How Diabetes Affects Wound Healing

Diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to produce insulin and/or use it properly due to high blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association estimates that approximately 25 million people in the United States alone have diabetes, about 7 million of whom are undiagnosed. One of the most common complications of diabetes is chronic wounds that primarily affect the feet. Diabetes inhibits the body’s natural wound-healing capabilities, which means chronic wounds can quickly become severe and develop infections if left untreated.

Diabetes affects wound healing in a variety of ways, including:

  • Reduced circulation – High blood glucose levels can cause the blood vessels to constrict, which reduces blood flow to the extremities. Circulation is an essential part of the body’s natural wound-healing process, as the blood delivers oxygen to the wound and helps to fight infection.
  • Neuropathy – Loss of circulation can cause nerve damage in the feet, which limits sensation. Someone with diabetic neuropathy may not realize they have developed wounds on their feet, or may be more prone to foot injuries.
  • Immune system deficiency – High glucose levels can affect the body’s immune system, which can increase the risk of wound infection in the feet and inhibit the body’s natural healing process.

You can also review our other online resources to learn more about When to Seek Professional Wound Care, Seven Tips for Preventing Foot Sores, and Nutritional Guidelines for Wound Care.

Diabetic Wound Treatment in the Tampa Bay Area

If you are suffering from diabetic foot ulcers, BayCare offers a variety of advanced wound treatments at our Tampa Bay area wound care centers. Treatments include hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy, bioengineered wound grafting, total contact casting, vacuum-assisted wound closure therapy and more.

For more information about BayCare’s wound treatment services, call (855) 546-6296 or find a doctor near you.