The female athlete triad refers to the interrelationship between 3 factors:
These factors are intricately related, each one relying on the other for maximum health, performance and prevention of injury. Female athletes who exercise for long durations and/or with vigorous intensity without consuming enough calories and nutrients consistently to support these activities are most at risk for female athlete triad.
A sports dietitian can help female athletes who may be experiencing symptoms of the female athlete triad by assessing their total diet for adequacy and balance of nutrients, obtaining body composition measure, educating the athlete and family on the ideal diet and meal timing for maximal sports performance, and providing meal plans and/or patient tailored recommendations for supplements or other diet-specific therapy.
There is no medication indicated to treat female athlete triad, rather proper nutrition (sometimes accompanied by a modified training schedule), puts the female athlete in positive calorie balance, restores menstrual function optimizes bone health. If the medical and nutritional interventions are not successful, then consideration of a psychological problem must be explored.
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