Southeastern Wound Healing Center raises awareness about the impact of heart health on wound healing
National Heart Health campaign will take place Feb. 1 through 28
An alarming 33 percent of Americans currently suffer from cardiovascular disease. Throughout Heart Health Awareness Month, Southeastern Wound Healing Center (SWHC), a member of the Healogics network, will work to spread awareness about how cardiovascular diseases can affect the wound healing process. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States and, if left untreated, an unhealed wound on the foot or leg can lead to a diminished quality of life and possible amputation. As many as 82 percent of leg amputations are due to poor circulation of the affected limb.
Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, strokes, arrhythmia, vascular disease and other issues with the heart and vessels can causes blockages that obstruct the flow of blood needed for proper wound healing. Differentiating between arterial and venous ulcers may be challenging, but a correct diagnosis can result in optimal treatment options. Careful vascular assessment is key when a patient presents with a lower extremity ulcer as arterial disease is generally contraindicative to compression therapy, the cornerstone of venous ulcer management.
“Proper circulation is essential in wound healing and prevention,” said Dr. Karl Moo Young, medical director of SWHC. “Patients should have their circulation assessed if they have symptoms of pain, swelling or cramps in their legs that is worse with exercise and relieved with resting.”
SWHC 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.
- Take off your socks at your next checkup and speak up about any problems with your legs or feet.
If you or a loved one is living with a wound and cardiovascular disease, contact Southeastern Wound Healing Center at 103 W. 27th St., Lumberton, or (910) 738-3836.