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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


MARQUEZ, Sara  and  MOLINERO, Olga. Energy availability, menstrual dysfunction and bone health in sports: an overwiew of the female athlete triad. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2013, vol.28, n.4, pp.1010-1017. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: The female athlete triad (FAT) is a serious health-related problem that threatens women who exercise. This condition is an interrelated multifactorial syndrome which includes low energy availability, menstrual cycle disturbances and decreased bone mineral density. Objective: To review the major components of the FAT and their relationships, as well as strategies for diagnosis and treatment. Methods: Articles related to the topic were reviewed through PubMed and SportDiscus databases. Results: Interrelationship between components of the FAT may result in clinical manifestations, including eating disorders, amenorrhea and osteoporosis. Clinical conditions are not always exhibited simultaneously. Prevention is important to minimize complications. Diagnosis and treatment is complicated and often must involve an interdisciplinary therapeutic approach. Conclusions: Understanding of the disease may be facilitated by a unified framework focusing on energy deficiency. Preventive or early interventions require to increase energy availability through a higher total energy intake or a decrease in energy expenditure trough excessive physical exercise. A healthy lifestyle, and support by parents and coaches should be included. Psychotherapy may be necessary when eating disorders are present.

Keywords : Female ahtletic; Energy availability; Eating disorders; Menstrual disturbances; Osteoporosis.

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