n International SportMed Journal - Exercise and female adolescents : effects on the reproductive and musculoskeletal systems : review article




Intense exercise in the absence of proper nutritional intake presents many serious problems for the female adolescent. In terms of the reproductive system, these adolescents may suffer from primary amenorrhea and delayed pubertal progression, including slowed or stunted bone growth. Intense exercise without commensurate caloric intake severely affects the female adolescent skeletal system, which can induce early onset osteoporosis and osteopenia. Several hypotheses have attempted to account for these reproductive and skeletal abnormalities, as well as the role of oestrogen and leptin. Treatment of these pathologies often involves nutritional rehabilitation, in addition to counselling for any concomitant psychological disorders such as anorexia nervosa, or sub-clinical eating disorders.


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