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Depression and Bone Health: How Your Mental State Can Impact the Strength of Your Bones

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Bones & Joints related image Photo: Getty Images

My grandma, 106, is somewhat hunched over. That’s to be expected at her age, but this feisty “young woman” has a secret about that hump: all of her worries, frustrations, anxieties, and depressive thoughts just roll right off of it! That is actually one of her many secrets to aging gracefully and having nary a physical complaint, short of the typical, “I’m hungry. When’s lunch?”

Grandma has always embraced optimism. Show her a dark cloud, and she will produce its silver lining. Toss a stumbling block into her path, and she will turn it over into a stepping stone. That’s just the way she confidently rolls. As such, I believe this gives testament to her continued good health, especially when it comes to her bones.

In fact, the only time Grandma has ever broken a bone was back in the late 1960s. Fresh off a graceful glide down a snow-covered mountain top on brand new skis, Grandma raised her arms, ski poles in hand, triumphantly above her head only to be struck from behind seconds later by an overly-zealous and under-accomplished fellow skier. Both were injured. Grandma broke her leg. That was the one and only time she has fractured a bone in her life, despite falling a few times in the past couple of years. I am convinced she is made of steel.

I am also convinced that her upbeat and spirited attitude, trumping anxiety and depression along the way, have kept bone injuries and other bone maladies at bay. Just to substantiate my musings, I did a bit of research into the subject matter, and the results were revealing, but not necessarily shockingly so.

If you have been diagnosed with depression, it is just as important to keep a watchful eye on your mental health as it is on your bone health. Studies have shown that depression can adversely affect bone density. While the psychological effects of depression are fairly established: sadness, lack of motivation, low energy reserves, and difficulties in sleeping, there are physical consequences as well.

The biochemical changes that occur with depression can have dramatic effects on many systems in the body, including the health of your bones.

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EmpowHER Guest

Depression is mental disease. To avoid this do exercise, yoga and spend time with other and share your thinking. It will help to stay healthy and fit.

June 5, 2011 - 11:19pm
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