03 Sep What Does Diabetic Wound Care Involve?
Diabetes is a condition that affects many people throughout the United States. In fact, it is estimated that 10.5% of the United States population suffers from diabetes. Diabetes is caused when a person’s blood sugar levels are too high. As a result, there are a variety of complications that can result from the disease. One of these complications is nerve damage, particularly in the feet. Over time, diabetics may suffer from injuries to their feet which they may not feel due to nerve damage. Left untreated, these injuries may turn into sores that require intensive wound care. Fortunately, foot specialists are equipped to help diabetics through these types of conditions.
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin which means it cannot regulate the blood sugar levels. With type 2 diabetes, which is more common, the body makes insulin, it just does not use that insulin well. Left untreated, diabetes can damage a person’s eyes, kidneys, and nerves. In fact, it can damage the nerves so severely that the patient may need to undergo an amputation. However, before it comes to amputation, most people are able to work with their physicians to find an alternative.
Diabetic wound care is an important step to avoiding amputation. People who suffer from diabetes tend to lose feeling in their feet before anywhere else. In addition to causing a loss of feeling, nerve damage from high blood glucose can also cause a person to heal slower than they normally would, thus leaving them prone to infection. As a result, a diabetic may suffer an injury on their foot, yet not even know it is there because they cannot feel it. Left exposed to the elements in combination with slower healing times, that person may have a small injury turn into a wound that needs proper care.
There are a few key steps to proper wound care that can make the difference between a full recovery and potentially needing amputation. A diabetic foot ulcer is an open wound that occurs in about 15% of people with diabetes. Once it is diagnosed, it is important to keep as much pressure as possible off of the foot. In addition, physicians can perform debridement which removes any dead skin from the area. Then, a medicated dressing will be applied to the area to help keep it away from any potential infections. Lastly, blood glucose must be closely monitored. Patients who follow these steps under the care of a physician have a better chance of making a full recovery.
Diabetes is a condition that comes with a significant amount of complications. One of the biggest risks to diabetics is wounds on their feet that may grow to threaten the limb if not cared for properly. For this reason, diabetics should be making regular trips to their physicians to ensure feet stay healthy in order to avoid amputation. If you are a diabetic who is experiencing a food ulcer, it is important to maintain proper wound care to ensure your foot makes a full recovery.