Professional female athletes and ballerinas suffer from serious health issues four times more often than average women do. What is the reason behind this and how can they avoid it?
Blood tests examining hormone levels showed that:
- 36% of the examined athletes and ballerinas were having irregular meals,
- 77% were getting not enough calories,
- 27% were missing their periods for six months or longer,
- 23% were having inadequate bone mass,
- 64% showed abnormal enlargement of arteries in response to blood flow.
In addition, 86% of the participants had one or more signs of poor health, while 14% have all 5 adverse symptoms.
The study, which involved runners aged between 18 and 35, also determined that female athletes often have amenorrhea, vascular system dysfunction, abnormal hormonal profile, early development of cardiovascular disorders and reduction absorption of oxygen. Doctors estimate that 44% of female athletes develop amenorrhea due to the intense physical training.
According to medics, if ballerinas and female athletes want to reduce the negative effects of their careers on their health, and prevent irregularities in the menstrual cycle and cardiovascular dysfunction, they should take special vitamin supplements, folic acid in particular. Folic acid is essential for production of normal red blood cells and protection against anemia.
The study was conducted by American scientists from the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University.
Source of the image: flickr.com/photos/will_hopkins.