Metabolic, endocrine, and reproductive changes of a woman channel swimmer

Rose E. Frisch*, George M. Hall, Thomas T. Aoki, Jason Birnholz, Robert Jacob, Lewis Landsberg, Hamish Munro, Kirtly Parker-Jones, Dan Tulchinsky, James Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We report the coordinated metabolic, hormonal, and reproductive data of a female channel swimmer during the pre-swim training period, immediately post-swim, and in the post-swim untrained state. Urine and blood samples collected at these times were assayed for diurnal urinary catecholamines, urinary C-peptide and 3-methylhistidine, total blood ketone bodies, glycerol, the reproductive hormones, adrenal androgens, and thyroid hormones. Subcutaneous fat was measured by ultrasonography. All of the metabolic and hormonal data post-swim except cortisol reflected the severe physiological stress. Urinary catecholamines returned to near-normal levels by 12 hours post-swim. The metabolic changes were associated with reproductive changes, including a shortened luteal phase, absence of ovulation, and increased LH secretion relative to FSH. The swimmer maintained high levels of body fat; she did not become amenorrheic. Metabolic and reproductive hormone levels returned to normal by 2 months post-swim.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1111
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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