Why stress is bad for your bones

Most of us know that eating foods rich in bone building calcium, magnesium etc and getting plenty of bone building exercise are essential for keeping osteoporosis at bay. But did you know that stress management may be just as important?


Studies show that stress can be bad for your bones. This is because when you are stressed your body goes into overdrive and the stress hormone adrenaline is released to help you deal with the stress by either fighting or running away. The problem is this hormone should only be released during life threatening situations but the stresses many women face today, such as juggling home and work, or getting stuck in a traffic jam are demanding and irritating but not life threatening. Our bodies, however, can’t tell the difference between different kinds of stresses and as many of us lead stressful lives adrenaline is pumped out on a daily or hourly basis. Our bodies think our lives are in danger and put us in stress mode, ready to fight or run.


If this situation continues for too long the adrenal glands which pump out our adrenaline get exhausted. This is bad news for osteoporosis prevention on two counts. First, because the adrenal glands produce osteoporosis fighting oestrogen when our bodies reach the menopause and the ovaries no longer produce this hormone and second because when you are stressed your energy is diverted away from digestion which means that your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to keep your bones strong. If you are worried about your stress levels then you can take the Adrenal Stress Test.  It is an easy test to do because you collect four samples of saliva over the course of a day which are then sent to the lab and analysed for your levels of cortisol which is the main stress hormone along with adrenaline.  This test will show you how stressed you and what you need to do about it.  You can then re-test the levels three months later and see the difference (see the Resources Page for information on how to order this test).


So to protect your bones and your sanity try the following stress management technique when you feel the temperature rising:


Slow it down. Inhale for five seconds and then exhale for five seconds. Do this for about two minutes. Alternatively you could take five minutes every hour to shut down and think of nothing but your perfect situation. This could be a dream holiday or simply thinking about doing nothing at all. You’ll be surprised at how effectively this can lower stress levels. Day dreaming is a natural stress busting technique.

Comments are closed.