Since the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, the number of girls competing in high school sports has increased from 295,000 to nearly 3.2 million, and more women are playing collegiate sports than ever before. As these numbers continue to rise, and girls and young women become more empowered through sports, awareness of the health issues specific to female athletes has become increasingly important.
Some say it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), our patients and their families depend on a “village” of caregivers — gastroenterologists, nurses, dietitians, social workers and more — to carry them through their journey.
When two-year-old Savanna Bluford enters Boston Children’s Colorectal and Pelvic Malformation Center, she quickly gravitates toward the waiting room’s interactive light board. Sporting pigtails, sparkly sneakers and an angelic smile, the playful toddler’s attention quickly turns to her doctor — the Center’s Co-Director Dr. Belinda Dickie. The two light up with smiles and exchange hugs as if old friends — and that, they are.
Savanna was born in South Carolina with a rare and complex birth defect affecting the gastrointestinal, urological and reproductive systems.
The condition, called covered cloacal malformation, occurs when the bladder, colon and vaginal channels are connected. This connection causes a mixing of stool and urine, which exit the body from the same location. The malformation also impacts the spinal cord.
The spring athletics season is in full swing and for those at the high school and college level, practices and game schedules can be intense. When you blend this physical commitment with the demands of a hectic academic schedule, sometimes maintaining healthy eating habits and positive energy balance can be challenging.
Dr. Kathryn Ackerman, medical director of Boston Children’s Female Athlete Program, shares important information about a condition called the female athlete triad and offers tools to keep young athletes healthy, energized and at the top of their game. …