Following on from the blog post about Coronavirus and its effect on people living with diabetes, this time I look at how diabetes affects the healing of wounds.
As we know, diabetes increases the level of sugar in your blood. This increased level of blood sugar negatively affects nerves in your body by damaging or making them dysfunctional which can typically result in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness or pain in the affected area, a condition known as neuropathy.
When you have a wound or sore on your body, it is blood that is required to repair the skin in the affected area. However, high levels of sugar in your blood lead to poor blood circulation, making it hard for your blood to reach areas of the body affected by the sores or wounds, and hence, lengthening the healing time. With slower healing of wounds, they remain open for longer leading to other complications such as fungal or bacterial infections, as well as conditions such as gangrene which is the death of body tissues due to either a lack of blood flow or a serious bacterial infection. Cuts, grazes, blisters, etc. can be particularly problematic if they affect the feet of someone with diabetes. If not treated properly, the risk of amputation becomes serious.
It is important to also note that slow healing of wounds can be a symptom of undiagnosed diabetes, particularly if other symptoms are also present. If you have a cut or burn that is taking a long time to heal or showing signs of infection and you do not think you have diabetes, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to have the wound examined urgently.
Dos and Don’ts for Diabetes Wound Care
We as Broadway Bakery are aware of the prevalent increase in lifestyle diseases in our society, which led us to carry out a survey to know more about lifestyle consumption habits of Kenyans. Hence, we embarked on a health campaign dubbed #BeSugarSmart in 2016 and went about sensitizing Kenyans on the dangers of consuming too much sugar. Our bread has always contained low amounts of sugar without compromising on taste. During this sensitization and awareness campaign, we have also been conducting regular and free screening for diabetes and hypertension around Kenya as we believe many Kenyans do not know their diabetes status. To date, we have screened close to 20,000 people across 15 counties. The prevalence of diabetes has been around 10% and of hypertension has been around 15% according to the data we have obtained. We urge you to check your diabetes status and pay close attention to any type of wound on your leg that is not healing well. If you have any doubts, speak to a medical professional.
This year, we have not been able to carry out much testing because of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, during World Diabetes Day, which is celebrated on 14th November annually, we do hope to contribute and participate in some way. The theme for this year is The Nurse and Diabetes. The campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes. Keep a look out for our plans to commemorate this day!
Devan B Shah,
Head of Business Development.