When to Worry About Your Teen Athlete’s Missing Period – ChildrensMD

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While numerous teenagers would gladly not expertise a menstrual period every month, for pediatricians taking care of them, common periods provide an critical clue about the overall health and development of adolescents.  For some athletes, intense instruction devoid of sufficient power intake can lead to a effectively-recognized syndrome referred to as Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (formerly referred to as the Female Athlete Triad).  The classic triad consists of disordered consuming, lack of menstrual periods for at least 3 months, and low bone mineral density.  Teens with this syndrome are at danger of persistent consuming problems, pressure fractures, and also lengthy-term impacts on bone strength.

Food is fuel

Often the triad begins with a young lady attempting to turn into match for her sport.  The danger for creating this syndrome is greater in endurance and aesthetic sports such as operating, gymnastics, swimming, diving, figure skating, and dancing.  In numerous athletes, decreased meals intake is unintentional.  Appetite suppression is usually a outcome of intense exercising and decreased caloric intake simply because time constraints are frequent in adolescents.  Some teens may perhaps also engage in more than-working out to “get rid” of perceived excess caloric intake.  In either case, the frequent challenge of not fueling with sufficient calories leads to a adverse power balance.

A missing period could possibly imply low estrogen levels in your teen

When this power imbalance happens, the hormones from the hypothalamus that regulate periods are disrupted and infrequent/irregular or absent periods outcome. Estrogen levels are impacted, and this is important simply because of estrogen’s impact on bones. Estrogen each stimulates bone formation and protects the skeleton from bone resorption. When there is not adequate estrogen to let for regular menses, there is not adequate estrogen to stimulate regular increases in bone mineral density.

During young adulthood, ladies are forming most of their bone mass. This tends to make a lack of periods throughout this window of development specially damaging.  Eventually, pressure fractures may perhaps outcome.  This syndrome can also happen in adolescent males. You really should suspect Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports when any teen athlete has a pressure fracture.

Early recognition and intervention are essential so ask your pediatrician if you have issues.  For all you athletes with uteruses out there, it turns out you really should be glad for the (menstrual) pad!

Originally published in childrensmd.org