Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hormone Disorder May Contribute To Lack Of Menstruation In Teenage Athletes

Date:
June 17, 2008
Source:
The Endocrine Society
Summary:
Researchers have found a way to predict which teenage female athletes will stop menstruating, an important risk factor for bone thinning, according to a preliminary study.

Researchers from Harvard University have found a way to predict which teenage female athletes will stop menstruating, an important risk factor for bone thinning, according to a preliminary study.

Amenorrhea, or absence of menstruation, occurs in as many as 25 percent of female high school athletes, compared with 2 to 5 percent in the general population, according to the study's presenter, Madhusmita Misra, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Amenorrhea in athletes is known to cause infertility and early onset of low bone density and may increase the risk of breaking bones. Evidence suggests that intense exercise associated with caloric restriction, and therefore a state of energy deficit, is most responsible for menstrual irregularities among athletes.

"The hormonal factors that link energy deficit and the stopping of periods in athletes are not well characterized," she said. "These factors are important to determine in order to develop therapies that will lead to resumption of periods and hence improved bone density."

In females ages 12 to 18, Misra and her colleagues measured levels of various hormones, including ghrelin. Giving ghrelin to animals and humans has been shown to cause impaired secretion of hormones that regulate ovarian and menstrual function, and ghrelin levels are elevated in people with anorexia nervosa, another condition of severe energy deficit, she said. Until now, ghrelin levels have not been studied in teenage athletes in relation to ovarian hormones.

The researchers studied 21 teenage athletes with amenorrhea, 19 normally menstruating athletes and 18 nonathletic girls. The body mass index, a measure of body fat, was lower in the amenorrheic girls than in the other two groups, but overall these athletes were not underweight. All girls were more than 85 percent of the ideal body weight for their ages. The amenorrheic group reported similar levels of physical activity as the normally menstruating group, and both groups of athletes reported more physical activity than the non-athletic group.

Even after controlling for BMI, the research team found that ghrelin levels were higher in athletes that were not menstruating than in either of the other two groups. The data also showed that athletes with higher ghrelin levels had lower levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone.

"These findings suggest that hormonal disorders may explain why amenorrhea occurs in some but not all adolescent athletes," Misra said. "In addition, ghrelin may be an important link between an energy deficit state and the hormones that regulate menstrual function."

They plan to further study the role of ghrelin in menstrual function in more subjects and over an extended time.

The results will be presented at The Endocrine Society's 90th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The National Institutes of Health funded this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Endocrine Society. "Hormone Disorder May Contribute To Lack Of Menstruation In Teenage Athletes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616133123.htm>.
The Endocrine Society. (2008, June 17). Hormone Disorder May Contribute To Lack Of Menstruation In Teenage Athletes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616133123.htm
The Endocrine Society. "Hormone Disorder May Contribute To Lack Of Menstruation In Teenage Athletes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616133123.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Doctors Reassure Public Ebola Patient Won't Cause Outbreak

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) After the announcement that the first U.S. patient had been diagnosed with Ebola, doctors were quick to say a U.S. outbreak is highly unlikely. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

TX Hospital Confirms Patient Admitted With Ebola

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Medical officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital confirm they are treating a patient with the Ebola virus, the first case found in the US. (Sept. 30 Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins