There seems to be a great deal of talk nowadays about menstrual dysfunctions experienced by young women. Could the media-driven quest for the perfect body have caused a problem among women in this age group?
Concern over their body image leads many young women to limit their food intake obsessively, preventing them from getting the nutrients essential for proper body development. And to tone their bodies and control their weight, young women often engage in extreme exercise routines, which can also affect bone density.
Over-training, severe caloric restriction and low body mass have all been associated with menstrual irregularity. The problem has been referred to as The Female Athlete Triad, which consists of three areas of concern:
• A decreased energy level ensues when women consciously limit their food intake.
• The resulting low energy often produces menstrual disturbances or amenorrhea, an absence of a menstrual period for more than three months.
• The third part of the triad, low bone mass, leads to weakened bones or osteoporosis, a condition that can result in injury, including stress fractures.
So what can be done about this problem? In the simplest terms, eat healthily and exercise appropriately. Some studies have found that increased energy, which could result from either eating better or exercising less excessively, can prevent or reverse amenorrhea and other menstrual disorders.
Your Physical Therapist will be glad to design a program of proper nutrition and sensible exercise that can strengthen a young woman and keep her menstrual cycle healthy. A proper exercise regimen can help address this problem.
Schedule your physical therapy appointment today at any of our 21 locations throughout Northern Virginia and parts of Maryland.
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