Diabetes Awareness Month teaches patients to take an active role in their care, including preventing foot ulcers.
Rather than passive recipients of care, diabetic foot wound patients and the actions they take are an important part of the healing process. With that in mind, the importance of patient self-care in treating diabetes and diabetic wounds is the theme of this year’s Diabetes Awareness Month.
A new program pairs diabetic patients with podiatrists to ensure early detection of harmful ulcers.
There is a profound link between diabetes and foot-related injuries for patients across the world. In fact, per a groundbreaking study published in the JAMA Network, 25 percent of all diabetics will experience foot wounds at some point in their lives. That’s because many diabetic patients must deal with peripheral neuropathy, in which they lose sensation in their hands and feet.
This can lead to cuts and other injuries, which can eventually develop into painful ulcers. And, as a report from the American Diabetes Association pointed out, nearly 20 percent of those foot ulcers will require amputation.
But that doesn’t have to continue to be the case, and there are some doctors and researchers who are taking steps to better prevent ulcers and any accompany side effects.
Doctors have created a treatment for foot ulcers using sea salt taken from coral reefs.
In America especially, diabetic foot ulcers have become problematic in recent years. In fact, 20 percent of all diabetic individuals will develop these wounds, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Perhaps that’s why there has been a number of exciting new developments in how these ulcers are treated.
A team from China is using stem cells derived from skin appendages to improve wound healing for ulcers. Similarly, a research collective from Texas is utilizing cord cells for the same purpose. Meanwhile, a group from Northwestern University is using a mix of proteins and various cells to create regenerative bandages.
A common thread among these projects is that they rely on groundbreaking technologies. However, a group of scientists from the Wound Institute of Beverly Hills is relying on a much more elemental solution to treat diabetic foot ulcers.
A new, portable approach could help millions of patients living with chronic wounds.
In late 2015, a team from the U.K.’s University of Sheffield launched a study with a simple premise: Could ultrasounds help heal chronic diabetic ulcers. Publishing their results in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the scientists found that wounds in laboratory mice healed up to 30 percent faster. According to the study’s results, the ultrasound works by facilitating cellular movement, actually “waking up” those in your skin to begin the healing process.
Now, another similar project is being launched using ultrasound, and it may be ready to use in just a few years’ time.
If left untreated, diabetic foot ulcers can cause permanent damage that affects your mobility.
Approximately 15% of people with diabetes suffer from foot ulcers, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Knowing how to recognize diabetic foot ulcer symptoms is crucial, because untreated ulcers can lead to permanent disfigurement. APMA reports that diabetic wounds are the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the United States. However, proper wound care can help reduce the chances of surgical intervention, infection, and foot deformation. The following information will help you recognize wound symptoms and find an effective diabetic foot ulcer treatment.