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Stress and Bone Health

A link between stress and bone loss?  You bet.
Check out this clinical tip for a deep dive on the mechanisms of this all-too-common dynamic.

Practitioners know that exogenous glucocorticoid prescriptions are associated with a notable increase in fractures and appreciable reductions in bone density. Logic would dictate that elevations in endogenous glucocorticoids would carry the same risk.  But we often Miss this potent interconnectedness in clinical practice.  

Stress – whether physiological, biochemical, psychological or emotional – is often accompanied by rising Cortisol levels.  Indeed, this isn’t just about relationships and finances and other “life stressors”!  It’s also about insomnia, high blood sugar, mercury toxicity, food sensitivities, high viral load, or post-antibiotic yeast overgrowth – and so many more possibilities.  And along with myriad other downstream effects, a sustained stress dynamic contributes to bone loss.  Make sure you look for this in your patients. 

For a deeper dive on this topic, check out this one, specifying the multiple mechanisms via which endogenous hypercortisolism promotes poor bone health.  Or this study  which found a lesser but still persistent association between overall cortisol level and bone desntiy even in young women.  The good news is that reductions in Cortisol excess can contribute to bone recovery!

Bottom line:  proactively manage stress to avoid negative changes in bone density.  But your patients need Your support to understand what “stress” means for them and their unique body.  Make sure you’re confident in what to consider and how to teach them about the impact.  

Want to learn more?  Join us here for our Deep Dive clinical course, Bone Health, Disease and Dysfunction.

Go beyond menopause, Estrogen and Calcium – bone health is truly multi-factorial.




2 Questions for “Stress and Bone Health”

  1. 2
    Tarrah Wynn says:

    Thank you for much for yet another incredibly informative training. I am a health coach residing in Ontario, Canada. What I found incredibly interesting was that fact that both glucocorticoid drugs and persistent elevated cortisol levels have such an impact on bone density. This one hit home for me as just yesterday my 73 year old mother decided not to proceed with a cortisone shot for a sore shoulder, but rather continue stretching, working with an Osteopath, and doing the things that bring her joy everyday. I am truly grateful for the information you share.

  2. 1
    Durrell says:

    The idea that bone is alive is so powerful as it means we can do Durrell merging about bone health. It’s not a fate d’ complete. Bone can be healed and it takes a balance and a systems approach. Thank you for your important message on bone health.

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