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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How does diabetes affect wound healing?

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  • 7

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    Inger Wang

    Diabetes Educator

    I'm a Credentialed diabetes educator I work together with 2 endocrinologists. I'm specialized in type 1 diabetes, insulin pump therapy and sport and diabetes. I ... View Profile

    It effects wounds in two different ways. First, the blood flow to the area can be compromised. Second, if your blood sugar levels are high then the bacteria in the wound would thrive. Because bacteria growing here is dependent on glucose for its food.

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    Dung Pham

    Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Dung is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who currently works in Community Health and Private Practice as a HACC/CH dietitian and Health Coach. She has also ... View Profile

    Diabetes affects wound healing by slowing down the process, or prolonging the healing processes. That mainly happens because diabetes contributes to the narrowing of the arteries and this results in reduced blood flow to the wound. Obviously, in order for a wound to heal it needs an appropriate amount of oxygen and nutrients in order for it to heal more quickly.

    When you have diabetes and you have a narrowing of the arteries, as well as an impairment in circulation or poor circulation, that stops or reduces the blood flow to the wound, and as a result, slows down the process of wound healing. People with diabetes have an immune response that is impaired or is not as great as it normally is. So, as a result of that, you have a higher risk of infection. Wounds tend to get infected and people tend to get things such as ulcers in their feet. People with diabetes might also have neuropathy which is another reason why people with diabetes have issues with wounds.

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