We have all read the varying reports that indicate how stress in our lives can greatly compromise our physical health. It can impair our immune systems, raise our blood pressure and cholesterol levels, contribute to weight gain, and even make us emotionally drained. In doing some research, I discovered another aspect of how stress affects our health that I never really considered. Stress can weaken our bones.
Stress is frequently linked to depression or depressive behaviors. Now studies are revealing that people experiencing major depression in their lives have a lower bone mass density than their non-depressed counterparts. Additional studies go on to note that extended periods of no social interactions and lack of pleasurable activities can impact one’s bone density, as well, according to the sources at www.inspire.com/groups/national-osteoporosis-foundation/discussion/new-info-on-how-stress-weakens-your-bones.
Do you know what is really happening inside your body as a result of continual high-stress living situations? When you are under constant stress, your body increases its cortisol levels and reduces its serotonin levels. When your cortisol levels are high, it results in total body inflammation, reducing its ability to absorb calcium. In fact, your body will show a significant increase in excreting calcium. The bone-building cells called osteoblasts are reduced in number and inhibit the bones’ abilities to renew what is needed to maintain healthy and normal bone density.
According to the article, “Keep Stress from Weakening Your Bones,” by Woody McMahon, chronic stress can now be traced as the main player in the creation of osteoporotic bones. Bone growth and repair is altered. When treating patients for osteoporosis, stress reduction techniques must be taken into consideration so bone formation and repair can return to normal.
Sure, it is important to bring in the components of diet, exercise, supplements, and medication for the treatment of osteoporosis, but the research shows that we have to think about ways to reduce the negative effects of stress on our bodies.