AAP: Consider 'Female Athlete Triad' During Office Visits

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Young female athletes may be at risk for amenorrhea, osteoporosis, and eating disorders.
Young female athletes may be at risk for amenorrhea, osteoporosis, and eating disorders.

(HealthDay News) — Physicians should be aware of the "female athlete triad," which includes amenorrhea, osteoporosis, and disordered eating, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The report was published online July 18 in Pediatrics.

The authors of the report discuss what is known about the triad and how doctors can screen for it during routine office visits.

Doctors can ask a number of questions involving eating habits and views, menstrual period patterns, and orthopedic issues such as stress fractures. Depending on the answers, the physician can decide what to do next. For instance, if a girl has had stress fractures without any increase in training and has irregular menstrual periods, testing bone health may be in order.

"I think it's important for parents to understand that kids do not need to have an eating disorder to be affected by the triad," report coauthor Amanda Weiss Kelly, MD, division chief of pediatric sports medicine at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, told HealthDay. Getting too few calories with intense training can impact bone health and lead to stress fractures and menstrual disorders even without an eating disorder.

Reference

  1. Weiss Kelly AK, Hecht S. The Female Athlete Triad. Pediatrics. 2016. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-0922.
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