Heart Health & the Impact on Chronic Wounds
Your heart affects every aspect of your health, including your ability to heal wounds. Your heart circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. Damaged blood vessels are a common component of cardiovascular disease. They can lead to blockages that obstruct blood flow, which in turn hinders the delivery of oxygen and nutrition needed for proper wound healing.
Currently, 48% of American adults, 121.5 million people, suffer from cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Eight million Americans are currently living with a chronic wound, and most of them have three to four other chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. These people are at high risk for complications without proper wound care. An unhealed wound on the foot or leg can lead to amputation. In fact, 82% of lower leg amputations are caused by poor circulation of the affected limb.
Take steps to prevent conditions that may affect the health of your heart and proper wound healing:
Low-fat, high-fiber foods are good for your heart. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains every day.
Walk, run, dance, swim…find a way to get moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Be kind to yourself. Practice positive self-talk. Make sleep a priority. Reduce stress with fun hobbies. Stop smoking and all use of nicotine.
See your health care provider at least twice a year. Ask about screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
If you or someone you know is living with a cardiovascular disease, it is especially important to detect wounds early. Seek specialized wound care to prevent possible infection, hospitalization or amputation due to poor circulation. For more information, contact NMMC Gilmore-Amory Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center at (662) 256-5555.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in helping your heart and your body's ability to heal wounds.