Five Nutrition Tips To Promote Wound Healing
Reviewed October 2021
We’ve all had a wound: a cut, scratch or scrape that breaks the skin. Most wounds on healthy people heal quickly when kept clean and free of infection, while other types of wounds are more serious and require medical intervention.
Serious wounds may include decubitus ulcers, also known as pressure sores or bed sores. Decubitus ulcers develop where bones are close to the skin such as ankles, back, elbows, heels and hips. These wounds are a risk for people who are bedridden, use a wheelchair or are unable to change their position. People with diabetes also have a higher risk of developing foot ulcers that can take weeks or months to heal.
Fortunately, healthful food choices may help with recovery by providing the calories, vitamins, minerals and protein necessary to promote healing.
Promote Wound Healing with Good Nutrition
Wounds Heal Faster When You Control Blood Sugar: Try These Tasty Diabetes
High blood sugar levels are harmful. For people living with diabetes, high blood sugar is especially dangerous and damaging to nerves and blood vessels, which can limit the bodys ability to heal.
The first signs of high blood sugar include a headache, sleepiness or difficulty concentrating. For most people, these symptoms go away as our bodies naturally regulate the amount of sugar in our blood. For people living with diabetes, their body isnt able to regulate blood sugars, so medications may need to be added to help control the amount of sugar in the blood. In both cases, wound healing stops while blood sugar levels are at 200 or higher. This is because high blood sugar reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients in our blood and prevents your immune system from functioning properly, reducing our ability to heal wounds.
Your A1C score is a measure of your average blood glucose level. Most people living with diabetes work to maintain a 7.0% A1C level because the risks of nerve and tissue damage and other complications increases as your A1C levels increase.
Healthy, Low-Sugar Foods Can Help You Heal
Its important to eat a well-balanced diet that is low in sugar to help your body heal. People living with a chronic wound need extra calories, protein and Vitamins A and C. Your doctor may have prescribed a special diet for you. If so, follow their recommendations to ensure you are getting the proper nutrition.
Low-Sugar Recipes Are Easy to Find
High-Fiber, Gluten-Free Brownies
High Protein Diet May Hasten Wound Healing In Diabetes
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French researchers have found that a diet enriched with protein may help to heal wound faster in diabetics. The research offers hope for diabetics who suffer from chronic wounds such as foot ulcers as there is currently no effective way to improve healing of these types of wounds. Researchers found that diabetic rats on a high protein diet with arginine and prolinespecific molecules found in proteinshowed better wound healing over rats fed either standard or high protein food without arginine and proline supplementation.
American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative PhysiologyMethodologyResultsImportance of the Findings
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Wound Measurement And Characterization
Wound dimensions were assessed using the PictZarÂ® wound planimetry software program . Wound pictures were taken using a Sony digital camera and then uploaded in the software. The wound was photographed with a ruler placed near the wound which was used for calibration of the linear dimensions of the image. Wound sizes including length, width, and area were estimated by the PictZarÂ® software after the wound dimensions and border was manually detected and traced with a computer mouse. The wound healing rate was calculated using the following formula to standardize change in the area.
Nutritional Supplementation For Diabetic Foot Ulcers: The First Rct
Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine if oral nutritional supplementation improved wound healing in malnourished patients with diabetic foot ulcers when compared with a placebo. METHOD: This prospective randomised controlled double-blind trial involved patients aged over 60 with diabetes mellitus and a Wagner grade I-II foot ulcer of over four weeks’ duration. Patients received either 400 ml oral nutritional supplementation or 400 ml placebo daily for six months. Patients were followed monthly for six months and after one and two years. RESULTS: A third of the patients were classified as having protein-energy malnutrition at inclusion, with no difference between the two groups. Critical leg ischaemia was more common in the intervention group than in the placebo group . Nine patients in the intervention group and four in the placebo group dropped out of the study . Of those who completed the study, the wound had healed at six months in eight out of 23 patients and in seven out of 17 . Twenty-four per cent of patients with protein-energy malnutrition at inclusion had healed at six months compared with 50% of those without it . CONCLUSION: This is the first study to evaluate the possible benefits of nutritional supplementation on diabetic foot ulcers. A third of patients were malnourished. We encountered several methodological problems and were unable to demonstrate an improved wound healing rate in these patients.Continue reading > >
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Fasi Provides Actionable Treatment Plans To Heal Diabetic Wounds
How quickly you get the wound looked at and treated will determine the outcome of the process. Early detection can mean that you are able to negate the effects and allow the wound to heal. Your foot and ankle surgeon will develop a comprehensive treatment plan for you depending on the size and complexity of your diabetic foot ulcer. Contact one of our pediatric doctors to schedule a consultation today!
Keep Your Wound Clean And Covered With The Right Dressings
Wounds heal best when they are clean and moist. So its important to get them clean and covered right away. If you have a new scrape or cut, a basic bandage and antibiotic cream should work just fine.
But if you have wounds that are infected, slow healing or more serious, make an appointment with a doctor to learn what the best wound care is for you. Your doctor will likely recommend different types of diabetic wound care dressings to protect the injury and promote healing.
Common types of dressings for diabetic wound care
- Foam dressings Extremely soft and absorbent, foam dressings are used for wounds that leak or ooze a lot. They also offer added cushioning which can help protect the wound against physical damage.
- Alginate dressing These types of dressings are primarily made from seaweed. They can hold up to twenty times their weight in moisture, making them a great choice for deep wounds and ones with discharge. Another advantage of alginate dressings is that they prevent the growth of new bacteria.
- Hydrogel dressings Hydrogel is a water-based gel designed to keep an area moist. If your wound is dry or covered in dead skin, your doctor may recommend a hydrogel dressing to provide moisture. This can help break down dead tissue and promote cell growth. These types of dressings usually arent used for infected wounds.
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Tips For Diabetes Wound Care
Diabetes increases the chance of infection in even minor cuts. Find out how to prevent and treat wounds to minimize risks.
A small cut can turn into a large complication when diabetes enters the picture.
For one thing, diabetes can lead to a weakened immune system “so a simple cut or scrape can get infected easier than in someone who doesnt have diabetes, said Kiersten Weber, DPM, a podiatrist with the University of Oklahoma’s Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in Oklahoma City.
Neuropathy or nerve damage, one of the many diabetes side effects, also can play a role. Neuropathy can occur because extra sugar in the bloodstream can damage your nerves over time. It usually starts in the smallest blood vessels, which are in the hands and feet, explains Dr. Weber, and when you have neuropathy, you have decreased feeling in your feet. As a result, you may not feel pain if you have a cut or blister on your foot, and if you dont know its there and dont treat it, the sore could become infected. Thats why regularly inspecting your feet for cuts, scrapes, blisters, calluses, and other wounds is such an important part of diabetes care, she said.
If you cant lift your feet, have someone do it for you and look at the bottom of your feet, Weber said. You also can use mirrors to inspect the bottom of your feet if you need.
Control Your Blood Sugar Levels
The best way to improve wound healing when you have diabetes is to control your blood sugar levels. The better your blood sugar control, the less likely you are to suffer from poorly-healing wounds, infections, neuropathy, and other complications.
You can promote healthy blood sugar levels by eating a healthy diet, being physically active, checking your blood sugar regularly, and taking your diabetes medications as prescribed.
Can Turmeric Be Used To An Open Wound
Minor open wounds may not need medical care, but applying an antibiotic ointment available over-the-counter will assist in keeping the wound clean. As natural therapies for small open wounds, people may use turmeric, aloe vera, coconut oil, or garlic. Large open wounds with profuse bleeding need quick medical treatment.
Foods & Wound Healing
People with diabetes do not heal as efficiently as people with normal blood sugar levels. Certain foods can also help keep your blood sugar optimal. Protein helps to repair tissue: Fish Shellfish Eggs Cheese Poultry Lean meat Nut butters Carbohydrates give you energy: Starch Starchy vegetables Non-starchy vegetables Fruit Milk Fat allows you to absorb your fat soluble vitamins â A, D, E, K: Oil Nuts Avocado Margarine Butter The following vitamins are excellent to heal wounds most efficiently: Vitamin C â foods with high levels: Peppers Kiwi fruit Tomatoes Citrus fruits Broccoli Vitamin A â foods with high levels: Orange colored fruits/vegetables Dark green leafy vegetables Vitamin E â foods with high levels: Whole grains Wheat germ Dark leafy green vegetables Eggs** Nuts and seeds Vitamin B â foods with high levels: Whole grains Fish and seafood Poultry and meat Eggs** Zinc â foods with high levels: Oysters Protein Beans ** Egg yolks contain vitamins and cholesterol while egg whites contain protein The goal of Destination Diabetes is to be a useful and credible resource for the more than 20 million children and adults who have diabetes in the U.S. and their families. Destination Diabetes provides informatContinue reading > >
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How To Help The Healing Process Along
To help the healing process, follow these tips:
Do regular self-checks. Catching wounds early is the key to avoiding infections and complications. Make sure you do daily self-checks and look for new wounds, especially on your feet. Dont forget to check in between and under your toes.
Remove dead tissue. Necrosis and excess tissue often occur with diabetic wounds. This can promote bacteria and toxins and increase wound infection. It can also prevent you from being able to inspect the underlying tissue. Your doctor will often help you with the removal process.
Keep dressings fresh. Regularly changing dressings can help reduce bacteria and maintain appropriate moisture levels in the wound. Doctors often recommend special wound care dressings.
Keep pressure off the area. Pressure can cause wear and tear that damages the skin and leads to a deeper wound or ulcer.
If youre dealing with a foot wound, consider wearing white socks during the healing process. This will make it easier to see blood or other signs of drainage on your socks.
See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
Treating Diabetic Foot In Algonquin Il
Diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 15% of patients with diabetes and if not treated effectively, can lead to severe consequences including infection, hospitalization, and amputation. As podiatrists, we serve as the frontline experts for managing these types of wounds. During your first visit, your physician will obtain plain radiographs of your foot to assess the underlying anatomy and see how this may be contributing to the development of the foot ulcer.
Most patients that have diabetic ulcers are also neuropathic, meaning they have numbness in their lower extremities and are unable to feel pressure differences when walking. It is this inability to feel that is what can cause the ulcers to form and worsen. Depending on the depth of the ulcer, signs of an underlying infection, or if the bone is visible your physician may also opt for advanced imaging to evaluate for infection within the bone.
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Tips To Avoid Infection In Your Diabetic Wound
If you already have a diabetic wound, preventative measures are still important to stop future injuries, but they wont be enough to avoid infection in your existing wound. The following tips will help you maximize the results of your diabetic wound care and prevent any infection-related complications.
Take Pressure Off The Area
If a wound continues to reopen or experience damage, it wont heal quickly and may get much worse. So avoid putting stress, pressure and weight on wounds.
This can be tricky for some wounds like ones on your feet. If you need help, talk to your doctor about ways to protect your wounds while maintaining mobility. Special shoes and customized foot padding are common options.
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Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4 Inhibitors
DPP4, also known as CD26, is a transmembrane serine aminopeptidase cleaving N-terminal dipeptides when proline, hydroxyproline, and alanine are present. Its main recognized function is cleavage of incretins, mainly glucagon-like pepide 1 and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide , that are released at enteric level and control insulin release. By cleaving in particular the N-terminal dipeptide of GLP-1, DPP4 promptly inactivates the insulin-releasing activity of the peptide . Interestingly, DPP4 is not specific for GLP1, but targets several different substrates including neuropeptides, stromal cell derived factor 1Î± , and high mobility group box 1 . DPP4 inhibitors prolong the insulin-secretagogue effect of GLP1 and, together with GLP1 analogs, are among the treatment options available to be added to the therapy regimen when the hemoglobin A1c target is not achieved after 3 months of metformin . Their use is particularly advantageous since they induce low rates of hypoglycemia and are considered weight neutral or can even induce weight loss . In addition, the large distribution of DPP4 and its pleiotropic effects make this molecule an attractive target for therapeutic intervention beyond the classical use of DPP4 inhibitors as antiglycemic agents .
What Happens If Your Diabetic Wound Doesnt Receive Proper Care
Unfortunately, your diabetic wound wont simply disappear if you ignore it. Instead, a wound like a diabetic foot ulcer will become more and more severe until it threatens your entire foot or even your life. In fact, diabetic foot ulcers precede about 85% of all amputations performed on adults with diabetes!
When diabetic wound care treatment doesnt occur properly, your diabetic wound will most likely progress into a deep infection that kills healthy tissue and delivers infection directly into your bone. This type of infection is hard to stop once it begins, making amputation the only procedure capable of halting the spread of infection and saving your life.
This is why the most common diabetic amputations occur on the toes, feet, and lower legs. More than 70,000 Americans endure amputations due to diabetic complications every year, but theyre largely preventable with proper diabetic wound care and attention.
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If One Has Diabetes How Long It’ll Take To Heal Wound On Toes
It would take more time than ideally it takes for a person without diabetes also it depends on how big your wound is. I would suggest you to keep your blood sugar levels in control, also it would be great if you consult a doctor if your wound is big as he may suggest you some antibiotics to reduce chances of infection and for fast healing. Also keep the wound area clean. If Blister or pus gets formed then problem might escalate. In India every year 10 lakh diabetic people loose their legs because of dreadful infection cause by these wounds. Please take special care of yourself. You can additionally drop an email at or visit Diab.in to know more about diabetes or clear any further doubts.Continue reading > >
Do You Have A Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Since nerve damage may prevent you from feeling the pain of your diabetic foot ulcer, its important to visually inspect your feet every day. If you notice any of the following signs, seek medical care immediately:
- Drainage from your foot is staining your socks or leaking from your shoe
- Unusual swelling
- Strong, irregular odor from one or both feet
- Black tissue surrounding a wound on the foot
Many diabetic foot ulcers develop under the big toe and along the balls of the feet. The earlier you can identify your diabetic foot ulcer and receive treatment, the better your chances of preventing severe complications.
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