Ob-Gyns Play Key Role in Diagnosing and Treating a Common Condition in Female Athletes

Ob-Gyns Play Key Role in Diagnosing and Treating a Common Condition in Female Athletes

CELEBRATION OF WELLNESS NEWS

May 2022

Ob-Gyns Play Key Role in Diagnosing and Treating a Common Condition in Female Athletes

Washington, DC—Ob-gyns have an essential role to play in the health of female athletes, according to the latest guidance released from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Menstruation is a critical vital sign and an important factor in recognizing a medical condition observed in physically active girls and women known as the female athlete triad.
 
In a Committee Opinion released this month, ACOG states that ob-gyns should screen for the following three components of this condition at total visits for preventive care:
•low energy availability with or without disordered eating;
•menstrual dysfunction; and
•low bone density
 
 
 
“Amenorrhea, or abnormal absence of menstruation, is often considered “normal” among elite athletes who are often unaware this is the first indicator of a more serious problem, which is not uncommon in female athletes,” said Meredith Loveless, M.D., author of the Committee Opinion and chair of ACOG’s Committee on Adolescent Health Care.
 
“While dancers, gymnasts, and runners are at highest risk for the female athlete triad, all athletes are susceptible regardless of body build or sport. A patient doesn’t need to be experiencing all three components to be affected. Even healthcare providers often do not understand that an athlete does not need to have all three components to have female athlete triad and be adversely affected by this condition, so increased awareness is important.”
 
Female athlete triad stems from energy imbalance, which occurs when dietary energy intake minus exercise energy expenditure doesn’t leave adequate energy for remaining body functions. This can lead to dysfunction of the hypothalamus—the control center for the endocrine system, which secretes hormones to various organs. When it’s not functioning correctly, often due to under-nutrition, it can affect menstrual function and bone health. Many athletes will experience a decrease in estrogen levels, which plays a crucial role in bone formation and maintenance.
 

The pressure among female athletes to be lean is tremendous,” said Loveless. “Unfortunately, this can lead to unhealthy behaviors that can cause a host of problems that may not be reversible and counter their performance goals, including osteoporosis, fracture, and diminished athletic performance.”Among slender build female athletes, clinical disordered eating has been reported between 16 to 47 percent compared to five to 10 percent among the general population. However, many athletes are simply not taking in enough fuel to cover their energy expenditure without having an underlying eating disorder.

 
 
According to the Committee Opinion, ob-gyms should consider the menstrual cycle a vital sign since the absence or abnormality of menses is an important marker of overall health. They should conduct a thorough patient history, including questions regarding eating habits, sexual history, exercise regime, and symptoms of depression. The visit should also include a physical examination and a pelvic exam if indicated for gynecological reasons. The overall goal of treatment is the restoration of regular menses, which is the clinical marker for energy balance. The most important aspect of treating the female athlete triad is diet and activity modification, and a sports nutritionist may play a key role in treatment. There is a common misconception that birth control pills can treat female athletes triad. Still, studies show they have little effect on restoring bone mass density and make it more challenging to use menstruation as a marker of recovery. They are not a substitute for dietary or activity modifications.“While the patient may perceive some treatments compromising sports performance, it is important for an ob-gyn to work with a multidisciplinary team, including dieticians and mental health providers, the athlete, their family, and coaches, to set realistic goals,” said Loveless. Committee Opinion #702, “Female Athlete Triad,” will be published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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What Stress Does to a Woman’s Body

What Stress Does to a Woman’s Body

CELEBRATION OF WELLNESS NEWS

April 2022

What Stress Does to a Woman’s Body

You are sitting in traffic on I-4, late for your OB-GYN appointment, watching the minutes tick away. Your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, decides to send out the order: Send in the stress hormones! These stress hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response.

Your heart races, your breath quickens, and your muscles are ready for action. This response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly. But when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk.

Stress affects all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.

If your stress response does not stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Symptoms of chronic stress include:
• irritability
• infertility
• anxiety
• depression
• headaches
• insomnia
• low sex drive
• missed periods

If you are stressed, your menstrual cycle can become longer or shorter, your periods may stop altogether, or they might even become more painful. Chronic stress can also magnify the physical symptoms of menopause or the developing pre-menopause symptoms.

Stress Management
These recent discoveries about the effects of stress on women’s health should not leave you worrying. We now understand much more about effective strategies for reducing stress responses. Such beneficial strategies include:
• Maintaining a healthy social support network
• Engaging in regular physical exercise
• Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night

These approaches have important benefits for physical and mental health and are form-critical building blocks for a healthy lifestyle. If you would like additional support or if you are experiencing extreme or chronic stress, come see us identify the challenges and stressors that affect your daily life and find ways to help you best cope for improving your overall physical and mental well-being.

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Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology Welcomes Victoria E. Richione to the Provider Team

Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology Welcomes Victoria E. Richione to the Provider Team

CELEBRATION OF WELLNESS NEWS

April 2022

Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology Welcomes Victoria E. Richione to the Provider Team

Victoria E. Richione is a board-certified nurse practitioner with more than 7 years of experience in women’s health. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from the University of Scranton including a minor in counseling. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Victoria completed her education by earning a Master of Science in Nursing from Advent Health University in Orlando, Florida.

Victoria knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. In her own words, “For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed helping and caring for people. After completing nursing school, I started my career in labor and delivery and have loved it ever since.”, Victoria E. Richione. While obstetrics is exciting to Victoria, her passion lies within family planning with a strong emphasis on patient education. “I always want my patients to be heard, no matter what they need to say. I am always there to listen to concerns, questions, and excitements. I believe that mutual respect is important in a successful provider/patient partnership.”, said Victoria.

Victoria was raised in a small town outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and married her high school sweetheart. After taking enjoying many vacations to Orlando, Florida throughout the years, Victoria and her husband decided to follow their dreams and relocate to central Florida. Her husband works for Walt Disney’s Imagineering, and they enjoy all things Disney including restaurants, resorts, and theme parks. In November of 2021, Victoria was married in the Disney Wedding Pavilion located at the Grand Floridian Resort.

To schedule an appointment with Victoria, call our office at 407-566-2229 (BABY).

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