Friday, June 27, 2008

The Health Risks of Amenorrhea

Sports Nutrition. He is active in promoting weight loss programs and healthy lifestyle among inner city youth.

Exercise is basically important for our body and is a critical component of good health. As we all know, it is an esssential part of our lives, as it helps burns fat, boosts the metabolism, and improves circulation. Add to the fact that exercise may also prompt the body to produce endorphins, these are hormones that are said to be important in reducing stress, relieving anxiety, enhancing moods, and decreasing the perception of pain. However, there is a popular saying that too much of something can also be bad for us, in this case, exercise.

Engaging in excessive exercise may lead to overtraining and do more harm than good. This usually happens when we over exercise or overtrain. Overtraining is a condition that is caused by too much physical activity.

Recent medical studies suggest that female athletes who overtrain may develop amenorrhea, a condition which menstruation becomes absent. Amenorrhea may also become a risk factor for bone thinning and infertility. In addition, the risk of uterine cancer increases among women who frequently experience missed periods Several medical studies suggests that intense exercise associated with caloric restriction, low body fat, and a state of energy deficit, is most responsible for amenorrhea among female athletes. Female athletes who participate in rowing, long distance running, and cycling, may notice a few missed periods. Women athletes at a particular risk for developing amenorrhea include ballerinas and gymnasts, who typically exercise strenuously and eat poorly. Understanding this condition and knowing the symptoms that accompanies it, is essential in regaining regular periods and other health improvements.

Signs of over-training which may lead to amenorrhea may include the following:

  • missed or irregular menstrual periods
  • extreme thinness
  • extreme or rapid weight loss
  • extreme behaviors such as eating very little, not eating in front of others, and focus on low-calorie food
  • frequent and intense exercising (taking aerobics class followed by a five mile run, swimming for long hours, and weight-lifting
  • an “I can't miss a day of workout” attitude
  • anxious preoccupation with injuries
  • exercising despite illness, bad weather, injury and other conditions that may require resting
  • too much self-criticism or self-dissatisfaction
  • extreme anxiety and low self-esteem
  • fatigue
  • sleep difficulties
  • feeling cold most of the time
  • constant conversations about weight

The best way to avoid amenorrhea is to maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes making changes in one’s diet and exercising in moderation to achieve a healthy weight. Striving for a healthy balance between workouts and rest is also essential in preventing this condition from developing. Individuals who want to improve their health should bear in mind that the resting stage is as important as the training period. Because proper rest and recovery is a key component in preventing injuries and other conditions from occurring.

Female athletes who want to improve their athletic skills are encouraged to consult doctors and other health professionals for advice. These advice are important because a number of female athletes tend to exercise too much and deprive themselves of nutrients necessary for growth and development. Understanding proper workout and including a healthy diet in one's lifestyle may lead to improved health and overall well-being.

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