Do you know around 25% of diabetics face amputations due to unhealed and untreated wounds????
Bumps, blisters, scratches, and cuts are usually a part of life. Slapping on a Band-Aid or dabbing some antibiotic ointment does the trick. But if you have diabetes, even the simplest scratch or cut can quickly snowball into an extremely serious situation.
When a person is suffering from diabetes, wounds take longer to heal, which can increase the risk of infections and other complications developing. A person who handles their diabetes well can improve the rate at which wounds heal and reduce the chances of developing a severe infection sometimes leading to amputations.
Amputation is the removal of a limb by trauma, medical illness, or surgery. It is an extreme precaution taken when a wound does not heal for a long time. Diabetes is one of the major reasons that lead to slow healing. It often leads to gangrene and amputations.
WHAT IS THE NEED FOR WOUND CARE??
Diabetes causes a type of nerve damage called neuropathy in about 70% of patients. Researchers believe that excess sugar in the bloodstream causes swelling in the cells that cover nerve endings. This presses the nerves, causing perpetual damage. Any wound, cuts or blisters are taken normally. They are cured by regular medication.
But in the case of diabetes, even a small cut or scratch creates a severe situation. One should not ignore it and should be treated immediately. Slow healing can lead to infection and in extreme case can lead to amputation. But now there are certain steps that need to be followed to avert the aggravating problem.
[Also Read Diabetic Wound Care: Dos and Don’ts]
When to see your doctor????
When you not diabetic, but ur cut or burn is taking a long time to heal or showing signs of infection, then it is time to consult a healthcare professional.
A slow-healing wound could signal an underlying medical condition such as diabetes.
Due to the risk of amputation, it is necessary, if you have diabetes, to consult your doctor if you have any signs of damage to your feet. Wounds on the feet, or any other part of your body, should always be closely monitored.
CAUSES OF SLOW HEALING
Our body as a whole is completely capable of repairing and rejuvenating. It was going to be a lonely trip back eating any part that has been injured. However, if you are diabetic, this process takes a long time and sometimes even leads to fatal scenarios like an amputation. There are a number of factors can affect your body’s ability to heal wounds.
High blood sugar levels
It is the main factor that determines how swiftly your wound will heal. When your blood sugar level is higher than normal, it prevents nutrients and oxygen from energizing cells. It also increases inflammation in the body’s cells. These slow down wound healing.
This also occurs from having blood sugar levels that are consistently higher than normal. Over time, damage occurs to the nerves and vessels resulting in the affected areas losing sensation.
[Also Read Diabetic Neuropathy: Cause, Symptoms, Prevention]
People with diabetes are prone to develop the peripheral vascular disease. The peripheral vascular disease makes your blood vessels to narrow, which reduces blood flow to the limbs. And a higher blood glucose level increases the thickness of blood, affecting the body’s blood flow.
Immune system deficiency.
Many people who have diabetes also have difficulties eating the immune system. The number of immune warrior cells sent to heal wounds, and their capacity to take effect, is often decreased. When your immune system can’t function properly, wound healing is slower and your risk of infection is higher.
When your immune system isn’t performing at its best, your body will struggle to fight off bacteria that induce infection. Higher blood sugar levels also increase the possibility of infection due to the bacteria that are growing on the extra sugar.
DO’S FOR A DIABETIC WOUND CARE!!
- Make a point to check your feet regularly. Check for any cuts, red spots, blisters, or swelling. Especially if your feet or legs has a loss of sensation due to diabetic neuropathy. It is a fact that 80 percent of amputations onset with a foot ulcer. So make it a daily routine to check your feet.
- Take a “load off”. If you have a wound on your foot or leg, stay off your feet. Your doctor may prescribe a contact cast to uniformly redistribute pressure throughout the leg. Otherwise, it would lead to slow wound healing.
- In case of stubborn wounds take advice from your doctor. Certain wounds are difficult to heal. If the wound persists for longer than the necessary period, then its time to consult a doctor.
- Wash feet daily with a non-medicated soap gentle enough for a baby’s skin. This ensures your foot is clean and not prone to any ulcers or infections.
- Dry carefully between toes with cotton. If moisture accumulates in those sensitive areas, it might lead to infections and skin decay.
- Trim your toenails very carefully straight across, avoid cutting them too short or cutting into corners.
- Always protect your feet either with shoes or sandals or socks to prevent infection.
- Wear dry footwear. Ensure your socks are clean, dry and washed thoroughly to avoid any kind of infections.
- Wear only proper fitting shoes. Shoes that are too small might cause suffocation to your feet and cause blood internal clots. Hile larger shoes might make you uncomfortable and cause you to fall down.
- Inspect your feet every day for signs of infection such as redness, blisters, or pus. You can do this while you put on or take off your shoes and socks. If you can’t easily see all of your foot, use a mirror, or ask a family member to check your feet for you.
- Always Eat a healthy diet that contains enough protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals, which also includes vitamin C and zinc, which are a key for would healing.
- Epsom Salt Therapy By Consulting Doctor
[Also Read How to care for feet when you have diabetes]
DONT’S FOR A DIABETIC WOUND CARE!!
- Avert performing any type of bathroom surgery. In case of a little deep wound, consult an expert. There are various types of wounds. In some wounds removal of dead tissue is done. Avoid cutting off dead skin yourself. This prevents the damaging a blood vessel and worsens the problem.
- Do not cut corns or lumps by yourself. Avoid using acid-based wart remover. You can use a pumice stone to clean the area gently.
- Put on the helping casts or helping devices, even if you want to just go to another room.
- Never forget to change your wound dressings as it is crucial for wound care healing. If dressing is not changed it affects the moisture balance and delays healing.
- Never ever Overlook other factors that can help you heal faster. It is a challenge to deal with a wound. But there are other ways that you can take to speed the process. Take care of keeping your blood sugars in the balanced range. A high blood sugar level slows down the healing process.
- Abstain from smoking as it can weaken your immune system.
- Do not use any medication, drug, antiseptic or plaster on your feet that have not been prescribed. It might worsen the problem and heighten the infection.
- Never walk around in barefoot. Always cover your feet inside as well as outside the house to avoid any possible wounds.
Diabetic Emergency Kit
Diabetes as a disorder is a tricky business. A little precaution in this scenario can take us a long way. Most wounds related to diabetes can be easily healed with proper first-aid. Slapping on a Band-Aid or dabbing some ointment does the trick.
Adding an emergency kit bag will help you deal with these unexpected wound situations. Here is a list of common essentials for both diabetes and diabetes wound care that should be a part of your go-to bag.
- Plastic container, ideally with a handle
- Blood glucose meter, strips, and supplies
- Alcohol swabs
- Insulin pen
- Pen needles
- Two changes of insulin pump supplies
- glucose tablets
- extra batteries for your meter
- Cotton calls
- Pain-relief ointment
- Anti-biotic ointment
Diabetes Is A Thriving Common Lifestyle Disorder. It Can Be Prevented And Maintained Easily With Few Changes. Diabetic Wounds Affect 70% Of Diabetics. The Slow Healing Due To The High Blood Sugar Levels Makes It A Fatal Side Effect Of Diabetes.
However, The Good News Is, By Taking Few Precautions And Necessary Care, All Kind Of Complications Can Be Completely Avoided. These small precautions will help you design and create a brighter tomorrow.