Good Thoughts Help Heal Foot Ulcers

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Positive thinking can minimize the side effects of diabetic ulcersYou know how people are always talking about the power of positive thinking? Well, according to a new study from the University of Nottingham in the UK, it’s totally true—and can even help you survive a medical emergency like a diabetic foot ulcer.

Diabetic ulcers begin when wounds form. A wound is an injury involving a break in the skin. Wounds that do not heal in a timely fashion can become chronic non-healing wounds (ulcers), which can cause pain, discomfort and limited mobility. For people with diabetes, diabetic ulcers are a main cause of diabetic foot infections, which can put the patient’s limb at risk of amputation.

So…that’s the bad news. But, here’s the good news: after evaluating data from 160 diabetic patients with foot ulcers, researchers discovered that those patients who had positive beliefs about their foot ulcers—like believing in the effectiveness of their treatments—survived longer than those individuals with negative beliefs such as thinking their ulcers would last a long time and not respond well to treatment.

What I find so incredible about this study is it’s proof of each person’s power to keep themselves well, something I always talk about with diabetics in my Houston podiatry practice. Certainly, staying positive in the face of complications can help with your recovery but an even smarter approach is to stay proactive and keep wounds from developing in the first place.

How, you may ask? With daily foot exams in your home and regular visits with your podiatrist for more comprehensive check ups. Together with a healthy diet and blood sugar management, these tools can go a long way towards preventing serious diabetic foot complications.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.