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CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

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  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
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Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Female athlete triad

Published in Lifestyle Health, Women's Services, For the Health of It Author: Angela Beck,RD LD

Registered Dietitian
CentraCare Weight Management

When we think of women’s health, birth control, pregnancy or breast cancer may be some of the first topics that come to mind. A less discussed condition, but one worth time and attention — especially if you or your daughter is an athlete — is “female athlete triad.” A woman with the female athlete triad has all three of the following.

  1. Loss of a menstrual cycle (three consecutive missed months of menstruation)
  2. Disordered eating
  3. Osteoporosis (brittle bones)

More young women than ever feel pressure to succeed at sports, which can lead to the desire for an athletic, muscular, lean and thin body to help improve their performance or impress coaches and teammates. As they work hard to achieve athletic goals excessive exercising and under eating can lower their level of estrogen and lead to irregular or absent periods.

Athletes in sports that value the thin body shape (such as gymnastics, figure skating, swimming and diving, ballet, long-distance running) put women at a greater risk for the female athlete triad. A low self-esteem, perfectionistic personality, personal or family stress and obsession with how they look are other risk factors.

Other signs and symptoms of the disorder may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue/low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Stress fractures
  • Preoccupation with food and weight
  • Obsession with exercise
  • Disordered eating
  • Low heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sensitive to cold

These signs and symptoms should not be taken lightly as over time they can lead to bone weakness, negative effects on the reproductive system or heart problems. A multidisciplinary approach from the health care team can help female athletes keep a regular period and restore bone health.

While intense training and a disciplined diet may improve athletic performance, it is never worth permanent damage.