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Finding Support

Where to find support?

When it comes to seeking support, it’s very important to know where to look. As I explained here in 'How-To-Guide or Hoax', there are plenty of time- and money-wasting traps to fall into. I know, because I fell into most of them before eventually stumbling across the resources I'm grateful to share with you below.

I'm here to talk things through at any stage of your RED-S experience, whether it's to help you decide where to seek medical guidance, to answer any questions (no matter how obscure or personal), or to support you with your recovery process.

Medical and Nutritional Support

UK

Doctor: Nicky Keay is a pioneering physician and RED-S researcher with an extensive medical background in endocrinology and sports performance. She has a background in dancing and sport herself and is the author of the Health4Performance website. She is based in London and can be seen privately alone or in a combined appointment with Dietitian Renee McGregor at the EN:SPIRE Clinic. To get in touch with Nicky, head here.

Doctor: Dr Rebecca Robinson is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultant with a special interest in RED-S, female athlete health and also oncology. Rebecca splits her time between British canoeing, the NHS and her clinical time at the Centre for Health and Human Performance. An accomplished athlete herself, Rebecca competes in international competitions for mountain and road running. To book an appointment, head here or to get in touch with Rebecca directly, use rebeccarobinson@chhp.com

Doctor: Dr John Rogers is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultant, based in Manchester. He specialises in treating people with medical problems related to physical activity e.g. RED-S, overtraining syndrome, cardiac and respiratory problems with exercise, vascular disease, concussion, mental health problems and nutritional deficiencies. To get in touch, head here.

Doctor: Dr Kate Hutchings is a Sports and Exercise Medicine Consultant at Circle Reading Hospital and is experienced in working with both elite and recreational athletes from a wide variety of sports. Her previous positions include working for the English National Ballet as company doctor and she is experienced in looking after the female athlete and related medical issues. To get in touch, head here

Dietitian: Alex Cooke is a registered clinical and sports dietitian with over a decade of experience. Specialising in endurance sports, Alex understands the impact of RED-S and the nutritional changes required to help an athlete reach optimal health and performance. With 20 years of competitive athletics success behind her, Alex provides realistic and digestible advice, individually tailored to your needs.

Exercise Physiologist and Nutritionist: RunScience provides support from someone who not only understands running but also the science behind it too. As a decorated GB distance runner herself, Jess Piasecki has personal experience of RED-S and now combines her experience of elite athletics with her scientific knowledge to create bespoke training and nutrition programmes for athletes.

Menstrual health tracker: FitrWoman the world’s first mobile app that provides daily training and nutritional suggestions tailored to your menstrual cycle. Even if you don't currently have one, the app allows you to track symptoms, log training activity and receive nutrition and physiology support. This previous resource is paving the way for girls and women to get the best out of themselves and make smarter, more informed decisions and I am proud to promote them as an Athlete Ambassador.

Community support: #TRAINBRAVE is a campaign aiming to raise awareness of RED-S and inspire more athletes to share their experiences. They work collaboratively with both Renee McGregor and Nicky Keay and run free events, so keep an eye out on social media.

USA

Doctor: Kathryn Ackerman is a Sport and Exercise Medicine Physician and the medical director of the Female Athlete Program in the Division of Sports Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital. Her interests include female athletes, rowing injuries, endocrinology, female athlete triad, optimizing performance and health in athletes with diabetes, exercise-associated hyponatremia, and exercise and bone health in adolescents. Dr. Ackerman sees patients in Boston and Waltham. Get in touch here.

Dietitian: Rebecca McConville is a certified eating disorder dietitian and sports nutrition specialist. She has 25+ years’ experience in all-things-RED-S and is also the author of Finding Your Sweet Spot: How to Avoid RED-S by Optimizing Your Energy Balance. Get in touch here.

Community support: Running in Silence, an American-based athletic community, also helps to support athletes in preventing, identifying, and encouraging recovery of eating disorders in sport.

Athlete stories

Are Athlete's Seeing RED-S? By Jess Piasecki here
Climber Mina Leslie-Wujastyk writes openly about her case of RED-S here
'The break in breakthrough' by runner, Anna Boniface here
Mary Cain, professional American middle distance runner, shares her story here
Climber Beth Rodden talks about her experience of eating disorders here
GB distance runner Tina Muir shares a word of advice here
Bobby Clay, European champion and World Junior finalist, shares her experience here and here
Jen Walsh, former English Schools XC champion, speaks to Athletics Weekly here
Tom Fairbrother, a British athlete, shares his eating disorder experiences here and here

Podcasts

The Health4Performance podcast discusses RED-S, hormones, health and performance
Find a podcast discussing menstrual cycles and RED-S here
And another discussing RED-S here
The Trainbrave podcast is an educational platform for all things sports nutrition, fitness and lifestyle
Find Tina Muir's Running For Real Podcast 'A New You Is More Than Just Healthy Eating' here
The Female Athlete Podcast discusses everything you need to know about the menstrual cycle and how it impacts performance - including issues such as contraception, bone health and female physiology
The Period of the Period aims to open up the conversation surrounding female health and performance

Medical journals/papers/articles of interest

2018 UPDATE: Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) here
IOC consensus statement on relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S): 2018 update here
Infographic on RED-S BJSM By Emily Dudgeon, Scottish athlete and RED-S researcher here
Endurance Exercise Training and Male Sexual Libido here
How to identify male cyclists at risk of RED-S here
Male athletes: the bare bones of cyclists here
RED-S recognition and next steps here
For more general info on RED-S, head here

Books

Finding Your Sweet Spot: How to Avoid RED-S by Optimizing Your Energy Balance

No Period Now What: Provides a great explanation of why you may have lost your cycle and how to regain it

Period Repair Manual: Not specifically for athletes but useful nonetheless

ROAR: How to match your food and fitness to your unique female physiology for optimum performance, great health, and a strong, lean body for life

Sick Enough by Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani offers patients, their families, and clinicians a comprehensive, accessible review of the medical issues that arise from eating disorders