7 Seldom-Mentioned Side Effects Of Stress That Damage Your Bones And Your Health
When I feel stressed, I’ve learned to take it as a signal to stop, re-evaluate things, and take steps to manage it. I know not to let stress become chronic, because stress not only affects our overall health; it’s also detrimental to our bones.
Today I want to talk about why stress is so damaging to our body and to our bones, and will share many practical ways you can alleviate stress in your own life.
Stress And Your Bone Health
If you have the Save Our Bones Program, then you’re aware that I devote an entire chapter (Chapter 14) to the effects of stress on your bones. Stress actually acidifies your body because it stimulates production of the hormone cortisol.
It’s more than just cortisol that makes stress so damaging, however. There are other side effects of stress you may never have considered, such as…
1. Sugar Cravings
Your body craves sugary foods in response to stress, according to a Brazilian study. Thirty-one of the 57 participants exhibited symptoms of stress, while the remaining 26 had no symptoms. The study authors concluded that “Stressed women are more prone to [sweet cravings]…”1 The reason is most likely due to the effect of stress on the endocrine system – levels of leptin, the “hunger hormone,” were higher in participants who were stressed and craving sugar.
What does this have to do with bones? Sugar is very acidifying, and it also destroys cartilage – a vital component of bone strength and flexibility – by combining with protein and generating degenerative compounds known as AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products). It’s an appropriate acronym, because sugar definitely adds “age” to your bones.
One more warning about stress-induced sugar cravings – sugar increases calcium excretion in the urine.
You probably know that feeling: when you’re very stressed and anxious, it feels like you have knots in your stomach. It turns out there’s a reason for that, because stress affects your thyroid, so the hormones that regulate your metabolism also get thrown off. Your digestion takes the brunt of this disruption, making it difficult to get things moving.
If stress has you tied up in knots on the inside, your body’s regular toxin removal process is not functioning properly. Poisons can get reabsorbed through the intestinal wall if waste is not expelled, and those toxins hurt your bones.
For younger bones, it’s imperative that poisons be properly removed. They age your bones and tax your whole system.
OsteoCleanse™, the 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator, is designed to purge your system of osteoporosis drugs and other toxins, and part of that process is to get your body’s natural cleansing mechanisms – such as digestion and kidney function – working properly. The OsteoCleanse program includes plenty of pure water and lots of delicious, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables that are full of nutrients and antioxidants, helping your body rid itself of all waste material so you can feel young and healthy again.
I really dislike feeling tired and sluggish – frankly, it makes me feel older. Stress can contribute to this unpleasant feeling of exhaustion for several reasons.
Stress causes worry and anxiety, which keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep. But stress ruins your rest for another reason, too, and it goes back to bone-damaging cortisol. As I mentioned above, stress triggers the production of this stress hormone. This “rush” gives your body what it needs to act fast: a quicker heartbeat, dilated pupils to let in more light, taut muscles that are ready to run if need be, and more oxygen to your brain.
But the body can’t keep up with this demand, so the cortisol slacks off, leaving you with a “crash” feeling of exhaustion.
Regular exercise is the key to keeping your energy levels up and cortisol levels steady. It may seem ironic when you’re so tired out, but exercising several days a week actually keeps cortisol levels stable, so you have more energy in the end.
The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System has everything you need to get started with stress-busting exercises. It takes just 15 minutes, 3 days a week – but you’re welcome to “Densercise” every day if you so choose.
Have you ever had a backache and wondered what you did to cause the pain? Sometimes, it doesn’t have anything to do with strenuous activity or “throwing your back out.” It could be stress.
Stress tenses up your muscles in the flight or fight response, and tense muscles become achy and painful. If you sit at a desk for long periods each day, the pain can be even worse, and poor posture and spinal misalignment can result. Taking brisk walks and periodically stretching can help ease stress-induced back pain, and prevent bone loss.
5. Weight Gain
Considering how stress causes sugar cravings, it makes sense that reducing stress – and thus reducing your intake of sugar – would contribute to weight loss. But it may be that stress sets the stage for weight gain by altering your metabolism.
When 61 women who ate the same basic diet (high in sugar and fat) were evaluated for weight gain after one year, researchers found that those in the highest stress group gained more weight – especially abdominal fat – than those with less stress.
The Save Our Bones Program can actually help prevent weight gain due to stress. Its pH-balanced nutritional plan, stress-reducing techniques described in Chapter 14, and recommendation for regular bone-building exercises all work together to prevent weight gain.
6. Poor Memory
Stress actually affects your brain, especially traumatic stress. The area of your brain responsible for generating and holding memories – the hippocampus – can actually decrease in size under severe, chronic stress.
So stress reduction is vital for regaining your memory and being able to form new ones. This is a vital component to feeling younger and happier.
7. Hair Loss
In addition to cortisol, stress can cause another group of hormones to spike: androgens. One of these androgens, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can affect your hair follicles and induce hair loss.
Thankfully, this type of hair loss is generally temporary. Eating a pH-balanced diet as described in the Program and exercising regularly help bring these hormones back into proper balance. In addition, the Program’s delicious Foundation Foods (like silicon-rich cucumber and boron-containing celery) promote healthy skin and hair as well as youthful bones.
Bone Renewal Involves The Whole Body
Chances are, your doctor will never ask you about your stress levels in relation to osteoporosis. The flawed Medical Establishment’s approach is to identify and treat symptoms, and to target a particular body part or system – such as the bones and bone turnover – with drugs that do nothing more than cover up symptoms. Their approach doesn’t reverse the root cause of the problem.
But the Save Our Bones Program takes an integrative approach instead, incorporating the whole person – mind, emotions, and body, tackling the root cause of osteoporosis. Research shows us again and again that our state of mind affects our bodies, and vice versa.
When I wanted to regain my youthful bone density, I didn’t want to “treat” my low bone density with drugs that didn’t touch on any other aspect of my life. I decided to include my whole self in my quest for younger bones, and I gladly pass that approach on to you in the Save Our Bones Program.
That’s also why I like to foster a sense of community here on the site by encouraging you to leave comments about today’s post below. Please share your experience and encourage others!
Till next time,
1Macedo, Danielle Marques and Diez-Garcia, Rosa Wanda. “Sweet craving and ghrelin and leptin levels in women during stress.” Appetite. Sept. 2014. Vol 80, pp 264-270. Web. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666314002396
2Epel, Elissa, et al. “Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior.” Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2006. 37-49. Web. http://www.chc.ucsf.edu/ame_lab/pdfs/Epel_etal_2001.pdf