Diet and Diabetic Wound Prevention
First, let’s have a quick review of what causes wounds to become such a concern to diabetic feet.
Much of it lies within a reduced capability for healing in the feet, which can arise as a consequence of the condition. Circulation within the body can become impaired, which the feet (and other extremities) often feel the effects of first. With less blood flow, our cells receive less of the components they require to conduct repairs.
With reduced healing capacity, wounds can take longer to close, providing greater opportunities for the wounds to open up and become worse—and especially for them to become infected. Many severe situations have arisen from seemingly small wounds that took a turn for the worse.
So what role does diet play in all of this? To borrow a relatively common phrase repeated around the medical community: “Healing begins from the inside out.”
While part of maintaining proper healing in your feet focuses on your circulatory health, it is also highly beneficial to do all you can to maintain a healthy supply of all that your cells need to conduct repairs.
To put it another way: If you were building a skyscraper, you’d want to make sure all the delivery trucks heading to the site were loaded with as much of the materials your workers need to get the job done!
What does the body need to repair cells and build new tissue? Protein, vitamins, and minerals. Poor nutrition can further inhibit the healing that may already be happening due to reduced circulation. The deliveries are slowing down and there are fewer materials on the trucks to work with.
Good nutrition is also a great proactive move toward preventing injuries in the first place. Those same materials that help aid in healing also help keep your skin strong and more durable in the first place!
And then, of course, there are your glucose levels.
Balancing Blood Sugar Helps Balance Your Body
Keeping your long-term blood glucose levels in check is a vital part of any diabetic management plan, and—as you might expect—it has an effect on your diabetic foot health as well.
Sustained high blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels and reduce circulation over time. That is one big way blood sugar can interfere with healing, but there’s more.
High blood glucose levels are not friendly toward white blood cell function. With a reduction in your immune system’s power to fight off invaders, you can be more susceptible to infections at the time you most need not to be.
Additionally, high blood glucose can also prolong inflammation, which further interferes with healing and just makes the situation more miserable in general.