Common mood meds can snap your bones

One day, you're nursing a broken heart.

The next, it's a broken bone!

As crazy as it sounds, the two things could be directly connected. The latest research exposes a link between depression and bone breaks -- and it's not due to your mood problem.

It's the drugs used to treat it.

The new study finds that older folks who take antidepressant drugs face DOUBLE the risk of a devastating hip fracture.

That's not just an incredibly painful injury. It can also be a life-changing -- and, in some cases, life-ruining -- injury.

It can lead to hospitalization, surgery, and even permanent disability.

And it could happen to YOU if you take common antidepressant drugs, including some of the best-selling meds on the planet. The study finds this horrific injury risk applies to mirtazapine and SNRI drugs as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of medication that includes big names like Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, and Celexa.

The study included elderly patients with Alzheimer's disease, and naturally they faced the highest risk of all.

But the risk jumped even in otherwise healthy seniors once they started taking the drugs.

It was highest early in treatment, but it remained elevated a full FOUR YEARS later.

It's not just the elderly at risk, and not just the hip that could snap. Previous studies show these drugs can increase other types of bone breaks, too -- and they can strike patients as young as 50 years old.

The reason for the link could be twofold.

First, some of these drugs can slow the growth of new bone.

And second, antidepressants can leave some folks a little unsteady, increasing the risk of a fall.

That's a tragic combination, especially in older patients who may already have weaker bone to begin with.

There's no need to face that risk, because there are far safer ways to get control over depression.

Sometimes, it's just how we were made: We feel bad when bad things happen.

In other cases, especially in seniors, depression can be a message from the body. It's a sign of something gone wrong that needs help. It could be nutrition, hormones, or inflammation.

Antidepressant drugs don't solve any of those root causes.

When depression is caused by life's sad moments, a mix of time, the support of loved ones, and prayer can go a long way. If you need a little more help, consider natural therapies such as the amino acid 5-HTP, which your body converts to serotonin.

If you're depressed and don't know why, you need a little more help.

A holistic medical doctor can run some tests to help figure out why you're down in the dumps -- and once you know the reason, you can get to work fixing it.

If you're in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!