Dr. Kristy Appelhans, Naturopathic Doctor and Sports Medicine Consultant

2035 Westwood Blvd Ste 209 Los Angeles, CA 90025 phone: (310) 281-6926

Diabetic Wound Care and Prevention

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Sunday, May 02, 2010
Those of you who are diabetic may experience boils, abscesses, and other skin infections. The infections may also tend to heal slowly and you may find that small cuts and blemishes turn into larger wounds on occasion. This is not uncommon in individuals with uncontrolled blood sugar. In fact, some of you have experienced these conditions and uncontrolled glucose while on medications. Staph infections or MRSA, are often to blame for skin infections and are especially problematic in Diabetics. These infections are difficult to treat when blood sugar is uncontrolled and nutritional/supplemental support is lacking. Bacteria thrive more easily when circulating sugar is high while immune function is generally depressed as generous helpings of sugar/starch are maintained. In my own patients that are diabetic, treatment includes very low intake of carbohydrates and often is the only way to improve response to conventional and/or alternative treatment. In addition, factors that contribute to the control of blood sugar are complex and somewhat unique to the individual, but there are some things that can help control blood sugar, healing, immune support, hygiene, and overall wound control on a daily basis.

General Hygiene and Wound Care:
Hibi Wash/Cleanse: this is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that can be used weekly or as needed to help prevent colonizing MRSA/Staph in diabetics as well as healthy patients

Natural Healing Salve with Chaparral, Calendula, Olive Oil, Comfrey, and Vitamin E: effective ingredient combination for the treatment of small cuts, scrapes, and blemishes that help prevent worsening and promote healing of wounds

Topical Vitamin A and Salicylic Acid Salves/Creams: also an effective treatment for small wounds

Try not to squeeze or scratch at wounds; apply treatments with clean hands

For boils - apply clean hot compresses with light pressure 2-3 times daily for 5-10 minutes each time; the boil should come to a head and the puss will express easily with light pressure once there is a noticeable white or green head in the center of the affected area

Diet and Exercise:

Lifting Weights: increased lean muscle mass promotes insulin sensitivity and is effective in controlling/reducing blood sugar
Watch what you eat: avoid starches and simple sugars and focus on lean protein sources and fibrous vegetables

Specific Agents:
Alpha Lipoic Acid: potent antioxidant and hypoglycemic 
Cinnamon: effective hypoglycemic 
Chromium: effective hypoglycemic
Bitter Melon: another hypoglycemic 

Vitamin C: antioxidant that helps support immune function
Vitamin A: another antioxidant that helps support immune function

Multivitamin: a comprehensive multivitamin supplement is a must for optimal health in diabetics and even healthy populations

 

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