TROY — Heart health is one of the most important factors that can affect wound healing. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States, and if left untreated, these wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life and possible amputation of the affected limb.
Of those individuals living with an amputation, 54 percent lost their limb(s) due to complications related to vascular disease.
February is American Heart Month and an opportunity for patients to understand how their heart can affect their wound healing.”
“Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and other issues with the heart and vessels can hinder blood flow, oxygen and nutrition to a wound,” explained Namchi Le, MD, medical director for the Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services at Upper Valley Medical Cetner. “Maintaining heart health enhances the body’s ability to heal.”
“We see patients living with non-healing wounds for a prolonged amount of time due to the lack of awareness of advanced wound care options,” said Dr. Le. “It’s part of our mission to help raise awareness of chronic wound treatments, and also to help promote lifestyles that can lead to good health and healing.
The wound care team at UVMC offers the following tips to live a heart healthy life:
• Live an active lifestyle with 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
• Don’t smoke or use tobacco of any kind, as it is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease.
• Eat a diet that is heart-healthy. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other low-fat sources of protein.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of these chronic conditions can lead to heart disease.
• Ensure you get quality sleep by making it a priority in your life. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
• Manage your stress in a healthy way with positive self-talk, using stress stoppers, doing things you enjoy, and relaxing on a regular basis.
• See your healthcare provider for regular screenings. This includes blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screenings.
The Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services at UVMC is located in the UVMC Physician Office Building adjacent to the hospital. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call (937) 440-7888.
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