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Playing sports is one of America’s most popular pastimes. Whether you’re an amateur athlete, a promising student athlete or a pro, you could develop RED-S, or relative energy deficiency in sport syndrome. At Brevard Health Alliance, we offer diagnosis and treatment of this debilitating condition.

Cause of RED-S

Many athletes watch what they eat. In some sports, weigh-ins are required. However, consuming an insufficient amount of calories compared to the amount of energy you burn is the primary cause of RED-S. Severe food restriction and fad diets may lead to RED-S, especially in female athletes.[1] This type of disordered eating can have lifelong effects.

Signs of RED-S

Decreased energy is the earliest sign of RED-S. In females, more than one missed period is a symptom of RED-S. This results from the hormone imbalance caused by the lack of energy.[1] Decreased mineral bone density is another sign of RED-S.[1] This may lead to muscular pain, bone fractures and collapsed vertebrae.[1][2] Together, these three symptoms are the RED-S triad.[1] Young athletes may find that their growth and physical development grind to a halt. Low physical endurance, decreased mental energy, poor immunity and poor sports performance can follow if RED-S persists.[1]

RED-S is a serious condition that can affect athletes in all sports and of all ages. Knowing the symptoms and seeking prompt care can help you return to your peak performance level as soon as possible. To learn more about RED-S in athletes, get in touch with us at Brevard Health Alliance today.




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