Is professional sports harmful for women?

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Is professional sports harmful for women?
Is professional sports harmful for women?

Find out the 3 main dangers that lie in wait for a girl and women if you start playing sports professionally and try to reach great heights. Recently, more and more often, doctors are paying attention to the fact that professional sports can be harmful to the female body. This is a rather important issue that requires detailed consideration. Thus, the topic of today's article is women and professional sports: what are the health risks.

Often there is an opinion on the Internet that it is much easier for professional athletes to give birth. We can partially agree with this, and if a woman in training works to improve endurance and improve the work of the heart muscle, then it is quite possible. If the main task of a woman is to achieve high sports results, then various problems are possible.

For example, scientists have paid attention to the fact that athletes grow poorly for a long time. First of all, we are talking about the representatives of athletics. Based on this, we can conclude that professional sports can negatively affect the work of the endocrine system. This is possible, but not always.

If a girl decides to devote her life to professional sports, then she must undergo a full medical examination. Not every person's body can work to the limit of its capabilities. During the diagnosis, various deviations are revealed and this stage cannot be ignored. The state of the athlete's nervous system is also of great importance, because she must be well prepared not only physically, but also psychologically.

A kind of natural selection is also present in professional sports. For example, girls with some delay in sexual development are more likely to get into artistic gymnastics. In skiing, preference is given to women with decent muscles. By the way, this often leads to problems with pregnancy, because it is necessary to maintain a certain ratio of male and female hormonal substances.

But you can look at the problem of the potential danger of professional sports for a woman's health from a different angle. For example, playing volleyball or basketball can speed up the growth process somewhat. Swimming is an excellent choice if you have varicose veins. Note that this type perfectly strengthens the heart muscle.

Recently, representatives of the beautiful half of humanity are increasingly choosing those sports that were previously considered male. It is quite obvious that such sports disciplines pose a much greater danger to the female body. The topic of the use of anabolic drugs in modern sports cannot be ignored. First of all, we are talking about disruption of the endocrine system, which leads to the development of virilization.

Based on the foregoing, the main risk factors can be identified:

  1. Insufficient indicator of the energy value of the diet, if it is less than 30 calories per kilo of body weight.
  2. The minimum amount of body fat.
  3. Psycho-emotional lability.
  4. Anabolic steroid use.

Women and professional sports: health risks

A weightlifter holds a barbell over her head

Let's try to understand in as much detail as possible the question of what is the danger of professional sports for a woman's health. Scientists in the early nineties introduced the concept of "triad of athletes" into circulation.Simply put, these are three main ailments that are found in professional athletes:

  • Amenorrhea.
  • Eating disorder.
  • Osteoporosis.

According to official statistics, one or two of the above components are most often observed. Moreover, they are most acutely felt during menopause. Now we will talk about this in more detail.

Eating disorder

Dumbbells and fruits

The main reason for the development of the sports triad in women is just improperly organized nutrition. It is because of this that the two remaining elements then manifest. As a result, osteoporosis and amenorrhea develop into separate ailments. However, let's deal with everything gradually.

Ideally, a person needs to consume as much energy as they consume during the day. Since athletes need to constantly adhere to a dietary nutrition program, most often this balance is disturbed. The most famous ailments caused by poor nutrition are bulimia and anorexia.

But they are far from the only eating disorders. Doctors note a number of eating habits, ranging from simple refusal to eat to psychological fear of gaining excess weight. In the latter case, athletes begin to actively use various dietary supplements, diuretics and laxatives.

In order not to disrupt the menstrual cycle, a woman should consume at least 30 calories per kilogram of body weight. As a result, with sufficient physical activity, a girl weighing 60 kilos needs to consume 1800 calories daily, but preferably more.

Menstrual irregularities have a lot of manifestations. This may be a temporary drop in estrogen concentration to persistent amenorrhea, when menstruation is absent for three or more months. Scientists have found that professional athletes often have corpus luteum insufficiency, oligomenorrhea, primary and secondary amenorrhea, and anovulation. If a corpus luteum insufficiency has been diagnosed, then the duration of the second phase of the cycle decreases, but its total duration does not change.

In such a situation, ovulation is possible, but does not occur on day 12-14, as necessary, but with some delay. It is quite obvious that in such a situation, calendar contraception is impossible. In fairness, we note that ordinary women with frequent stress should not consider this method. With anovulation, the concentration of progesterone and estrogen falls. As a result, the overall cycle time changes.

Bone quality problems

Graphic representation of the spinal column

With osteoporosis, bone tissue becomes weak and the risk of fracture increases significantly. There is such a thing as an indicator of bone mineralization. With osteoporosis, it decreases sharply, which leads to a deterioration in the quality of bones. The maximum bone mass is observed between the ages of 20 and 30 years. If the athlete does not have problems with the menstrual cycle, then the annual increase in bone mass is about 2-3 percent.

Otherwise, this parameter is reduced every year by two percent. All this suggests that the risks of fracture in such serious places of the skeleton as the pelvis, femoral neck and spinal column increase dramatically. Many experts in the field of sports medicine say that there is no adequate diagnostic method for all the processes discussed above. In the absence of competition, doctors continue to use densitometry.

If we return to osteoporosis, then the statistics are definitely not in favor of professional athletes, since they have this ailment in about 13 percent of cases. For ordinary women, this figure does not exceed three percent. According to doctors, the main reasons for the development of osteoporosis in athletes are the following:

  1. Inadequate nutritional program.
  2. Insufficient performance of the genital secretory glands (hypogodynamia).
  3. The active use of anabolic drugs that can accelerate the development of osteoporosis.
  4. Fractures in the past.

For women doing spotting professionally, the most vulnerable parts of the body are the lower limbs, pelvis and spinal column. There are also results of scientific studies that indicate a decrease in the performance of the bone marrow. However, after the end of a sports career, most often this problem is eliminated by itself. For the reason that all professional athletes begin to train in childhood, the problem of the development of osteoporosis is extremely relevant. As we all know, it is in childhood that bone tissue is actively formed, and any violation of this process can have dire consequences.

Endothelial dysfunction

List of possible consequences of endothelial dysfunction

Scientists managed to establish a direct relationship between the above elements of the triad of professional athletes and dysfunction of the inner lining of blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction should not be underestimated, since serious problems are possible in the future, for example, the development of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis, and vascular dysfunction.

Scientists associate this fact with a significant discrepancy between consumed and consumed energy. It is quite obvious that if the athlete herself does not notice these differences, serious changes take place in the body and, first of all, we are talking about the work of the endocrine system. Any problems with estrogen production will inevitably lead to menstrual irregularities.

Recall that problems with menstruation can lead to the development of osteoporosis. We also note the presence of a direct relationship between the concentration of leptin and the triad. In sports disciplines, where a lot of attention is paid to the aesthetic component, for example, in rhythmic gymnastics, athletes do their best to maintain a certain body weight.

As a result, the body cannot synthesize a sufficient amount of leptin and this closes the circle of disturbances in the work of all systems. This suggests that sports doctors and coaches need to pay special attention to the health of athletes in aesthetic sports disciplines. The situation is similar with sports, in which it is necessary to remain within the same weight category.

Currently, the triad is being actively studied by scientists, but so far there is not enough data for a concrete conversation about long-term prospects. In addition to all that has been said above, it is necessary to note the harm of strong physical exertion. The body is forced to work at the limit of its capabilities for a long time, which negatively affects the state of health. Since this leads to a sharp increase in metabolism, scientists often say that athletes "live too fast."

Needless to say, this leads to rapid deterioration and aging of the body. This is just one of the many negative effects of excessive exercise. Part of the problem can be solved by consuming large amounts of antioxidants, including some vitamins and minerals. Before giving their girl to big sports, parents should think carefully about the possible consequences.

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