How to cure diabetes wound is a tough question to answer as the treatment is dependent on the nature of your wound.
The placement of the injury and the cause behind the wound also needs to be taken into consideration.
At the same time, the nature of your disease is also a prerequisite for determining how soon your injury shall heal. In simpler words, it is important to know whether you suffer from Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.
Treatment varies with regards to your diabetic status (with special regards to the variant). Even before treating the injury, it is first important to realize what diabetes really is. Then, it would be simple to realize why a minor bruise takes ages to heal.
Let’s now dive into the article without much ado!
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How to Cure Diabetes Wound Article Contents:
1) What is Diabetes?
2) Why is it Harder for Diabetics to Heal?
3) What is Wrong with a Wound’s Natural Healing Process in a Diabetic?
4) How to Heal Diabetic Wound Naturally?
5) How Long does a Diabetic Wound Take to Heal?
6) How to Cure Diabetic Foot Wound?
7) What is the Best Remedy for Diabetic Wound?
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease wherein your body is unable to control normal blood sugar levels. This happens when your body’s insulin production is either stopped completely or reduced considerably.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas. This is a hormone that is needed to convert glucose into usable energy. Glucose is a by-product of the food that you consume.
If glucose is allowed to float into the bloodstream, it shall increase your blood sugar levels. So, it needs to be metabolized and made worthy of being used by the human body as energy.
This is where insulin comes to play. It piggybacks glucose and passes them into your cells. The cells then convert the glucose into energy. You use this energy to carry out your daily tasks.
Type 1 Diabetes:
@ This is a severe form of diabetes that is not curable. Cure of Type 1 Diabetes is advocated via Ayurveda.
@ Here, the cells in the pancreas are attacked by the body’s defense mechanism. This inhibits the pancreas from producing insulin.
@ Lack of insulin forces your blood sugar levels to increase. This leads to diabetes.
@ Young kids are most susceptible to Type 1 disease. This is also genetic in nature.
@ Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease.
@ This variant of diabetes has nothing to do with unhealthy lifestyle. It affects you at an early age and does not leave you till your very last breath.
@ You need insulin shots daily just to manage your blood sugar levels (in most cases).
Type 2 Diabetes:
@ In this variant, insulin production is reduced. It is not optimal enough to help you convert blood glucose into energy.
@ Unlike Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes is not an autoimmune disorder.
@ The main reason behind Type 2 Diabetes is genetic.
@ Leading an unhealthy lifestyle and being overweight is also a reason for the same.
@ Most people that have crossed the 40 year age mark tend to develop Type 2 Diabetes. This is quite unlike Type 1 Diabetes that affects adolescents.
@ This variant of diabetes may be curable via lifestyle changes and Ayurveda medication.
@ Traditional medications however claim to simply control the blood sugar levels but do not promise permanent cure.
Why is it Harder for Diabetics to Heal?
When a diabetic gets hurt, the injury takes a really long time to heal. As compared to a human being with normal blood sugar levels, a diabetic shall take double time (or even more) to get his/her wound cured.
Injury to a Person with Normal Blood Sugar Levels:
When an individual with optimal blood sugar level gets injured, the immune system kicks in almost immediately. A layer of protective cover is placed above the wound.
This stops further infection. The body then fights germs and infection by activating its antibodies. Soon, your wound heals and the scars disappear.
The role of optimal blood sugar, blood flow and oxygen supply is vital in helping your wound heal. Because insulin is actively pushing glucose into your cells, your immune system is energized and ready to combat all types of infections.
Injury to a Person with Diabetes:
Owing to the weak immune system and stiffer blood vessels, the wounds of a diabetic take a long time to heal. Microvascular dysfunction in diabetics reduces optimal blood flow to the injured area.
Basically, reduced oxygen supply is what leads to a slow healing process. Lack of robust immunity is also to be blamed. A diabetic would require extra care in order to get his injury treated.
Main Reasons why the Wounds of a Diabetic Heal Slowly?
A quick look at the main reasons behind this phenomenon:
Brittle Blood vessels:
The first reason is brittle blood vessels of the diabetic. These lead to reduced blood flow to the wound.
Lack of Oxygen Supply:
Tissues that are injured take time to heal owing to lack of oxygen supply. Lack of optimal microvascular functionality is directly responsible for this phenomenon.
Short Supply of Leukocyte:
Diabetics are unable to supply leukocyte to their wound. This leads to the wound getting infected very quickly. Infected wounds generally heal very slowly.
Numbness to Pain:
People with diabetes often suffer from peripheral neuropathy. It causes the person to become somewhat immune to pain. By the time they are aware of the injury, it is already too late.
Diabetics have deformed feet. This is common and so is ‘excessive dryness’ of the skin. The planter of a diabetic is also often over-stressed. This leads to cracks and fissures without the diabetic realizing of its presence.
What is Wrong with a Wound’s Natural Healing Process in a Diabetic?
Diabetics suffer from chronic inflammation. They are also unable to maintain optimal balance in the extracellular matrix. The endothelial progenitor cells in a diabetic are vastly reduced.
Finally, the much needed angiogenic process for healing of wounds is super-slow in diabetics. All these reasons combined prolong the natural healing process of an injury in a diabetic.
Here are the different stages of how a body heals after an injury:
The Inflammation Stage of the Injury:
@ In the first stage of the injury, the wound is said to be inflamed. In normal circumstances the fibrin plug is activated. Neutrophils and macrophages are activated.
@ IL-1B growth factors are initiated to reduce inflammation. Finally, keratinocytes and fibroblast is migrated to initiate the first stage of healing.
@ When a diabetic gets injured, the healing process is impaired. This is owing to the uncontrolled release of inflammatory cytokines and the ‘tumor necrosis’ factor.
@ Finally, the macrophages needed to repair the injured tissues tend to malfunction. Owing to this, inflammation remains steadfast and the healing process is delayed (slowed).
The Cell Growth/Division Stage of the Injury:
@ Also known as the proliferative stage of wound healing, over here the keratinocyte migration takes place.
@ This is clubbed with ECM protein formation and myofibroblasts. This in turn leads to the wound shrinking in size before finally closing itself.
@ Here, the collagen type III is slowly but steadily replaced by the Type I variant.
@ During the cell regeneration stage, the appearance of keloid is common. This is a type of scar that tends to disappear in a few months.
@ When the wound of a diabetic reaches the proliferative stage, it is unable to perform the normal healing processes. For a starter, the angiogenesis process is super-slow in a diabetic.
@ Moreover, a diabetic is unable to produce ample amounts of extracellular matrix proteins. In the absence of these healing proteins, the wound cannot be treated optimally.
@ The level of metalloproteinase in a diabetic is higher than normal. This is because the blood sugar levels of a diabetic are high. On the other hand, metalloproteinase levels are low. This in turn impairs optimal tissue re-development in a diabetic.
The Remodeling Stage of the Injury:
@ This is the last and final stage of your wound healing.
@ In a person with normal blood sugar levels, vascular maturation takes place.
@ The collagen is also re-modelled. Keratinocytes and fibroblasts too are remodeled.
@ When all this takes place (the above mentioned procedures) as it is actually supposed to, the wound heals normally.
@ Nonetheless, in a diabetic, wound healing is inhibited to a great extent. This is because the pericyte functionality of a diabetic is very poor.
@ Even the vascular maturation is reduced considerably. This in turn weakens the overall healing process of the wound.
@ The healing is definitely there but it is now taking place at a super-slow level.
How to Heal Diabetic Wound Naturally?
As the high levels of blood sugar levels in a diabetic inhibit optimal flow of ‘oxygen’, ‘blood’ and ‘vital nutrients’ to the injured area, healing is super-slow. This in turn keeps cells in the body inflamed. Lack of optimal immunity is what keeps a diabetic from getting better.
Regardless of whether your (a diabetic) injury is minor (like a scrape or a bruise) or major (a deep cut), taking care of it is of vital importance.
A diabetic has impaired wound healing capabilities. So, you need to be doubly careful while taking care of your injuries. There is no better way to heal a wound than using natural methods.
Here is my take on how a diabetic should treat a wound naturally:
@ The first step is to keep the wound clean. For that to happen, you need to clean it with mild soapy solution. You may even make use of an antiseptic lotion for the same.
@ In the second step, you need to keep the injured area dry and clean. Remove any debris that may be embedded within the wound.
@ Avoid moisture from setting in and around your wound. For this very purpose, you should avoid bathing the area with warm water.
@ It is highly suggested that you should quit using body washes that are laced with harsh chemicals.
@ If a diabetic is injured then, you should avoid taking a bath in a bathtub. Soaking in water that may have body-wash is not suitable for the wound to heal. So, avoid immersing it in water.
@ The skin of a diabetic is dry. So, you need to avoid making it even drier. Make use of a cream that is made from 100% organic material and massage it around the injured area.
@ Besides keeping the injured area well moisturized, you can also cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
@ In case the cut is deep, you need to avoid exposing it to air. Keep it covered and always consult a healthcare professional for the same.
@ It is a good practice to consult a skin doctor. Doing so shall ensure that you are free from skin infections (in and around the wounded area).
@ Drink turmeric milk and ensure that you consume a healthy diet. Processed foods and ready-to-eat meals should be avoided.
@ Medications for healing the wound should never be skipped. Melons, grapes and fresh greens should be included in your daily food.
@ Include a zinc based supplement in your diet. It shall help you heal faster. Whole grains, oysters, dairy products and nuts have high amounts of zinc. Include these to your diet to avoid taking supplements.
@ You should include oranges, broccoli, kiwi, amla and tomatoes in your diet. These are high in Vitamin C. Diabetics need Vitamin C to form collagen, which in turn hastens the healing process.
How Long does a Diabetic Wound Take to Heal?
It is such a hard question to answer. After all, a wound can be a slight scratch or a deep cut that requires immediate medical attention. A minor injury may heal in days whereas a major wound may take months or even years to heal.
As I have already discussed above, if a diabetic is injured then, the healing process is delayed. Nonetheless, with proper care and attention, you may bridge the ‘healing gap’ considerably.
It is ironic that a small wound that usually takes a few days to heal may transform into an ulcer. This is with special regards to a diabetic. So, taking care of your hygiene and leading a healthy lifestyle is vital for your speedy recovery.
Here are a few tips for the same:
@ You need to kick-start your immune system by consuming foods that are healthy. Avoid processed foods and include freshly cooked meals into your daily diet.
@ Water needs to be induced into your body regularly. Drink lots of warm water to improve your digestion. When you are well hydrated, your wound stars to heal quicker.
@ If you have a wound, keep checking on it regularly. If you notice any sign of infection then, show yourself to a medical practitioner at the earliest given opportunity.
@ Your wound needs to be kept free from infection. For that, you need to clean it often. Remove all dead cells from the wound’s surface. If you have doubts then, visit a doctor to avail the best treatment possible.
@ If pain and swelling persists then, show yourself to a doctor. Even if the wound burns continuously or you feel numb in the injured area, then again, show yourself to a doctor.
Interesting Facts on the Duration of Wound Healing in a Diabetic:
@ The level of injury determines the total length of the treatment. Minor scratches and bruises heal in weeks. Deep cuts that require stitches heal in a few months. Some may even take years.
@ Diabetics may take twice or more time as compared to a normal individual to heal. For example, a major wound that heals in 3 months would take a diabetic 6 months or more to heal.
@ If a deep cut is left open, it shall take a long time to heal. If the same cut is closed via statures then, the healing shall be faster.
@ If a diabetic has received a surgical cut then, the wound shall heal within 4 months. A normal person shall heal from the same surgical cut in 2 months.
@ The wound of a diabetic needs ample moisture content to heal. So, keep it covered with a bandage.
@ The age of a diabetic determines how soon he/she shall recover from an injury. The older the diabetic, the slower shall be the healing process (and vice versa).
@ A diabetic should never clean the wound using alcohol. Doing so may damage the skin and tissue in and around the injured area.
@ If you are obese and diabetic then, your healing process shall become even slower.
How to Cure Diabetic Foot Wound?
Almost 25% of all people who suffer from diabetes tend to develop foot ulcers. If left untreated, these may lead to foot amputation. Simply put, almost 27 million people across the globe have foot ulcers owing to diabetes.
Foot ulcers can take a diabetic as long as 6 months to heal. Hence, precaution and proper care needs to be taken to treat foot wound in diabetics.
Let me (LeanAndFit reviewer) walk you through the different stages of diabetic foot wound treatment:
The Clotting Stage of the Wound:
As soon as a diabetic’s wound draws blood, the healing process is initiated by the body. The platelets get activated the moment the blood vessels shrink. This leads to reduced blood loss and initiates the healing process.
Strands of fibrin start to clot the blood flow. They form a mesh and encapsulate platelets and cells within them. The healing is therefore kick-started.
The Swelling Stage of the Wound:
The second phase of an injury to a diabetic foot is in the form of transudate. When the wound swells, blood flow reduces and infection is kept at bay.
This is a stage wherein bacteria and damaged cells are flushed out of the injury. White blood cells begin to repair the injured area by showering the wound with nutrients.
Healing enzymes are also created during the swelling phase of the wound. Basically, healing of the injured area is magnified with the aid of inflammation.
The Rebuilding Phase of the Wound:
In this stage, the foot wound is rebuilt via extracellular matrix. Basically tissues that are damaged are replaced with new ones. This is via the aid of collagen production.
Damage blood vessels are replaced with new ones. They provide the much needed nutrients to the injured foot of the diabetic. Granulation tissue stops the bleeding and encourages the development of epithelial cells.
In case the color of the granulation tissue is other than ‘pink’ (is dark in shade) then, it is a sign of infection. Diabetics have been known to develop black colored granulation tissue. It is a clear indicator of weak and improper perfusion.
The Collagen Wound Closure Stage:
In the final stages, the wound tends to close itself. This is with the aid of Type 1 as well as Type III collagen. Cells that had been used for repairing the injured area are flushed out.
Usually, the remodeling phase of the diabetic foot wound tends to initiate itself in the third week. It may continue well over a year. Healing depends on the level of injury and the current health condition of the diabetic.
What is the Best Remedy for Diabetic Wound?
There is no best remedy for treating a diabetic wound. This is because the nature of healing has not yet been fully understood by medical science.
For example when a diabetic develops foot ulcer, he/she is unable to treat the wound in 3 to 4 weeks. This is when the wound tends to be termed chronic in nature.
To back this up, if a diabetic is overweight or on certain medications (such as chemotherapy) then, treatment of the wound becomes even more complicated.
To heal the wound, a diabetic should take note of the following:
@ The wound needs to be kept clean and dressed. Moisture should be allowed to set in order to hasten the healing process.
@ Diabetic injuries often suffer from necrosis and incorrect wound closure. To avoid these, you need to visit a trained medical representative.
@ Dead tissues in and around the wound should be thoroughly cleansed. The wound should also be cleaned with an antiseptic solution regularly.
@ Correct bandage should be applied to the injured area. In fact, compression may be needed in certain wounds.
@ The concerned diabetic should be made aware of the correct post-injury-care procedure to avoid complications.
Best Methods to Treat Diabetic Wound:
Keeping the wound clean and free from debris are vital for speedy recovery. Apart from this, a diabetic also needs to keep a few other things in mind.
Here is a quick look at these:
The Choice of Dressing:
There are several ways to dress a wound. You may choose from amidst interactive, medicated, bioactive and even non-medicated variants. Choosing the most apt one is the key to fast healing for a diabetic.
If the wound is minor then, a passive dressing shall do the trick. Bioactive dressing encourages moisture thereby promoting granulation tissue formation.
Interactive dressings contain films or hydrogels to aid healing. Antimicrobial dressings promote faster healing by minimizing infections.
Basically, if a diabetic wishes to heal quickly, he/she needs to choose the correct dressing for the wound.
Medicines to Reduce Inflammation:
The next step to speed up the healing process is to include DPP-4 inhibitors, insulin or sulfonylureas to reduce inflammation. These medicines can also increase granulation tissue formation to assist healing.
When taken on a regular basis, these medicines also assist in promoting keratinocyte and reducing metalloproteinase. In simpler words, diabetic medicines such as these shall reduce inflammation and assist healing.
Increased Protein Release on Wound:
Through the means of scaffolds or lipid nanoparticles, protein is released in a systemic manner to promote wound healing. Growth factors are also released via gene enhancement methods into the injured area.
This is done so as to assist granulation tissue and encourage angiogenesis. Basically, the aim here is to promote the healing of a diabetic’s wound.
Inclusion of Cell Therapy:
It has been noticed that cell therapy works wonders in diabetics. Pluripotent stem cells have turned out to be really successful in promoting cell regeneration in the injured area.
Cell therapy in diabetics has indeed shortened the healing curve by a wide margin. Mesenchymal stem cells have also been used successfully to treat such wounds.
Drugs to Assist Diabetic Wound Healing:
Statins: This is an anti-inflammatory medicine that promotes angiogenesis. It comes under the topical administration category.
Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Inhibitors: It is a topical medicine that control blood sugar levels in diabetics. It is an anti-oxidant fortified with anti-inflammatory properties. Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 Inhibitors are ideally used for treating chronic wounds in the foot of a diabetic.
Phenytoin Drugs: This is an antibacterial medicine that is administered topically. It promotes angiogenesis and assists in the formation of granulation tissue.
Metformin: Applied topically, Metformin is an anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Serious injuries and ulcers are treated via this medicine.
Diabetics suffer from insulin resistance. Owing to this very reason, insulin production stops (or reduces dramatically) in the pancreas. This causes blood sugar levels in the blood stream to spiral out of control.
In such a scenario, if a diabetic suffer from an injury, making a fast recovery from the wound is impossible. High blood sugar levels weaken immunity and disrupt nutrient supply to the affected area.
To hasten the healing process, a diabetic should keep the wound clean. It should be dressed regularly using an antibiotic ointment. Medicines to control blood sugar levels and promote healing need to be taken.
Apart from skin ointments to promote healing, dead tissues should be removed from the wound. It is also advisable to visit a doctor if the injury is severe in nature.