Control Blood Glucose
Controlling blood sugar is important for wound care. High blood sugar levels tend to stiffen arteries and cause narrowing of the blood vessels, which slows down post-surgical and chronic wound healing. This leads to the reduction of vital blood flow and oxygen directed toward the affected area(s) which the body uses during the natural healing process.
Uncontrolled or elevated blood sugar levels restrict the function of red blood cells, which normally carry nutrients to the damaged tissue. When red blood cells are prevented from carrying the maximum amount of blood and healing oxygen, the white blood cells that fight infection are also slowed down.
If the chain reaction continues, diabetes can develop (if not already onset). Without sufficient nutrients and oxygen, wounds will continue to take a long time to heal and the condition could rapidly deteriorate if not monitored closely.
Healing of Aging Skin
Changes to skin through the natural aging process does cause some slower healing, but when combined with a bad diet and high blood sugars, it could lead to more problems. According to the hospital of geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins, “With aging, local blood supply to the skin decreases, epithelial layers flatten and thin, subcutaneous fat decreases, and collagen fibers lose elasticity. These changes in aging skin and the resultant lowered tolerance to hypoxia may enhance pressure-ulcer development in older persons.”
Consuming a healthy diet, while striving for good nutrition will aid in regulating blood glucose levels, and including essential vitamins and nutrients will aid in speeding up the healing process.
Staying away from packaged foods which are full of sugars, salts and preservatives is the best way to optimize the body’s healing process. Eating the proper portions of protein, carbohydrates and vitamin C are also important factors. Consulting with a registered dietician who specializes in diabetes (even if you have not been diagnosed) is one of the best ways to get an individualized program of nutrition.
Another way to improve healing is through exercise, which lowers blood sugar levels, while helping with weight management. Even walking can help improve Cardiovascular health, which is important for maintaining good circulation for both the healing of existing wounds and prevention of future wound development.
The wound care clinic team coordinates patient care with primary care and other health care professionals to help prevent and treat chronic and slow healing wounds.