Some female athletes could develop low calcium levels for the same reason that menopausal women do: low levels of the hormone estrogen in their bodies. Female athletes have been linked to a trio of problems (called the "female athlete triad") that could cause low calcium levels. This trio includes changes in diet patterns, not having a period, and osteoporosis. Because of this possibility, very physically active women may need to supplement with calcium and should to see their doctor for any of these problems. Low calcium levels might lead to inflammation of gum tissue and further oral health problems.
Ramiz Masri, MD
Specialty: Obstetrics & Gynecology
Location and Office HoursEMH Women's Healthcare
125 E Broad
Elyria, OH 44035
- Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- CIGNA HealthCare
- Great-West Healthcare CIGNA
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- Medical Mutual of Ohio
- Medical Mutual of Ohio/Super Med
- SummaCare Health Plan
- United Healthcare
- University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center
Can female athletes have low calcium levels?
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Why might I have depressed shoulders if I am a woman?
Rick Olderman, Physical Therapy, answeredFor women, two issues in particular contribute to depressed shoulders. The first is an ill-fitting bra with straps that are located over the outer shoulder or where the collarbone meets the scapula. This creates a long lever arm that pulls the shoulder down. To understand how this affects scapular positioning, hold your arm out to your side at shoulder height with a five-pound weight in your hand. With your arm still stretched out to the side, now put the five-pound weight on your shoulder. You'll notice it's much easier to hold the weight up when it's on your shoulder than when it's in your outstretched hand. When you're holding something up (the weight in this case), the further it is from the body, the more work it will be to maintain. The closer it is to your center, the easier it will be to hold up. Bra straps that loop over the outer shoulder rather than closer to the neck have the same effect on the scapula: They drag it down over time. This is especially important for women with large breasts. I've seen bra straps that severely dig into the shoulder from the weight they carry, pulling the shoulder blades downward. Wide straps that pass closer to the neck or cross in the back can unburden the shoulder by shortening the lever arm pulling down on the scapula, alleviating shoulder pain. Some department stores have personnel who specialize in fitting bras. When working with someone, be sure to mention your shoulder issues and the need to unload the shoulder blade as much as possible.
The second problem particular to women is carrying a heavy bag or purse over one shoulder that drags the shoulder down, contributing to a depressed or abducted scapula. Some solutions for this include periodically switching the bag between shoulders, using bags that have double straps to disperse the weight (as in a backpack) -- or simply cleaning out your bag to reduce the load.
Find out more about this book:Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.
What is the Women's Health Initiative?
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) was established in 1992 to address the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. These include cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. It was a 15-year long prevention study. It included a randomized controlled clinical trial, observational study and study of communty approaches to developing healthful behaviors. The randomized controlled clinical trial looked at promising, but unproven, approaches to prevention: hormone therapy, dietary modification and calcium/vitamin D supplementation.
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