Living with diabetes and chronic wounds

Archive, December, Month

Diabetes is a leading cause of chronic foot ulcers and the risk of amputations.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of chronic, hard-to-heal wounds, which have the potential to lead to serious complications and even the potential for amputation.

Don’t wait on it. Take action. Allow a wound care specialist to thoroughly treat and care for wounds to ensure an optimal outcome.

In the meantime, useful, easy-to-follow information can be found below to you help educate yourself on diabetes, wounds, and everyday measure you can take to protect yourself against developing wounds.

Diabetes and wound care

With a diabetes diagnosis comes the increased risk for developing a chronic wound known as a diabetic foot ulcer.
  • 34.2 million Americans live with diabetes
  • 25 percent will experience a foot ulcer
  • 85 percent of diabetes-related amputations result from foot ulcers

Every day diabetics should check their feet for cuts, sores, redness, swelling or anything that might indicate a wound is developing. Additionally, feet should be washed every day and proper shoes — and socks — should always be wore, never going barefoot.

Nutrition and wound healing

Good nutrition is crucial to the body’s ability to heal its wounds, but nutrition requirements can change when being treated for a chronic wound.
  • The body fighting a chronic wound increases its metabolic demand
  • A wound can increase the body’s calorie requirements by 50 percent and 250 percent of its protein requirement
  • Inadequate nutrition can lead to the loss of lean body mass, and the body’s ability to thoroughly fight the wound

Foods that promote healing are those rich in proteins (meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, nuts), vitamin A (dark, leafy greens, fortified dairy products, orange vegetables), vitamin C (peppers, potatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits) and zinc (red meat, seafood, beans, whole grains).

Wound recurring prevention

Once wounds are healed, it’s very important to keep the wounds from reoccurring. This is achieved through simple proactive preventive best practices.
  • 80 to 90 percent of foot ulcers heal with the appropriate level of care
  • On average, 40 percent of foot ulcers recur within one year, with recurrence rates increasing each year

Lower your chances of developing a recurring wound:

  • Ask for help if you physically cannot check your feet every day
  • Check your shoes to make sure they are clear of any small objects
  • Using tepid water, wash and thoroughly dry (don’t forget between the toes) every day
  • Apply lotion and moisturizer to prevent skin from getting dry
  • Cut toenails straight across (not into the corners) and smooth any sharp edges
  • Avoid foot contact with anything extremely hot or cold
  • Do not treat calluses on your own or with any chemicals or sharp objects

If a chronic or reoccurring wound is hindering your quality of life, take action. Treatment options are available to stimulate and promote healthy healing.