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Monday, April 15, 2013

Why Diabetic Wounds Can Cause Problems


Diabetes is a condition in which the body fails to utilize glucose properly. Glucose is a carbohydrate that is the most simple sugar in human metabolism. It is a major source of energy for the body. People with diabetes have too much glucose in the blood, which may be due to lack of the hormone insulin or because the available insulin is not working effectively.
Diabetes is a chronic disease and can lead to a number of complications. One of these is wound healing problems.

First, diabetes often leads to peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy is damage to the nerves and often causes numbness in the hands and feet. With neuropathy, diabetics may not feel the pain of a blister or a cut until it has gotten worse. This then makes the wound more prone to become infected. Pain is one the most effective communication tools of the body. So with nerve damage and decreased sensation, you may not be aware of these potential problems.

People with diabetes may also have peripheral arterial disease. This condition usually exists with neuropathy. The vessels in the legs become blocked or narrowed, thus decreasing the blood flow to the legs and feet. Narrowed arteries make it difficult for the blood to get to the wound. So any blister, sore, or infections on the feet heal much slower.

Another problem with diabetes is the weakening of the immune system. When the body's defenses are compromised, even a minor wound may become infected.
Certain wounds are more common in people with diabetes. The feet are most often affected. A common wound is arterial ulcer, caused by poor circulation. These wounds are often circular and are difficult to heal. If the wound does not respond well to treatment, it may progress to gangrene.
Venous ulcers, on the other hand, have an irregular shape. These may be accompanied by swelling of the legs and a leathery texture to the skin.

For diabetics with impaired mobility, pressure ulcers can pose a problem. Wearing tight-fitting shoes, sitting for long periods of time, or any situation which puts undue pressure can damage tissues. Too much pressure can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the wound site, increasing the chances for impaired healing and infection.

With the threat of new strains of resistant bacteria, it is becoming more important to prevent wounds and infections especially for diabetics. If you see swelling, redness, or leaking from the wound, contact your doctor immediately. If you have a wound that has not healed for more than 4 weeks, visit an advanced wound care center.

Lorrine Yen has many years of experience as a medical researcher and a professional health and medical writer. She creates high quality articles and specializes in health and medicine.
For more information on how to effectively care for your feet, visit Naples Advanced Wound Care Center
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