Can Diabetes Affect Wound Healing?

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 09:21 AM

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Question: My A1C score is 5.7 and my 12-hour fasting glucose level varies from 106-133 (average: 120). I am watching my weight, sugar, and carb intake. But recently I've had minor abrasions on both shins which have taken a long time to heal. Are these early indicators of poor circulation due to Type 2 diabetes?


Dr. Hibberd's answer:

Fasting blood sugar of 126 generally indicates the presence of diabetes. What you have is pre-diabetes, if not borderline Type 2 diabetes, so it would be wise for you to follow all the recommendations for diabetic patients.

Be sure your thyroid has been checked and is normal, since under-active thyroid is common in people at risk for diabetes and can cause elevated blood sugar. You should start having annual eye exams, peripheral vascular tests, cholesterol checks, renal, and cardiac evaluations.

Your suspicion that hyperglycemia could be causing your delayed wound healing is probably correct. If your doctor finds evidence that your blood sugar needs to be controlled better, you may be a candidate for preventive management through medication to reduce hyperglycemia, which is associated with premature vascular disease, premature renal failure, and premature vision loss.

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