Alcoholics fall over a lot…and have weakened bones; not an ideal combination.
It seems as though you can pretty much name any part of your body…and alcohol abuse will negatively affect it. Bones are no exception, and the chronic and heavy use and abuse of alcohol is a major contributor to experienced osteoporosis. Osteoporosis has no effective treatment, and prevention is the only way to minimize the odds of this debilitating health and mobility condition.
Alcohol abuse negatively effects bone density and bone health, and it does so in a number of ways.
Firstly, alcoholics often neglect their diet and tend to get much of their daily caloric intake through the liquid but empty calories of alcohol. This legacy of nutritional deficits causes many problems, and one expression of nutritional neglect is observed through bones weakened by years of little calcium and vitamin D consumption.
Secondly, chronic alcohol consumption causes an increase in levels of parathyroid hormone, which lessens calcium storage; and alcohol also disrupts the body’s ability to produce calcium linked vitamin D.
Additionally, in both men and women, chronic and heavy alcohol abuse alters bodily hormones that impact on bone health and development. Heavy drinking in men causes a reduction in testosterone, and this decrease in testosterone further decreases peripheral cells called osteoblasts, which are responsible for bone cell formation. Chronic and heavy drinking in women can cause menstrual irregularities and hormonal deficits, and is also linked to a reduction in bone cell development.
Firstly, the best way to reverse the deficits on the skeletal bones of the body is simply through achieving abstinence and ending the continuing assault on calcium.
Secondly, abstinence should be combined with a nutritional program designed to reverse the nutritional deficits created through abuse, and recovering alcoholics should take special care to take additional supplements of vitamin D and of Calcium.
Weight bearing exercise can strengthen bones, and so can quitting smoking.
Many years of alcohol abuse can greatly increase the probability of experiencing osteoporosis in later years. The best way to better the odds and improve bone health is through a better lifestyle and a cessation of drinking.
Don’t worry; you can still drink…milk!