Wound Care For Diabetes
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Diabetes is a disease that affects your entire body. Your ability to regulate the glucose in your blood, your circulation, immune system and even sensation is altered by this disease. By affecting these processes in your body, diabetes prevents wounds from healing at the rate that they should. Prolonged healing increases the chances of a bacterial infection, and if gone unnoticed for too long can lead to gangrene. Most diabetics with gangrene have progressed from a wound on their foot that neuropathy prevented them from noticing.
How Diabetes Affects Wound Care
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to heal wounds.
Increased Blood Glucose Levels
Although diabetes can be managed, it is difficult to control blood glucose levels effectively. Increased blood glucose levels lead to the inflammation of bodily cells. It also prevents these cells from absorbing the nutrients that they need. These factors all slow down the wound healing process.
Peripheral Neuropathy is a technical word for the loss of sensation caused by nerve damage. Generally brought on by high blood glucose levels over time, peripheral neuropathy is more commonly found in the hands and feet. This loss of sensation allows wounds to go unnoticed for some time, especially under the feet.
Poor circulation in diabetics is a result of narrowed blood vessels caused by the disease. With less blood being pumped through the body, less oxygen reaches the wound site. This slows down the healing process drastically, leaving room for infection to set in.
Lowered Immune System
Immune system activation is a common struggle for diabetics. The number of immune fighter cells being sent to the wound, and their effectiveness, are often reduced. This prolongs the healing process and leaves the wound defenseless.
When your body’s defense system is low, fighting off infection-causing bacteria becomes increasingly harder for your body to do. With neuropathy, the chances of the infection going unnoticed and gangrene setting in is increased.
Tips for Diabetes Sufferers
Although diabetics will require professional help for slow healing wounds, there are steps that they can take to try and prevent the encounter from happening at all.
Never getting cut and grazed would be ideal; however, we are human, and these things do happen. The best that we can do is try to prevent them from happening. Wearing shoes, whether inside your home or outside, can help protect your feet from stones and other sharp objects.
Clean, Clean, Clean
If you do get a cut, make sure to treat it immediately. Wash and dry it every day, keep pressure and weight off the wound and apply an antibiotic cream. If the wound takes longer than 3 weeks to heal or looks as if the infection is settling in, phone and make an appointment to see a wound care treatment professional.
Most chronic diseases are manageable if certain lifestyle changes are made. Incorporating a healthy diet and exercise into your lifestyle are two simple steps that can make a huge difference. Healthy eating helps to regulate blood glucose levels and gives your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to take care of itself. Exercise increases blood circulation, helping oxygen flow to wound sites.
Despite this being a chronic disease, it is manageable enough to lead a normal life. Wearing shoes, tending to cuts and grazes and leading an all-around healthy lifestyle are but a few tips to prevent you from needing professional assistance. If, however, you do find yourself in that position, or are looking for more information regarding chronic wound care phone CutisCare and they can help connect you with a wound care treatment center in your area.