Changing Your Outlook Can Help with Adrenal Exhaustion Symptoms and Lower Your Risk of Osteoporosis

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Studies suggest that women who are dissatisfied with their lives show greater bone density loss as they age, especially when adrenal exhaustion symptoms are presentAs we age our bones become less dense and the risk of osteoporosis and other adrenal exhaustion symptoms increases, especially among post-menopausal women. Osteoporosis is a major contributor to serious fractures in the elderly and can interfere with health and the ability to live independently. A new study reveals that women between the ages of 60 and 70 who have greater levels of satisfaction in their lives have greater bone density and are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis.

Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland examined data from over 2,000 women who were born between 1931 and 1941 to determine whether there was a connection between life satisfaction and bone density. The women had their bone density measured in 1999 and 1,147 of them were measured again in 2009.

When they had their bone density measurements, the women were also given surveys to measure their life satisfaction. The surveys asked questions related to their interest in life, their happiness, and how lonely they felt. They were then divided into three groups based on their answers, one group indicated high life satisfaction, another group had low satisfaction, and the third group was in the middle. The study was designed to examine how depression might impact bone health.

Over the ten year course of the study, the women saw an average decrease in bone density of about 4%. Those who were dissatisfied had an average decrease in bone density 52% greater than those with higher satisfaction levels.

Even depression can be attributed to adrenal exhaustion symptoms, and can drastically affect how the body agesThe researchers also found that those whose life satisfaction scores decreased over the ten year study had 85% greater decrease in density than those whose life satisfaction increased over the same time period.

Other studies have found that even before menopause, women who are depressed have less bone mass than those who are not, placing them at greater risk of future osteoporosis.

Other risk factors for osteoporosis include age, lack of physical activity, smoking, calcium and Vitamin D deficiency. It is possible that those with less life satisfaction are less likely to eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise, and more likely to smoke. Also, depression can cause havoc with the metabolism, so nutrients aren’t properly absorbed.

While it is unsure whether bone health is directly impacted by mental health or influenced by one’s behaviors, it is clear how strongly mental health influences physical well-being.

Adrenal Fatigue and Adrenal Exhaustion Symptoms are Overlooked Causes of Osteoporosis

Adrenal fatigue is one of the most underdiagnosed causes of osteoporosis. The additional cortisol that is produced by the adrenals has a demineralizing effect on bones. With an overproduction of cortisol, you also have a decrease in the production of your sex hormones. This is because the body does not see the production of sex hormones as necessary to sustain life; the main concern is cortisol production to combat a perceived threat and thus save your life. The problem, however, is that a decrease in the production of your sex hormones contributes towards osteoporosis!

Dr. Lam’s Perspective on Adrenal Exhaustion Symptoms

While some adrenal exhaustion symptoms are considered common, the effects on the body shouldn't be put on the back burnerFor those in the later stages of adrenal fatigue, dissatisfaction with life and a sense of depression can be common adrenal exhaustion symptoms. Many who have gotten to this stage of adrenal fatigue have been given up on by their conventional doctors and have a low life satisfaction due to feeling hopeless about their condition. The physiological effects of imbalanced hormones and neurotransmitters in adrenal fatigue makes it difficult for these people to turn their attitude positive without outside help. Many are frustrated, disappointed, and depressed.

This would mean that those who are suffering from severe adrenal fatigue, and often have a poor life satisfaction, are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Adrenal fatigue is itself an already difficult condition to live with, especially in the advanced stages. Its association with osteoporosis just makes it even more important that education about adrenal fatigue and how to deal with it be increased to enable healthier people.

Here are two tips:

First is to develop a sense of gratitude for life. Even though fatigue can be incapacitating, it could always be worse. We are often not in control with what we have to deal with. Those who have a positive attitude do recover faster.

Second is to simplify your life. Living in the modern day world is complicated. Multiple tasks and relationship obligations and career choices often demand more than what our body is capable of delivering without stressing our adrenal glands. Learn to life simply. Learn to enjoy getting rid of things that are not essential to a happy life. Learn to cherish what is really important and that cannot be purchased – a good relationship.

While some adrenal exhaustion symptoms are considered common, the effects on the body shouldn't be put on the back burner