5 Questions to Ask Your Podiatrist About Diabetic Wound Care
Whether you are living with type 1 or 2 diabetes, wound management is an important part of your overall care. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, we can work with diabetic patients on their foot and wound care. Come and see us today in Elgin IL, Schaumburg IL, Huntley IL, and Chicago IL. Give us a call or request an appointment online.
How should you treat an open wound on a diabetic foot?
If you live with either type 1 or 2 diabetes, you are probably already aware that foot care is an important part of managing your condition. There are a few reasons why foot wounds are a concern with diabetes. Both types of diabetes can impact your circulation, which can lead to a condition known as neuropathy, where you may lose feeling in your feet. This means you may be unaware if there is a cut or injury there, allowing it to worsen before you know something is wrong. Diabetes can impact your vascular system, or the veins and arteries in your body, which is also why the feet are one of the main sites of issue for diabetic wounds.
If you have diabetes and notice a wound on your foot, it’s important to see a physician as soon as possible, regardless of how severe the wound is. Simple cuts or irritation on your feet can quickly evolve into a more severe wound or ulcer when you have diabetes, which can then be harder to care for. Your first step can be to clean the wound at home, and avoid further irritation or injury. When you see a physician, they will follow up with the appropriate treatment, which may include various tests to find out the cause of the wound, as it may be a sign of complication with your diabetes. If your wound has progressed to an ulcer or something more serious, you may require daily treatment for the wound, including changing of dressing and application of various topical treatments.
What helps diabetic wounds heal faster?
When our body has any type of wound, from something as basic as a paper cut to a more severe wound or ulcer, our body’s systems come together to treat it using our natural injury response. In someone with diabetes, that response may be impaired, which causes the wound to heal slower. High blood sugar levels, which is the hallmark of both types of diabetes, is one of the main causes of slower wound healing. Therefore, one of the most important pieces of helping a diabetic-related wound heal faster is ensuring your diabetes is being managed and treated properly. This includes following the treatment plan of a specialist, which may include insulin, blood sugar monitoring, and managing the types of foods you eat.
It’s also important that you check your feet regularly to ensure there are no cuts or irritation, especially because sometimes you may not be able to feel the wound occurring. This includes wearing comfortable shoes, and ensuring there are no debris like rocks or gravel in the shoes before wearing them. In general, you have better chances of a wound healing faster if it is caught early, so the important thing is to seek out the help of a health professional at the first sign of a wound, even if it seems minor.
What deficiency causes slow wound healing?
Slow wound healing can be a sign and symptom of many different health issues beyond diabetes, including things like cancer, autoimmune disorders, or other chronic health conditions. Essentially, when our body’s systems are off balance, it can affect how quickly we are able to respond to wounds and injuries. With type 1 and 2 diabetes, high blood sugar levels are present, and this is the main cause of slow wound healing in some people. When you have higher blood sugar levels, it can increase inflammation in the body, prevent nutrients and oxygen from energizing the cells, and in general, impact your immune system’s ability to function at full capacity. This is why it’s important to ensure you are following the prescribed treatment and management for your diabetes, as continual wounds and slow healing may be a sign that something is off.
What do I do if my diabetic wound won’t heal?
Regardless of the stage a diabetic-related wound is at, you should seek professional care, and this is especially important if the wound is not healing. If a diabetic foot ulcer is left untreated, it can potentially lead to the need for amputation of the foot or lower leg, which is extremely serious and can usually be avoided if you seek treatment as early as possible.