Understanding Diabetes and Its Distinctive Wound Care Needs
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Understanding Diabetes and Its Distinctive Wound Care Needs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Americans born after 2000 will develop diabetes during their lifetime. These people face unique wound care needs.

The majority of people who suffer with diabetes are age 65 and older. This may be because diabetes can go undiagnosed or even misdiagnosed for many years.  Everyone 45 or older should be tested, especially if you have a family history of diabetes or if you’re overweight, or have high blood pressure or high cholesterol; or, suffer intense thirst or frequent urination. The earlier you catch diabetes, the earlier you can control it.

Those that have type 2, or adult-onset diabetes, have elevated levels of the sugar glucose in their blood. This sugar buildup has two causes: either the body isn’t producing enough insulin, which it uses to break down and utilize glucose, or the insulin is no longer doing its job properly. Oftentimes it can be the combination of the two.  Elevated glucose can cause blindness, kidney disease, and nervous system disease. Those with diabetes are also two to four times more likely to have heart disease or strokes. 

To learn more about diabetes and its treatment options, go to your healthcare professional or diabetes educator, as well as check out the numerous resources available online, like Johnson & Johnson, known for being your Partner in Diabetes Care or; check out...Jennifer Williams, who works for Burn Solutions.  Her company offers a forum online for all our first aid needs. All their information is up to date, fact checked and relevant for you, your children and pets, or for the workplace. Wound care is extremely important for people with diabetes, because an infection can lead to serious health problems. They should treat even small wounds as an emergency.  Below are a few more guidelines for wound treatment:

• Proper cleansing helps prevents infection and promotes the best possible healing.

• Wash your hands before touching a wound.

• Use gloves to protect against disease transmission.

• Apply pressure to stop bleeding for a cut or scrape.

• Use mild soap & water. Pat dry with a sterile gauze pad.

Sugar dressings for a raging wound seems odd, however, most experts now agree, that sugar or honey dressings may be used to treat any kind of open wound or burn for diabetics. It will not work on abscesses or pustules that are covered with skin and do not use on a bleeding wound as sugar promotes bleeding.  Below are instructions from the experts on how to make a sugar dressing:

• Unravel a 4" x 4" piece of gauze into a long strip and coat it with Vaseline.

• Place it around the outside edges of the wound

• Cover the wound with 1/4-inch of sugar.

• Place a 4" x 4" sponge on top of the wound.

• Clean and change the dressing every one or two days.

Antibiotic ointments can help prevent bacterial infection in minor cuts, scrapes, and burns.  Always look for signs of bacterial infection until a cut, scrape, burn or ulcer is completely healed. These signs include: tenderness, redness, and swollen glands; swelling around the wound, red streaks leading from the wound, throbbing, pus, and fever are other signs of distress. If any of these signs appear, call your doctor immediately.

Fungal infections occur between toes and moist folds of the skin when diabetic. Signs of fungal infection include: itching, redness, and small blisters and/or scales surrounding the redness. For a fungal infection, call your doctor and/or podiatrist for treatment options.  For more serious wounds, your doctor and/or podiatrist can prescribe advanced healing products that may help to further improve the healing process.

Always change your dressing daily, and speak to your doctor and/or podiatrist, if your wound does not heal. The dressings should be large enough to fully cover the area that needs to heal. Leave ½ inch of the cover extending beyond the wound to make sure the wound is covered properly. Remember, some covers might not be appropriate if you have diabetes.

The right kind of tape comfortably holds your dressing in place without damaging your skin. Hurt-Free tapes and self-adhering wraps provide the gentlest wrappings. Keep the wound covered at all times to protect it from dirt and germs. Change bandages as directed by your doctor and/or podiatrist.  Go to Johnson & Johnson for more detailed directions like below:

• If you get a blister, clean it with soap and water, and then protect it with a cover and tape/wrap. Do not break the blister. If the blister breaks, leave the loose skin as a covering over the wound until it heals.

• Do not use over-the-counter corn and callus removers. Talk to your doctor and/or podiatrist about having corns and calluses treated by a podiatrist. Complete healing of even small wounds can take quite some time. Follow your treatment plan exactly as prescribed.

• Do not ignore redness, swelling, non-healing wounds, ingrown toe nails, and other foot or wound problems. Bring these problems to the attention of your doctor and/or podiatrist as soon as possible. Early treatment is the best way to prevent severity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Americans born after 2000 will develop diabetes during their lifetime. These people face unique wound care needs.  Unfortunately, diabetes occurs at twice the rate in the African American community as it does in white Americans.

There is hope.  Using adult stem cells drawn from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood system cells, scientists have discovered new treatments for scores of diseases and conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, juvenile diabetes, and spinal cord injuries.  At least 58 other diseases could potentially be cured through stem cell research.  Trying to manage diabetes is hard; but if we don't, there are consequences we'll have to deal with later in life.

Diabetic Rockstar.com tells us, “Diabetes isn't a death sentence--Life is a death sentence. Stop with the excuses: Start living, or start dying, the choice is yours.

by Joyce White

http://www.dlife.com/

http://diabetes.webmd.com/features/diabetes-wounds-caring-sores http://www.diabeticrockstar.com/ http://www.bing.com/search?q=diabetes+johnson+%26+johnson&pc=Z039&form=ZGAIDF

http://diabetes.webmd.com/diabetes-recipes-cooking-tips-diabetic-friendly-meal

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