Affecting more than 6.5 million Americans, the chronic wound is known as the silent epidemic. But with it also comes another dreaded condition, cardiovascular disease, which kills about 647,000 Americans each year, making it one of the most deadly diseases in the United States.
But while these two conditions are not directly related to each other, the cardiovascular system plays a vital role in wound healing because it is responsible for carrying nutrient-rich blood and oxygen throughout the body.
Ulcers and Circulation: The Ties that Bind
There are two types of ulcers resulting from cardiovascular insufficiency that’s commonly addressed in a wound care clinic. Arterial ulcers stem from blocked arteries that keep blood from circulating to the lower extremities. These ulcers are usually found on the tip of the toes and resemble a punched-out appearance with some light exudate.
Venous ulcers, on the other hand, are caused by blocked veins usually in the lower extremities that lead to valve damage and result in the pooling of blood, which eventually starts the formation of ulcers.
These ulcers are mostly found on the gaiter area of the leg and may cause edema in the long run. A diabetic neuropathic ulcer is also another common type of wound that affects patients with an impaired sensation of the feet.
When a patient has cardiovascular disease, he becomes more prone to developing chronic wounds.
Without proper care from a wound care clinic, healing may also be delayed and even cause complications in the long run due to poor circulation in the affected areas.
The Importance of a Healthy Heart in Wound Healing
With heart health being one of the most important factors for wound healing, it’s very important for patients with chronic wounds to not only find the best wound care clinic but also adapt these habits towards a healthier cardiovascular system:
- Get physical at least three times a week. Your heart is a muscle so it needs as much exercise as the other parts of your body. Squeezing in at least 30 minutes of physical activity three times a week can already do a lot in preventing cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
- Embrace a healthier diet. Regular exercise should be combined with a good diet that will provide you with all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients that you need for a healthy heart.
- Practice good stress management. Stress is good, but too much of it can cause cardiovascular diseases. Learning how to manage stress and eliminating unnecessary stressors are smart steps to keeping your heart healthy. Treat yourself to a vacation, indulge in a spa day or laugh with friends to increase your happy hormones and keep stress at bay.
- Get enough sleep. Make sleep a priority in your life. No matter how busy you are, try to get at least eight hours of sleep each day. This will give your body and your heart to rest and recover keeping it healthier than when you lack rest.
A healthy heart decreases your chance of getting a chronic wound and if you do, it helps you heal faster. So make it a habit to keep your cardiovascular system in good condition by following these tips and consulting your health care provider regularly.
We specialize in diagnosis and treatment for any and all wound care issues for patients in San Diego County, Orange County, and Riverside County. For more information or to set an appointment, please contact us.