Contributed by – Dr. Snehal Singh
Do your wounds heal slowly? Get your blood sugar levels checked, you might be suffering from diabetes.
Yes, diabetes can cause slow healing. Diabetes is one of the leading disorders effecting people across the globe. It is necessary to know the relation between diabetes and slow healing as it plays a crucial role in recovery from any illness, injury or surgery.
Let us understand why wound healing is delayed in diabetes mellitus? Correct information will guide you about the correct tests and timely treatment, the first step is to get your blood glucose tests done to detect or monitor diabetes.
How Diabetes affects Wound Healing?
In diabetes, the hormone insulin (which controls blood sugar level) is not produced or effectively used. Hence, there is a rise in blood sugar level. When the blood sugar levels remain persistently high for long, it affects the way in which the body uses other nutrients. Diabetes; with time affects the nerves and causes poor blood circulation which is important for effective wound healing. Affected nerves or neuropathy, cause decreased sensation and is the main reason why small wounds remain unnoticed in diabetics and increase the risk of complication.
With raised blood sugar and poor circulation, the cells are unable to take up other nutrients and oxygen. This is more common in peripheral areas and blood flow to the limbs can also get affected. Hence, any wounds in the feet can experience poor healing and complications.
Diabetes also affects the immune system and can increase inflammation in the cells. This in turn slows the overall healing process. Also, the risk of infections is high in diabetes and affects wound healing.
This makes diabetics susceptible to complications like ulcers, diabetic foot and amputation. Even simple looking skin eruptions can become a serious problem and cause ulcers. Hence, the best way is to prevent cuts, manage wounds and most importantly control sugar levels.
Tips For Wound Healing
What helps cuts heal faster? This is a common question. The best way is to allow cuts to heal completely, prevent infection and avoid pressure on them. If you are worried about healing of cuts and wounds in diabetics, here are few simple tips.
Diabetics need to do a self-check to detect any cuts and infections. Look out for cuts, wounds, bites, skin eruptions or infections. These may go unnoticed as the sensations can get diminished due to poor nerve supply in diabetes. During self-checks you must inspect every part, even the hands, fingers, feet, toes and area between the fingers and toes for any cuts or wounds.
Manage Wound Dressings
For any wound which is treated, take proper care to prevent infection. Follow the doctor’s advice, manage the wound dressings properly, remove any dead tissue and take the prescribed medicines.
If you find that the cuts, wounds or any skin infection is not healing for a long time or its shows signs of infection, it is best to consult your physician. Signs of complications include swelling, severe pain, loss of sensation in the affected area and fever.
Control Blood Sugar
The role of blood sugar in healing of wounds is one of the most important things to help wounds heal faster. Maintain healthy diet and lifestyle, follow doctor’s advice and check your blood sugar regularly. Take the prescribed medicines to control blood sugar to avoid complications of diabetes and poor wound healing. Go for regular walks, as that too helps to control blood sugar.
If you are not a diabetic, take action to prevent diabetes. Healthy diet, regular exercises, preventive health checks and diabetes screening can help ensure good health and avoid health problems.
Watch out for the signs of diabetes which include excessive thirst and urination, excessive eating, weight loss and fatigue, poor wound healing, recurrent fungal or skin infections. Get yourself checked for diabetes and take the necessary steps to control blood sugar. Diabetes can have serious side effects, slow healing is one of them. But you can fight diabetes and slow wound healing with the appropriate measures and little precautions.
So, take action now, prevent and manage diabetes with the right tests and medications, to avoid complications.
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