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Question:

Do people with diabetes heal slower from wounds? My blood sugar control has been good, yet I have a injury that is very slow to heal up.

Answer:

The two most likely reasons for slow healing are (1) less than optimal glucose control and (2) nutritional factors. You say in your request that your blood glucose control is under "good control." For give me for asking what may be a very obvious question, but how "good." Blood sugars very much above the normal range can slow healing pretty dramatically. This only gets more apparent with age since healing has a tendency to slow and skin to thin with age. The measure I would look at first is HbA1c (or some other measure of average glucose control). I would look for an HbA1c not more than 1% higher than the top end of the normal range for your laboratory.

If your glucose control is that good, it is probably not contributing to slow healing. The next thing I would then look at is nutrition. Tissue repair requires adequate calories, protein, vitamin C, and zinc -- just to name the more common ones. You might look for Jane Brody's Nutrition Book for reliable reading on this topic.

Betty Brackenridge, MS, RD, CDE
Diabetes Management and Training Centers
Phoenix, AZ

Original posting 17 Oct 1998
Posted to Complications

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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