Menstrual irregularities worsen bone health in athletes, according to a study. The researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital revealed that women with symptoms known as the "female athlete triad", a spectrum of symptoms that include low energy availability, menstrual cycle abnormalities, and low bone mineral density, are at an increased risk of bone loss."Any combination of these conditions can lead to premature bone loss in females," said lead study author and orthopaedic surgeon Elizabeth Matzkin from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, US.
The findings showed that both athletes and non athletes participating in any sports and exercise can develop symptoms of the female athlete triad. They also found that female athletes diagnosed with poor nutrition or low energy availability are two to four times more likely to sustain a sports-related injury.
"Proper nutrition and energy balance are key to staying healthy in athletes of all ages. But maximizing bone health when you are young is paramount to your bone health later in life," Matzkin said.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS).