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Bone Fractures

Feb 27, 2008
A fracture can occur in any bone in the body, including the vertebrae or the ribs, although it is most common in the extremities. Broken bones are called simple fractures when the skin is intact and compound fractures when the skin is broken. Compound fractures cause complications because open wounds are more susceptible to infection and substantial blood loss.

A fracture is obvious if a cracking sound occurs with injury, or when the affected part is deformed and immobile. If swelling, bruising and pain are marked after an injury, or if the injured part is difficult to move, a fracture should be considered. Fractured bones near joints are often mistaken for a bad sprain. Fractured ribs are particularly painful on breathing and coughing, but are no more painful than bruised ribs. If you are uncertain, an X-ray is often the only sure method of confirming a break. Immediate medical attention is recommended before the bone sets improperly. It usually takes between two weeks and six months to heal a fracture, depending on the age and health of the person afflicted and the severity of the injury.

A bone fracture is a break that results from an injury - often a fall or a traffic accident. Any bone disease will increase a predisposition for fractures, so much so that a mild injury causes multiple breaks. The older the individual, the more common this is, and it is often related to osteoporosis. Minerals are essential for bone strength, while protein added to the diet will provide tissues with flexibility. If either element is lacking, bones will become too soft or too brittle to withstand injury. A poor diet will not provide the essential nutrients for bone structure. Nutrient absorption is often hindered by digestive problems. Contributing to osteoporosis are hormonal imbalances and inadequate physical activity.

Nutrition

A diet rich in silica, particularly from raw oats, is essential for bone maintenance. Eat rolled oats as porridge or soak them overnight to make a Swiss muesli.

Include adequate quantities of calcium and phosphorus, which the body deposits among protein fibers to form new bone. Figs are an excellent healing food for broken bones. They contain phosphorus and calcium, and are also a good source of magnesium, which keeps calcium soluble and builds bones.

Fresh, raw, organic, green vegetables and whole grains should form the mainstay of the diet. They provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and silica, as well as enzymes for boosting metabolism. Eat some fresh fruit daily. Mangos, apricots, papayas and cantaloupe are excellent sources of vitamins A and C and potassium, all important for bone development and maintenance.

Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are good food for bones. Their oil is the best dietary source of vitamin D, needed for calcium absorption. They also contain magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Eat nuts and seeds for boron, an important trace mineral for building strong bones.

Avoid red meats and sugar, which cause phosphorus-calcium imbalance. Vegetarians have denser, better-formed bones because their calcium comes from vegetables. Contrary to popular belief, milk alone does not build strong bones. It does not contain the magnesium needed to keep calcium soluble, so that its calcium tends to remain unused in the body, forming unwanted deposits.
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