Ouch! Wound Healing With Diabetes
Small cuts and blisters on the hands and feet are a nuisance. But for people with diabetes, these problems carry additional risks. You may have heard that diabetes affects wound healing, luckily there are steps you can take to decrease your risk.
Control your blood glucose level
The most important thing you can do to prevent wounds and promote healing is to maintain a steady glucose level. “Lowering A1C to below or around 7% has been shown to reduce microvascular and neuropathic complications of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.” 1
Adequate calorie intake
Not eating enough calories gives us less energy. It also means that there is not enough energy for our cells to do their jobs, such as healing broken tissue. Make sure that you are always eating enough calories daily. There are supplemental drinks such as Glucerna® that can help meet your needs. Speak with your physician if you feel you could benefit from these.
Eat enough protein
Protein is a building block used to make new tissue during the healing process. Eating adequate levels of protein helps our body maintain its healthy status. Some good sources of protein are eggs, chicken, fish, beef, peanut butter and other nuts.
Proper vitamin and mineral intake
Although you may not need extra levels of vitamins or minerals, making sure that you are getting enough each day will help speed the healing process. Consider taking a multivitamin every day.2 Look for one that is age specific to you as our needs change as we age.
Drink enough fluids
Make sure that you are getting at least 8 glasses of water per day. Try to avoid sweetened beverages whenever possible.
Make sure your physician is aware of any wounds and that you are following them closely. The wounds can heal very slowly, but can get worse very quickly. Remember, prevention with optimal blood glucose control is the goal! 3
Tips to remember:
Do you like to eat grilled cheese sandwiches?