How do I know if I have Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)?

Who is at risk for developing RED-S?

Anyone can develop RED-S, which is a syndrome caused by under-fueling. Not eating enough to match your activity level can cause RED-S. Athletes and active people are more at risk, especially athletes where the sport may require (or the culture requires) a thin body, such as ballet, gymnastics, climbing, rowing, and weight-class sports (wresting, boxing, etc.).

Can you recover from RED-S?

Absolutely! It will take a team of knowledgeable professionals to help you through the recovery process, including a sports dietitian, sports physician, coach, and sometimes a therapist or sports psychologist. RED-S recovery usually involves complete rest or dialing back training, coupled with increased food intake.

Is RED-S serious?

Yes, if left untreated in can lead to injuries such as stress fractures, long-term damage to your organs, hormonal imbalances, infertility, and even cardiac issues. RED-S should not be self-diagnosed or managed on one’s own.

How do I know if I have RED-S?

If you suspect you have RED-S, seek medical help immediately. The physician can assess your heart, labs, menstrual status, and more to make a thorough assessment to decide if you have RED-S. You can use our free RED-S symptom tracking tool to monitor yourself and make sure you are not suffering from any signs of RED-S.

For more resources on RED-S:

RED-S in climbers

11 things that impact your climbing besides your weight

The difference between eating for sports performance and disordered eating

My article in Climbing Magazine about RED-S

My interview on Training Beta Podcast about RED-S