The female athlete triad.


The Female Athlete Triad poses serious health risks, both short and long term, to the overall well-being of affected individuals. Sustained low energy availability can impair health, causing many medical complications within the skeletal, endocrine, cardiovascular, reproductive, and central nervous systems. With the surge of females participating in athletics within the past 10 to 15 years, it is both conceivable and likely that the prevalence of this syndrome will continue to grow. Therefore, it is imperative that appropriate screening and diagnostic measures are enacted by a multidisciplinary team of health care providers, counselors, teachers, and dieticians in order to provide the proper care to affected athletes. Initial awareness should take place within the educational confines of elementary and high schools. Screening for female athletes exhibiting risk factors for the triad should also take place at the time of sports physicals. If one component of the triad is identified, the clinician should take the time to effectively workup the other 2. Treatment for each component of the triad includes both pharmacological and nonpharmacological measures, with emphasis placed upon increased energy availability and overall improved nutritional health. Using this all-encompassing type of approach, sports medicine practitioners should feel empowered to continue to promote the lifelong well-being of female athletes in the years to come.

DOI: 10.1016/j.csm.2011.09.007

Cite this paper

@article{Deimel2012TheFA, title={The female athlete triad.}, author={Jay F Deimel and Bradley J. Dunlap}, journal={Clinics in sports medicine}, year={2012}, volume={31 2}, pages={247-54} }