Nov 28, 2017

It’s a long time in the healing

Scrapes and bumps are a part of every day life, even when you’re a grown-up.  They can happen to anyone, at any time, and can vary from a small graze to a deeper wound.  But,  apart from an initial sting, a bit of blood and a good old plaster, generally they’re not a problem and are all healed in 1-2 weeks.

For most people, smaller scrapes will inevitably heal more quickly – while bigger, deeper wounds may take slightly longer.  And, as with any sort of injury or pain, the state of your overall health can play a key role in the road to recovery.

So, it’s safe to assume that a slow-healing wound could be a sign of problems to come.  And a wound that hasn’t healed after six weeks becomes what’s known as a chronic wound and should be treated with care and concern.  This is because there is a high chance that it could have become infected or, worse still, could be a symptom of an underlying disease such as diabetes.

It’s not only the case that wounds tend to heal more slowly in diabetics, they can also get worse faster, which means the risk of infection is so much greater.  The main cause of this is a consistently high blood glucose level in the body.  Because high blood sugar levels can stiffen the arteries, this causes a narrowing of blood vessels. Of course, this makes it tricky for nutrients and oxygen to reach the cells, meaning it’s even more difficult for your body to repair those wounds.

People with diabetes will also find that diabetic neuropathy, along with poor circulation, immune system deficiency and infection are all barriers to their scrapes and grazes healing quickly.  And unsurprisingly, these factors are all connected.  So, if you find your blood sugar levels are too high for a period of time, your nerves will most likely become affected.

As with any damage to nerves, it won’t be long before you feel pain, tingling, numbness or even a loss of feeling in your hands, arms, feet, and legs; the most vulnerable places for wounds.  Diabetic neuropathy inevitably leads to poor circulation which means that blood will have a battle on its hands when trying to reach areas of the body most likely to be affected by sores and wounds.  And as we know, blood is vital for the effective repair of skin.

Although this is relevant to all limbs, it has to be the skin on the feet that we feel most sorry for.  Feet are one of the most common places for wounds, including blisters and, with diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation to contend with, its not surprising that a small wound on the foot can quickly develop into a foot ulcer.  The problem for many diabetics is that it won’t end here.  The chances of feeling the worsening wound are slim, leaving them open and unhealed for months.  This is not only painful and uncomfortable, it also means that the chances of fungal infections, bacterial infections and even gangrene are significantly higher.    

So, if you suffer from diabetes, catching wounds early is the moral of the story.  Closely monitoring any wounds and doing regular self-checks is the only way to reduce your risk of painful complications later on.  And, if you notice a pattern of wounds which are taking a long time to heal, or in fact are not healing at all, then you need to keep a close eye on your blood glucose levels and make sure you bring them down to a normal level as soon as you can.

The most important thing to improve wound healing is to control your blood sugar level and eating a healthy diet and maintaining good nutrition are key to this.  Making sure your diet includes a good level of protein, carbohydrates and vitamin C will also aid the wound healing process.  And, as well as your diet, a good amount of regular exercise will help with weight management; all important factors in lowering and controlling blood sugar levels for the better.

If you suffer from type 2 diabetes and would like to know a little more about how to manage related conditions, then register for a free account at today where you can also view hints and tips on energy-boosting recipes and exercise routines…great for at home or in the workplace.

Do you want to share?