymnastics, swimming and ice skating, all sports that weight determines much. After the production of amenorrhea, amenorrhea can ultimately lead to the triad itself. Trakya University in Turkey conducted a study in June of 2004 to have a further understanding in the prevalence of the female athlete triad among athletes. This university was able to conduct surveys, questionnaires and other data from athletes in the colligate level and high school athletes as well. Consent from the parents in athletes under the age of 18 was indeed followed through. Trakya University gathered 224 female athletes to participate in the study from the city of Edrine in Turkey. To have an average, the ages ranged from 16 to 25 years old. These athletes were taken from all different types of sports in the fact that no bias to one sport was clear. These sports ranged from basketball, tennis and volleyball all the way to handball. On the other hand, females who were taking oral contraceptives had to be excluded from study being that oral contraceptives are known to regulate and control the menstrual cycle. As well as athletes without oral contraceptives, the athletes also needed to be nulliparous which is another term for a woman who has not yet birthed a child. After several steps and test including a questionnaire, bone densitometry, blood analysis and eating attitude test also known as EAT-40, results varied in many ways. Amenorrhea was present in only 22 (9.8%) of all athletes. Of the 22 athletes, 2 (0.9%) reported primary amenorrhea (not very high). Both women were 16 years old and were in gymnastics. The only triad trait of these women was the amenorrhea. Eighty percent of all participating athletes (n = 181) reported regular menstrual cycles during the past year. On the other hand, the bone densitometry showed that the Body mass index of these remaining woman were lower. Out of 220 athletes (4 being excluded) only 6 women filled the triad trait when it came down to eating disorders. Psychiatric evaluation diagnosed two of the 6 with having eating disorders and one met the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (again very lower). In the blood analyses, only 6 females were tested in this are, who had whole criteria of the triad. Only one of these athletes’ FSH/LH ratio changed in favor of LH (FSH, 6.99 mlU•ml-1, LH 12.9 mlU•ml-1). Further testing resulted in the conclusion of ovary syndrome which excluded the thought of the traid being present. The other 5 athletes after undergoing the same testing did not fall under the ovary syndrome and there was no conclusion on why the amenorrhea was present. When it came to bone mineral density of the 6 athletes who had two criteria (disordered eating and amenorrhea) of the triad, they underwent DEXA scans to assess bone mineral density. After Testing it concluded that 3 of the subjects were within osteoporotic or osteopenic limits. There are ways in which I agree with the study overall. The one factor that needs be accounted for the most in this has to be numbers. The numbers of subjects participating are crucial to conclude an overall range and average. With 224 females participating, accurate numbers or close to accurate were able to be collected. Random obscuring data was not involved (oral contraceptives ect.). Another...
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