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Amenorrhea and Blood Clots Can Affect Female Athletes
Female athletes need to take care of their bodies on every level. Exercise is healthy when it is done correctly. You may be wondering if there is a wrong way to exercise. Is there such a thing?
Yes, there are wrong ways of exercising.
What is amenorrhea?
In medical terminology the prefix a- stands for without. The root word men/o stands for menses, monthly or month. Finally, the suffix -rrhea means flow or discharge. Therefore, amenorrhea is the medical word that means the absence of menstruation. Females who miss three cycles in a row are considered to have amenorrhea. This is the type of menstrual dysfunction that can affect female athletes.
How can exercising cause amenorrhea?
There are two reasons when amenorrhea can result in female athletes.
Not taking in enough calories
The first problem occurs when females exercise but do not consume enough calories. Knowing how much to eat can be confusing. MyPyramid provides a chart detailing how many calories a person needs based on their gender, age and activity level.
It is also important to note that women who are petite—such as myself—do not need as many calories as someone who is taller. The chart doesn't take height into consideration.
The chart notes that a female my age (31-35) who is moderately active should eat 2,000 calories a day, and a sedentary person should consume 1,800 each day. I am only 5 foot 2 inches. I average 1,550 calories a day, and I add to that amount on days that I exercise.
Is there such a thing as overexercising? Yes, there is such a thing as exercising too much. The proverb "you can have too much of a good thing" rings true in this sense. Some people get addicted to exercise in an unhealthy way. There is a difference between those who exercise a lot and those who have a problem. Ian Cockerill is a sports psychologist at the University of Birmingham, England. He says, "Healthy exercisers organize their exercise around their lives, whereas dependents organize their lives round their exercise."
Recently, a young female had a blood clot that could have killed her. Doctors said that this 24-year-old woman developed the blood clot from overexercising.
Not eating enough or overexercising are both dangerous, and they can cause other health problems in addition to amenorrhea. They can lead to death or force you to limit or stop working out.
More from Rebecca Bardelli:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Allan, David M., Lockyer, Karen D., Buchman, Michelle A. (2008): Medical Language for Modern Health Care. New York: McGraw-Hill
Rebecca completed courses in Medical Terminology, Administrative Medical Assisting, and Coding and Billing. She is recognized by the National Healthcareer Association as a Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS) and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). In addition, Rebecca is a former gymnast and is avid about swimming, jogging, and other athletic activities.
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