We know that smoking and a lack of calcium or exercise can lead to osteoporosis or thinning of the bones. Now a study by the National Institutes of Health finds that stress brought on by depression may be just as harmful.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation says this study should be a warning to young patients who are already facing depression.
"Lower bone mass at age 30 or 40 or 45 may be putting people at risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in life." said Dr. Ethel Siris of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. She goes on to say, "If the stress is chronic, lasts long and is severe, those changes might cause some negative effects."
Bottom line, according to the NIH study, depression can cause the body to produce the stress hormone cortizol which can eat away at bone mass over time.