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lanahopple's avatar

My friend is anorexic and wants to know if she can play lacrosse?

Asked by lanahopple (453 points ) January 24th, 2012

My friend really wants to play lacrosse, but right now she is struggling with anorexia. If she is able to gain enough weight, heart rate and vital signs are good and her period returns, do you think she would be able to play.
The pre-season starts in three weeks. I don’t want to know if the weight gain is realistic, I want to know if she would be able to just jump right in to running and into a demanding sport??

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20 Answers

chyna's avatar

She needs to see a physician to be properly diagnosed first. She could have damage to her heart from the anorexia or to other organs and the stress could hurt her even more.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

No, she needs medical care and to be observed by her doctor for a while, before she participates in any sport.

saint's avatar

Your friend has a tough choice to make. Engage in normal and healthy activities, or engage in abnormal and unhealthy activities. Which would most people choose?

lanahopple's avatar

She has been in the hospital already, and she was released about a month ago I believe. She is working with her doctor right now, and is vitally stable (heart rate good but just barley) but is increasing her food intake by a lot right now. I’m sure she will gain enough weight, she is just afraid that her doctor will tell her to “ease into things.”

chyna's avatar

And she needs to listen to her doctor, not strangers on the internet that don’t know her. I’m honestly not trying to be a jerk. She needs to take care of her body. She has abused it badly already.

lanahopple's avatar

Your not being a jerk at all, your just trying to help me help her. I just wanted to see if I could give her some input because she just really wants to know before her next appointment which is in a while. Its gonna be a bummer to tell her, but like you are suggesting, it is all about what is healthy for her right now that matters. Thanks for the help

Coloma's avatar

The reason people die of anorexia is heart failure which weakens the heart muscle.
The heart is all muscle and when it is depleted it gives out, bottom line.
Once the body has used every molocule of fat and muscle it turns to organ consumption.
Extreme exertion in an anorexic state could cause instant death from cardiac arrest.

Your friend needs some serious psychological and heatlh intervention, so..the short of it is no. Bad idea, very bad.

JLeslie's avatar

If her doctor says it’s ok, I think she will be allowed to. So it depends on her gaining enough weight, healthy blood tests showing all her electrolytes in balance, probably needs an EKG, and her psychologist needs to agree she is not trying to purge by exercising.

JLeslie's avatar

Cardiac arrest in anorexics is many times reted to electrolyte imbalance, that is why those tests need to be within normal limits consistently.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Hopefully her doctor has some experience with this before s/he OKs anything. As others have said, it’s not just about weight gain. Her bone structure may well be compromised as well, and Lacrosse is a sport that could very well result in serious damage to her skeletal structure if she has not had time to re-balance all her systems.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Not a good idea. I used to lose 8 pounds in a few hours doing hard training, all water and electrolytes. I’m guessing she doesn’t have that much of a nutrition bank to draw on. She doesn’t have her period, her body doesn’t have any reserves. And you get hit hard in Lacrosse.

JLeslie's avatar

@lanahopple How long has she been anorexic?

lanahopple's avatar

She has been anorexic for about four months, and I talked to her about your responses yesterday, and she commented that all of her electrolytes are in balance, it is just the weight, period and vital signs.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lanahopple Any sport where you push yourself is a lot of strain on the body. She has too many warning signs flashing to play this year. I’m sorry but that’s just what I think.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Wait…she has been anorexic for four months or was diagnosed four months ago? There’s a big difference. One doesn’t simply wake up one day anorexic. The self-deprivation and malnutrition aspects of the disorder (disease, whatever) start off slow, but there may be considerable damage to the body done before anything is outwardly apparent. Not to be an old fusspot here, but once the diagnosis of anorexia comes back, she and her physician need to do a lot more than worry about her wait. Any doctor that OKs sport like Lacrosse too soon could be held liable for a whole bunch of stuff should the patient not be entirely recovered in all aspects of her health.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Crap. Weight. I meant weight. sorry

JLeslie's avatar

Many female runners lose their periods during training because their fat percent gets so low. They are healthy enough to run marathons. But, those same runners eat a lot, infact they carbo load, while most dieters restrict carbs. So, if she is eating regularly again, and her tests are all normalizing, the doctors might ok it I think. Not that I think it is healthy to constantly run marathons, I don’t. But, that typically is much more exercise than playing a team sport. Four months is a relatively short time, assuming you meant she has only been anorexic for four months, and you don’t mean she was diagnosed four months ago. I agree with @JilltheTooth there is a big difference between the two. But, if they ok it, they should require her to be weighed in regularly and maybe check blood pressure and pulse, and go for periodic blood tests.

Let us know if she gets to pay.

lanahopple's avatar

Okay so I asked her all of these questions, and here is the run down. She decided that although she might not be able to play, having something to look forward to is really helping her overcome her restrictive and fear of eating food, and it is even helping her overcome the idea of gaining WEIGHT @JilltheTooth (we all do it :D). Although it is a possible no, she still wants to know if her chances are even there.

To answer you questions, she has had the anorexic mindset that you are talking about since late June of last year, was diagnosed 4 months ago, and was in the hospital one and a half months ago. She gets checked once a week for blood and weight, and is eating “normal” food. She is at 116 pounds and needs to be 118 pounds at the least to be in the range of a normal weight for a young adult.
She is getting there, and Im really proud of her. It is just hard for her to accept that weight doesn’t define who you are.

lanahopple's avatar

I dont know if that response needs an answer, I think she just needs to get some outside input. Thanks for those of you who have commented back so far.

JLeslie's avatar

Being just two pounds underweight sounds good. :) I hope she is able to overcome what led her to the bad eating habits. Aneroxia is a tough thing to battle.

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