Anxiety is a serious mental health problem that can affect the quality of life, and in case of women, it can also harm their bone health, according to a recent study. Developing anxiety in the postmenopausal ages increases the risk of osteoporosis in women, thereby, increasing the chance of suffering from fractures and bone injuries, said the study, published in the Menopause in May 2018.
The researchers inferred this after examining the anxiety assessments and bone mineral density tests for 192 postmenopausal women. The average age of these women was 68 years and all of them had attained menopause nearly two decades before. Accordingly, the study identified that the 10-year fracture risk was higher (25 percent) in women with highest anxiety levels compared to 20 percent risk in women with lowest anxiety levels.
“Our findings suggest a possible new clinical risk factor for osteoporosis that could be measured in order to improve our ability to identify women at risk for fractures,” author of the study Dr. Antonino Catalano of the University Hospital of Messina in Italy, said, adding that while 150 women (78 percent) already had at least one fracture in their lives, 87 of them had a parent who had experienced a hip fracture.
The analysis was done basis the questionnaire shared with the participants that covered questions ranging from tension, fear, and restlessness to physical symptoms like insomnia, digestive issues, respiratory problems and headaches induced from tension. As a result, the study observed that the anxiety levels were affected by factors, such as advanced age, age at menopause, years since menopause as well as depressive symptoms.
Meanwhile, explaining the probabilities that can make anxiety a potential trigger for osteoporosis, Dr. Catalano highlighted that menopause makes women more vulnerable as during this stage their body produces less of the hormone estrogen, which is essential for their reproductive health, and also helps gain bone strength. Hence, reduced production of the hormone after menopause increases the risk for osteoporosis in women.
Women, anxiety and osteoporosis
Anxiety disorders can occur in both men and women. However, women are nearly twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. As a result, women are more prone to experiencing osteoporosis compared to men.
According to experts, characteristic symptoms of an anxiety disorder that can impact the bone health of women are constant fear, worry, apprehension, hyperventilation (rapid breathing), sweating, and/or trembling to having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom. Previous studies had also associated osteoporosis with cortisol levels – stress increases the production of cortisol in the body that can further prevent the production of bone-building osteoblasts, thereby, reducing the bone density. As aresult, it makes individuals vulnerable to osteoporosis.
Moreover, the risk of osteoporosis due to anxiety also increases for a woman if she is involved in smoking, drinking or substance abuse. This is because, each of these potential addictions, while aggravating the underlying anxiety, can also impact the bone health.
Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions
Since such disorders are actually treatable, seeking early anxiety disorders treatment is not only necessary to ensure sound mental health but also to maintain good physical health. Treatment for anxiety disorders mainly consists of medication and therapies. However, depending on the severity of the condition, a combination of both the methods can be suggested by the doctor.
If you are looking for an affordable treatment center, get in touch with Sovereign Health. Our treatment centers for anxiety disorder houses all the modern amenities to help a patient not only recover from the mental health condition, but prevent from a relapse. To know more about our treatment programs or locate our world-class facilities, call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 973-7164 or chat live with representatives online.