The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a 15-week diet and exercise intervention program on energy balance, hormonal profiles, body composition, and menstrual function of an amenorrheic endurance athlete. The intervention program reduced training 1 day/week and included the use of a sport nutrition beverage providing 360 kcal/day. Three eumenorrheic athletes served as a comparison group and were monitored over the same 15-week period. The amenorrheic athlete experienced a transition from negative to positive energy balance, increased body fat from 8.2 to 14.4%, increased fasting luteinizing hormone (LH) from 3.9 to 7.3 mlU/ml, and decreased fasting cortisol from 41.2 to 33.2 pg/dl. The eumenorrheic subjects showed a 0.4% reduction in body fat, a decrease in follicular phase levels of LH from 7.9 to 6.5 mlU/ml, and no change in cortisol. These results suggest that nonpharmacological treatment can contribute to reestablishing normal hormonal profiles and menstrual cyclicity in amenorrheic athletes.
C.A. Dueck, K.S. Matt, and J.S. Skinner are with the Department of Exercise Science & Physical Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0404. M.M. Manore is with the Department of Human Development & Family Resources, Arizona State University.