The Female Athlete Triad (F.A.T.) is a significant problem that exists not only in high school, collegiate and professional athletes, but is a skeleton in the closet for the general population.
There are 3 components (hence the name triad):
1. Irregular periods or absence of periods
2. Inadequate nutritional intake
3. Low bone density – often evident by stress fractures
The incidence of the triad is highest in weight-focused sports where leanness is thought to be an advantage (swimming, dance, distance running, gymnastics, etc). The components of the triad may all be present, or it may only manifest in 1 or 2 of the criteria. It can result in irreversible damage to the body.
If you are concerned about this talk to your doctor who can perform a more thorough evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.