Q: I’ve been diagnosed with athletic amenorrhea. Could you suggest a diet that will allow me to continue my workouts?

Athletic amenorrhea is the term used for when a woman doesn’t have menstrual periods because of very intensive exercise. Amenorrhea is also seen in very lean females. Some women athletes stop having periods; others have delayed onset of menstruation.

[‘We are overeating but are undernourished.' Why?]

Athletic amenorrhea can be caused by a range of factors related to over-exercising. Low levels of body fat can be a cause of amenorrhea – the female body requires a certain percentage of body fat for a healthy reproductive function. Exercising also makes the body release certain hormones, which can affect the functioning of oestrogen and progesterone. Emotional stress affecting the hypothalamus functions and crash dieting and skipping meals are other causes.

There is no ‘ideal weight’ for the entire feminine gender. According to Ayurveda, Kapha body types naturally have a higher BMI (body mass index), Pitta types are medium built and Vata types are generally lean and thin.

An Ayurvedic diet is also personalised as per the body type.

Ayurveda use the term ojus to represent health. Milk and ghee are considered best products to improve the ojus. We are now in a phase of understanding the difference between A2 beta-casein and A1 beta-casein milk proteins in determining the quality of dairy products.

Ayurveda recommends daily exercise up to half of one’s stamina in winter and spring seasons; mild to moderate forms of exercise is recommended in other seasons. This is considering the factor of healthy eating routines.

A female athlete may consider daily intake of an Ayurvedic ghee preparation such as sukumaram ghritham during an intense workout period. Consult an ayurveda doctor for a more detailed prescription.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.