Living with anxiety can have detrimental long-term effects on your health. Anxiety can interfere with your daily life, making it increasingly difficult to perform everyday tasks as you become stricken with worry or fear.
Anxiety is associated with a higher risk of depression, suicide risk, substance abuse, and even certain physical illnesses. Anxiety compromises the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. But what you may not know is that chronic anxiety is also associated with weaker bones.
A new study suggests that anxiety reduces vitamin D levels, which is crucial for healthy bones. Italian researchers uncovered that women with anxiety have a three percent greater risk of a hip fracture and a four percent higher risk of other fractures compared to men. Women with anxiety also tend to have lower bone density and higher breaks and fractures.
Psychiatrist Dr. Sagar Mandada explained, “Excess worry is perceived as distress by our body. Increased long-term stress causes unbalanced release of cortisol and has been associated with many changes in the body, especially bone and joint related problems. Stress impacts Vitamin D levels as well. One should increase the intake of Omega 3 fatty acids as it improves brain function and anxiety.”
The researchers suggest that women who suffer from anxiety tend to adhere to unhealthier lifestyle habits, which can contribute to weaker bones. Furthermore, the stress hormone cortisol, which is released more so in anxious people, increases fracture risk as it depletes vitamin D levels.
It’s recommended that those suffering from anxiety should increase their intake of vitamins through eating oily fish, fortified cereals, and egg yolks. Lastly, it’s essential that if you’re living with anxiety, you work with a professional to better manage and control it to further protect your bones.
- 15 bone strengthening exercises for strong bones
- Top calcium-rich foods for stronger bones (Hint: They aren’t dairy!)