Are you at risk of Red-S?

Woman in a red crop top leaning against a brick wall in an exercise studio with a dumbbell in her hand

For many years, the Female Athlete Triad was a recognised condition characterised by:
– energy deficiency with or without disordered eating
– menstrual disturbances/amenorrhoea
– bone loss/osteoporosis.
However, this classification failed to recognise that male athletes (whilst obviously not suffering from amenorrhoea) could also be at risk of this condition. The new name: Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (Red-S) more correctly identifies what the problem is without suggesting that only women are affected.

In my opinion, Red-S doesn’t diminish the condition in the same way as the term ‘female athlete triad’ which sounds like something trivial. This BBC article tells the stories of Anna Boniface and Sam Woodfield: The athletes starving themselves for success

You may also want to listen to the accompanying radio broadcast: Eating disorders in sports (50-minutes)

Whilst not wishing to suggest that I have ever suffered from Red-S, about 10 years ago I went through a period of disordered eating for many months. I lost a significant amount of weight, whilst also training for 15+ hours a week. I experienced fatigue and amenorrhoea. If I hadn’t made changes to my diet and exercise levels, I believe my health would have significantly deteriorated.

Read more about Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

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