Some young female athletes who exercise very intensely, and are subject to intense pressure to remain thin, are at risk for a syndrome known as the female athlete triad.

This combination of symptoms includes loss of menstruation, eating disorders, and osteoporosis.

Eating disorders among young female athletes are estimated at 15 – 62%. Women at higher risk include ballet dancers, gymnasts, and divers.

Continued intense exercise causes a stress response in which estrogen (the primary female hormone) levels are reduced. Estrogen loss can lead to infertility and osteoporosis.

Iron loss and anemia may also be a problem in women who exercise frequently, even at moderate intensity.

Track Athlete