Over 30 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes, while approximately 84 million have prediabetes that will become type 2 diabetes if not treated. Diabetes continues to be a dangerous health problem that affects a large portion of the American population, as approximately 15% of people diagnosed with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer that will turn into a chronic wound.
Treating a chronic wound is more complicated for patients with diabetes, particularly when the likelihood of forming an ulcer-related wound is so high. Despite this, RegenQuest has developed advanced wound care regimes to ensure patients with diabetes are able start healing their body unimpaired.
How Does Diabetes Affect Wound Care?
Diabetes can damage the body’s blood vessels, creating build-ups of plaque and decreasing blood circulation. Because your feet are so far from your heart, often they will receive the least amount of oxygenated blood, inhibiting blood cells from providing the surrounding tissue with nutrients. When an ulcer or other wound forms, the body requires oxygen and nutrients to heal it. In people with poor circulation, a small sore can easily become a chronic wound that requires continuous treatment.
Hyperglycemia aka High Blood Glucose
Hyperglycemia is often linked to poor circulation, as chronic increased blood glucose levels increases atherosclerosis causing the blood vessels to narrow, decreasing the amount of oxygen provided to the body. Hyperglycemia can impact wound healing by limiting the amount of oxygen provided to the damaged area.
When patients have uncontrolled blood glucose levels, they can experience Diabetic Neuropathy or nerve damage. This results in numbness and loss of sensation, or, in some instances, pain.
What Steps Should I Take To Minimize The Affects Of Diabetes On Wound Care?
Although diabetes does impact wound care, there are many steps a diabetic person can take in order to decrease the affect their health problems have on their chronic wound.
At RegenQuest, we know that wound care is not isolated to the outside of your body. Advanced wound care requires a full-body approach to healing, and often wound care starts with nutrition. For diabetics with chronic wounds, the right diet can make all the difference.
Glucose monitoring is necessary for anyone suffering from foot ulcers or other non-healing wounds in order to prevent side effects from hyperglycemia interfering with the wound care and recovery. During the wound healing process, the body needs lean proteins such as skinless poultry, lean meats, fish or tofu to encourage cell renewal and tissue repair. Carbohydrates are also necessary to provide the body with enough fuel to work on mending itself.
It’s best for a diabetic person to speak with our RegenQuest medical team before embarking on a high carb diet. Our experienced, professional team will formulate a diet plan and nutritional regime unique to you.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
One of the leading causes of chronic and non-healing wounds in people with diabetes is the inability to transfer adequate oxygen to cells and tissues around the body. Hyperglycemia and poor circulation are the leading causes of foot ulcers in people with diabetes.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is ideal for patients such as diabetics with bad circulation and high blood glucose levels. By saturating the body’s cells and tissues with pure oxygen, HBOT ensures that diabetic patients with chronic wounds are helped down the path of healing.
HBOT is known to increase angiogenesis (the formation of new capillaries). For patients with diabetes and damaged blood vessels, angiogenesis plays a significant role in promoting oxygenation of tissue outside of HBOT sessions, as more blood vessels can carry oxygenated blood to the damaged area.
Chronic wounds in patients with diabetes are not untreatable, as some might think. Although diabetes can impact wound care, at RegenQuest we will work with you to help minimize any effects your diabetes has on the healing of your wound.