Is Adrenal Fatigue Related to the Pros and Cons of Youth Sports?

Research strongly suggests there are about 45 million young people involved in some form of youth sports in the U.S. annually. This means about 75% of the families in America have at least one school-age child involved in this pastime. How many of these families consider the pros and cons of youth sports activities?

Even though there are many positive aspects of participation in youth sports, there is an equal number of negative ones. And both of these categories appear to have some connection to adrenal fatigue syndrome (AFS), either directly or indirectly.

AFS is that health condition that can result from your body’s natural response to stress. Stress in any form sets in motion a cascade of hormones and other biochemicals that result in the adrenal glands secreting cortisol, the stress-fighting hormone, along with other hormones to deal with the stress. Once the stress is gone, your body returns to a state of homeostasis and the adrenals rest. However, in our stress-filled world, more and more stress hits, leading the adrenals to be overwhelmed by the demand. This ultimately leads them to become fatigued, unable to secrete needed hormones. This is the beginning of the flood of symptoms related to AFS.

Unfortunately, conventional medicine doesn’t recognize AFS as a genuine health condition. This results in physicians not knowing about the condition and thus not being in a position to adequately deal with it. Most conventional medical practitioners focus on symptoms or a single organ and work to remediate the symptom or organ only. A more comprehensive approach is found in the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response. This approach allows healthcare practitioners to look at six interdependent organ systems and the ways symptoms affect each one. What happens to one of these organ systems has resulted in the others, as well. This allows for more effective remediation efforts and allows the root causes of symptoms to be handled.

In general, the benefits of physical activity for children are obvious. Their participation early in life sets the foundation for continued physical activity later as they age. Engaging in physical activity helps people of all ages deal with stress, the precursor, and trigger for symptoms of AFS.

However, negative aspects of participation in youth sports also must be considered. A great number of children and adolescents drop out of participation for various reasons. In addition to the possibility of physical injuries, the psychological toll can be significant. This factor can lead to increased stress, making young people vulnerable to the effects of stress that add up over the years. Clinically, we have seen unfortunately an avalanche of AFS sufferers in recent years among teenagers and young adults. A large number of them also have deep participation in high-intensity sports and training for such.

Thus, the pros and cons of youth sports must be discussed and attention should be paid to them by parents and others. The following information can be a starting point for that kind of discussion by parents. ( )

The Pros and Cons of Youth Sports

What follows is a general presentation of the pros and cons of youth sports. Each of the sections can be expanded considerably if more information is needed.

Health Pros

One area of the pros and cons of youth sports that no one would argue with is that of overall health. No one would dispute the fact of obesity becoming an epidemic in our country. And this epidemic affects both children and adults. One-third of children in the U.S. are overweight and lead sedentary lifestyles.

A definite positive for involvement in youth sports is the effect this participation has on getting children active and away from sitting in front of electronic media for long periods of time. Becoming more active physically has been found to significantly improve overall health, decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes and heart disease, increase academic performance, and improve psychological functioning.

For girls, being physically active helps prevent breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and obesity when they become adults. It also has been shown to decrease the risk of early pregnancy, smoking, drug use, and suicide. Girls have also been found to have increased academic success, better self-confidence, and improved self-image.

One study from the British Journal of Medicine showed exercise to be as effective in preventing some chronic health conditions as medications.

Educational Pros

The pros and cons of youth sports and education

One of the areas of the pros and cons of youth sports that doesn’t seem directly connected to sports is education. However, studies have shown that children as early as kindergarten age have increased cognitive skills through participation in organized sports. This kind of activity can result in increased ability to concentrate and focus, better attitudes and behavior in the classroom, and better-standardized test scores.

Other studies have shown students who participate in high school athletics are more likely to attend college and earn degrees. Beyond school, 94% of female corporate executives were active in at least one sport, according to a survey conducted with 400 respondents. View More Info