At Hyper Healing, we specialize in comprehensive care for diabetics. Whether you’re in need of an initial assessment, treatment, health referrals, or education, we are here for you every step of the way. Diabetes has many different factors that contribute to the development of chronic wounds. To help you understand some of these factors, we’re breaking down all of these elements to explain the relationship between diabetes and wound healing.
BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS
Diabetes impedes the body’s ability to handle glucose, creating problems in maintaining an optimal blood sugar level. While blood sugar can be managed through diet, exercise, and insulin, consistently elevated glucose levels can cause damage to various systems of the body. High blood glucose can stiffen arteries, narrow blood vessels and even lead to nerve damage throughout the body, known as neuropathy. This damage to the body can also cause an increased risk of wounds and complications with wound healing.
Inflammation is a normal part of the wound healing process, but in diabetics, this inflammation often lasts much longer and becomes classified as “chronic inflammation.” In chronic wounds, the healing process becomes unbalanced, leading to an inability to heal properly.
As we previously mentioned, neuropathy is widespread nerve damage. In diabetics, it is common for this nerve damage to take place in the limbs. When high glucose levels destroy the nerves in the limbs, it becomes more difficult for people with diabetes to notice when blisters or infections develop or worsen. While careful skin checks can help prevent wounds from worsening, it is common for those living with diabetes to have trouble with mobility, making it difficult to properly scan all areas of the body, such as the bottom of the feet. This is why an estimated 15% of the 18 million diabetic people in the US will develop a foot ulcer wound.
High levels of glucose can cause the blood vessels to narrow, which decreases circulation within the body. Circulation is a crucial step in wound healing as it helps deliver the necessary oxygen and nutrient-carrying red blood cells to the injured area. Narrowed blood vessels also restrict the effectiveness of infection-fighting white blood cells.
COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM
High blood sugar hinders the immune cells from functioning properly, which increasing the risk of wound infection.
INCREASED RISK OF INFECTION
The culmination of a decreased immune response restricted access for white blood cells and an extended inflammation stage all increase the risk of wound infection. Problems caused by neuropathy may also cause a wound to stay open and unprotected for a more extended period, which also adds to the risk of infection. The relationship between diabetes and wound healing is multifaceted and complicated. This is why even minor injuries in diabetic people need to be cared for properly. No matter where you are in the process of caring for wounds associated with diabetes, Hyper Healing is here to help.
CONTACT HYPER HEALING
At Hyper Healing, our wound care and hyperbaric medicine clinics offer new advanced therapies and progressive procedures to work in conjunction with the care from our referring providers to heal patients faster and more completely. We believe that healing chronic wounds requires a multi-dimensional approach. To schedule an appointment, please contact us or call us at 813-591-4570.