Can Alcohol Weaken My Bones?

Can Alcohol Weaken My Bones?Drinking alcohol can decrease bone mass and strength while increasing the risk for osteoporosis. Even moderate alcohol consumption can weaken bones and disturb the genes responsible for maintaining bone health, so seek help to quit drinking alcohol, especially if you have a serious bone condition.

How Alcohol Affects the Bones

Alcohol affects the body’s amount of RNA, which produces proteins that build bones and other body tissues. When RNA levels are altered, the molecular pathways in charge of normal bone metabolism and bone mass maintenance are interrupted. Genetics greatly influence bone mass, but bone mass can vary based on hormonal, nutritional, environmental and lifestyle factors as well. Alcohol consumption can affect all of these factors.

Alcohol can disrupt normal hormonal balance, which regulates calcium, metabolism, steroidal hormones and growth hormones. Alcohol depletes the body of the vitamins and nutrients that are necessary for healthy bone maintenance. It also forces the liver to work overtime metabolizing alcohol, so it cannot regulates hormone related to the bones. Hormone imbalances and vitamin deficiency greatly contribute to bone weakness and poor bone development.

The way alcohol affects the bones is a double-edged sword, because it also increases the risk for accidents, falls and injuries that contribute to bone fractures. Additionally, alcohol impairs the healing process of bone injuries. So, not only does alcohol heighten the risk for bone problems, but it also cripples the recovery process. For bones to heal properly, they must ossify, or harden. The problem is that alcohol keeps osteoblasts from forming, which are the keys to remodeling new bone tissue. As a result, alcohol retards the body’s ability to repair bones, as well as the body’s ability to repair fractures. People who abuse alcohol while healing from a fracture may develop fracture diseases, or issues that develop with deficient bone repair. These fracture diseases include joint stiffness, muscle weakness and poor soft-tissue flexibility.

High-Risk Conditions for Bone Weakness

Many health problems can cause bone loss and weakness, especially the following examples:

  • Autoimmune disorders: Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis
  • Digestive and gastrointestinal disorders: Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Endocrine or hormonal disorders: Diabetes, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and thyrotoxicosis
  • Blood disorders: Leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell disease, bone marrow disorders and thalassemia
  • Neurological disorders: Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injuries, depression and eating disorders
  • Breast and prostate cancer
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Malnutrition

Alcohol can easily induce bone loss and deficient bone repair. However, if you avoid alcohol you can reverse bone weakness and damage. Therefore, people with deficiencies in bone mass and structure must avoid alcohol.

Repair Your Bones with Sobriety from Alcohol

If your alcohol abuse harms your bone health, we can help you recover. To learn about treatment options for alcohol abuse, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now; our admissions coordinators can assist your search for recovery by answering your questions and connecting you with rehab centers. Jumpstart your recovery and seek help now.