Behaving apprehensively activates the body’s stress response, which stresses the body. Persistently elevated stress can impact the body in many ways, including having a negative effect on bone health. This is especially true for postmenopausal women, research has found.
To remedy this problem, it’s recommended to seek help for anxiety, such as through self-help information like the information in the Recovery Support area of our website, and/or through therapy with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist. Since cognitive therapy (talk therapy) is the most effective treatment for anxiety disorder, working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the best way to overcome issues with problematic anxiety.
Benefits are also gained by working with a Nutrition Science Practitioner, who can help with dietary recommendations that can reverse the reduction in bone density.
You can read the press release of a recent study into anxiety and bone health below.
New study demonstrates toll of anxiety on bone health
Higher levels of anxiety increase fracture risk in postmenopausal women
THE NORTH AMERICAN MENOPAUSE SOCIETY (NAMS)
Anxiety has already been shown to take its toll on the human body in many ways, including increased risk for heart disease and gastrointestinal disorders. Now a new study demonstrates how anxiety levels are linked to an increased risk of bone fractures in postmenopausal women. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Fracture risk is a major concern for women as they age, with one in three women worldwide estimated to suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture during her lifetime. With people living longer, the frequency of osteoporotic fractures is growing and therefore driving up healthcare costs. This has led to an increased focus on accurately assessing patients for fracture risk.
Previous studies have shown that participants with anxiety disorders were 1.79 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than were those without anxiety. In the article "Anxiety levels predict fracture risk in postmenopausal women assessed for osteoporosis," study results demonstrate how anxiety levels in postmenopausal women are associated with bone mineral density, a key indicator of fracture risk, of the lumbar spine and femoral neck.
Of the 192 postmenopausal women recruited to the study, those with the lowest levels of anxiety showed a lower probability of fracture than did the women with higher anxiety scores. In addition, anxiety levels were significantly related to age, menopause age, years since menopause, and depressive symptoms.
"Osteoporosis, which affects mortality and quality of life, is on the rise," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. "In addition to previously known risk factors such as early menopause, cigarette smoking, and certain medications such as steroids, this study suggests that women with anxiety need to be screened for osteoporosis because of their higher risk of low bone density, which is associated with higher osteoporotic fracture risk."
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1.Wippert, Pia-Maria, et al. “Stress and Alterations in Bones: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410657/.
2.Kumano, H. “[Osteoporosis and Stress].” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16137956.