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Nutritional support for diabetes

Diabetes and Wound Care

wound care for diabeticsH3 Rapid Recovery Optimal Health Formula was developed by Dr. Marc Stevens, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Wound Care Specialist to meet a need of his patients for nutritional support for surgery prep and wound healing. H3 Rapid Recovery includes the essential nutrients required in the wound healing process, along with arginine, glutamine and bromelain. H3 is beneficial for those suffering from diabetes who are at risk of developing chronic wounds, and provides the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for improved immune function.

If you suffer from diabetes, you have been warned by your physician that wound care, especially of the lower extremities, is tremendously important for your health and wellbeing. Approximately 15% of patients with diabetes suffer from diabetic foot ulcers, which can grow progressively worse very rapidly.

According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 60% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations are performed on people suffering from diabetes. Lower limb amputations for those who have diabetes greatly increase the chances of mortality within 18 months after the surgery.

Unfortunately, the natural process of healing is compromised in a hyperglycemic environment. Lack of insulin can cause increased protein degradation and decreased collagen formation, diminishing the body’s ability to heal. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels, or hyperglycemia, can lead to tissue damage. Likewise, high blood sugar levels can cause the processes of chemotaxis, white blood cells traveling to the site of infection, and phagocytosis, the ingestion of bacteria by white blood cells, to be compromised, negatively affecting the efficiency of the immune system, making the process of wound healing difficult.

Other consequences of diabetes are nerve damage, which may prevent you from feeling the pain associated with a minor wound that is getting infected, and decreased blood circulation in your extremities, making it harder for blood to get to the site of inflammation, negatively affecting the wound healing process.

Implement a Wound Care Routine

Because the threat of chronic wounds is very real for every individual with diabetes, it is imperative that you take the appropriate precautions to prevent wounds from occurring and to implement a wound care routine for the wounds that you have, no matter how minor:

  • Examine your skin thoroughly on a regular basis. Be sure to check the places that you cannot see, like the bottom of your feet and in between your toes.
  • Bathe daily and moisturize your skin.
  • Wear proper footwear to avoid blisters and never walk barefoot.
  • Clean cuts, scrapes and blisters thoroughly with running water to clear out any dirt.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to any cut, scrape or blister and protect it with a bandage.
  • Wash the surrounding area with soap and check on the wound daily for any sign of infection.
  • Keep the pressure off of the wound as much as possible, especially if the wound is on your foot.
  • At the first sign of redness or swelling, see your doctor- it is better to be safe than sorry.

The most essential thing you can do to prevent and treat wounds effectively is to manage your diabetes effectively. Good nutrition can help give your body the tools for more effective wound healing and wound prevention in the future. By managing your blood sugar levels and attaining a healthy body weight, you are providing your body the necessary tools to fight off an infection that poses a threat:

  • Work with your health care providers to make sure that your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterols remain in check. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly, as recommended by your physician.
  • Take your prescribed medications as directed.
  • Work with a dietitian to build a meal plan that has optimal calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates. Make sure that each food you eat is nutrient-dense. Whole foods, as opposed to processed foods, tend to have a higher level of essential nutrients. The calories you consume should be accompanied by an adequate supply of fiber, vitamins and minerals, necessary for immune system strength and wound healing.
  • To ensure adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals, take a nutritional supplement. Look for one that has vitamins A and C, zinc and arginine, all nutrients that have been shown to aid in the wound healing process.
  • Eliminate or drastically reduce your sweet intake (i.e., candy, cake, cookies, sodas, etc.)
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially if you are experiencing elevated body temperature or a wound.
  • Do not drink alcohol in excess.

By following your doctor’s instructions, eating healthy and implementing a wound care routine, your chances of developing a debilitating infection will drop dramatically.

LEARN MORE ABOUT NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR DIABETES…

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H3 Rapid Recovery for Improved Healing

H3 Rapid Recovery™

Natural Orange flavor beverage mix. Convenient stick packs.
15 servings. Also available in 30 serving size and flavorless…
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