Now, we have so many treatments for a diabetic foot ulcer. These include antibiotics, specialized dressings, grafts, bracing, casting, and more. And, today, we have new findings on a promising new option, made of Omega 3 rich fish skin. But before we get to that, I want to highlight new info on treating ulcers on your own. All by changing your diabetic diet!
Nutrition to Heal a Foot Ulcer
This year, the American Limb Preservation Society released new diabetic diet suggestions. It's called Nurtition Interventions in Adults with Diabetic Ulcers. And it focuses on how proper nutrition can help wound healing. Here's the highlights you need to know.
Now, the guide included many different wound healing factors to consider. But it focuses on a few main points. First, you have to lower your blood sugar levels if you want to heal your foot ulcer. (That means addressing hyperglycemia.)
Next, you need to get the right mix of protein, calories, and micronutrients. Otherwise, your body can't form new blood vessels, skin lining cells or collagen. And that matters, because you need each of these to close a foot ulcer.
One nutrient stood out as very important for wound healing. And that was vitamin c, since we've linked deficiences to poor wound healing.
Finally, the guidelines talk about hydration. As they note, staying hydrated helps regulate your body temperature. Plus, it supports your kidneys and gets essential nutrients to your cells. At the same time, it helps boost your blood flow. And these all help with wound healing.
But how much water is enough to stay hydrated? These guidelines suggest taking in 25–35 mL/kg of body weight/day for healthy adults. Still, they suggest considering underlying health conditions that may increase those needs. And they note that sometimes, diet won't be enough to heal an ulcer. So you'll need other treatment options. Like the fish skin I mentioned earlier.
Fish Skin Wound Treatment
A new study in Wounds shows that Kerecis® Omega 3 fish skin delivers faster healing. (It's a diabetic wound treatment. And the results compare to a different treatment, a collagen dressing called Fibrocol.)
Researchers followed 64 patients. During the study period, 67% of patients using Kerecis healed in 12 weeks. Just 32% of the other participants healed in that same time.
Because of these results, researchers are excited about fish-skin grafts. They believe they can help heal wounds that don't respond to other treatments.
Why might that be the case? Well, an earlier study in Military Medicine showed that fish skin helps new cells form in wounds. This can lead to faster healing, and help avoid amputations.
Even better? The Kerecis product is an environmentally friendly treatment option. That's because the manufacturers committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. So they source their fish skin from sustainable schools. And, they catch the fish in clean waters off the coast of Iceland. Then, they're turned into grafts using 100% renewable energy.
Basically, fish skin grafts speed healing. And, the Kerecis product delivers faster healing without hurting the planet. But how can you know which is the best wound treatment for you? Keep reading to find out.
Choosing Diabetic Wound Treatments
In the past, podiatrists like me started treating your wounds based on what we saw. In other words, we treated the ulcer's present qualities. Then, we'd wait and see if the initial treatment worked.
If it did, we'd celebrate. But if it didn't? Unfortunately, the decision to switch treatments often became arbitrary. We'd choose something new based on the response, or lack thereof, to the current therapy.
Fortunately, a new-state-of-the-art diagnostic tool is available. And, in my Houston practice, it's proven to be indispensable for wound healing. Because, it helps me pinpoint my patients' wound characteristics. (Meaning you get faster healing. And reduced amputation risks.)
So, what's this magic solution? Well, it involves sampling tissue from your wound. And getting to the very bottom of what's causing your problem. Here's how it works.
DNA Mapping to Heal Diabetic Ulcers
Today, I use a new type of culture that examines the DNA of the bacteria in your ulcer. This is a far better option that traditional bacteria cultures. (They denatured in a matter of a few hours.)
But going the DNA route gives me more accurate treatment plans. How so? Well, consider this:
There are many different bacteria infecting the biofilm on the surface of your wound. Now, with a traditional culture, we can't identify all or even most of those infectors. But, using a DNA examination, we can get very specific with detecting what's inside your wound.
With an old-school culture, we miss over 95% of organisms infecting the biofilm of the wound. We simply can't assess them with our older tools. Of course, with DNA, we get so much more information. And, being able to identify these bacteria will speed the healing time significantly. Plus, it will improve the patients' quality of life.
Once we have that information, we can understand the DNA of your wound's bacteria. This allows us to personalize your treatment. And to choose treatments that will work based on the DNA analysis provided.
Know what happens when I examine the DNA of bacteria in your wound? It helps me know exactly what I'm dealing with inside. So it also helps me provide specific antibiotic recommendations. That way, you can enjoy effective results. Now, these antibiotics may be in oral, IV, or even topical form. But whatever the form we choose, we know it's targeting your needs.
And that's why I see rapid wound progression when we follow these recommendations. In fact I've even seen longstanding ulcers heal completely. Sometimes, in just a few weeks!
Choosing DNA Wound Cultures in Houston
And guess what? There's no need to wait around for this treatment option. Because...tomorrow's medical evaluation is available today! If you have a chronic wound of any type, that you have not been able to get healed, DNA testing can help.
Ready for results? Contact Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists for an appointment. Let us know that your wound isn't healing, and ask for this quick, easy, and painless evaluation.