vfvthunter at home.com vfvthunter at home.com
Mon Nov 13 02:55:51 EST 2000

In diabetics, the cause of 'cellulitis' is a phenomenon referred to as
non-enzymatic glycoslyation.  Where I work, a diabetic with a
non-healing distal (i.e., farther away from the body) wound would be
said to have a gangrenous diabetic ulcer.  

The wound is on his foot.  This is unbelievably common - many diabetics
are living amputees.  In fact, most healthcare workers who see a person
for the first time and note an amputation will *immediately* ask whether
or not the person is diabetic - the sign is that classic.  

Diabetics can't regulate their blood sugar levels very well; blood sugar
rises to incredibly high levels.  With all of this sugar in the blood,
it just begins to build up on the lining of the blood vessels
(non-enzymatic glycoslyation).  This narrows the blood vessels, and by
consequence, the blood flow in that vessel declines (the foot in this
case).  This also happens in the heart, which is why diabetics are more
prone to heart attacks.  Build up of plaque on the linings of blood
vessels (arteries) is called atherosclerosis; smoking accelerates
atherosclerosis, so if your father smokes, he needs to stop, since his
blood vessels are already prone to being clogged.  

Curing his current ulcer is a job to be done aggressively by his
physician, but he has to put in a lot of effort as well - he has GOT to
keep his blood suger level UNDER CONTROL.  

With proper insulin dosing, proper diet, and cessation of smoking,
diabetics can lead very normal lives.  But I cannot begin to stress the
importance of cessation of smoking and proper blood sugar control.  In
fact, the only three things diabetics can do to keep healthy is stop
smoking, eat properly, and exercise.  THAT IS IT.  Again, they are of
utmost importance.  Also, antioxidants (such as Vitamins E,C, etc) are
known to slow the process of atherosclerosis, so taking vitamins or
eating citrus fruits will help immensely (I recommend around 100IU of
vitamin E per day).  But again, this comes back to proper diet.  

Treatment varies wildly between persons.  Usually, hospital stays in
which the staff try to cure or save a limb are long (on the order of 1-2
months).  But the alternative is amputation.  It is vitally important
that he keep this foot, however, because once he loses one, he will be
MUCH less likely to walk around, and sitting around in a chair all day
will only make the rest of his limbs bigger targets for

Qeenka at aol.com wrote:
> What is the cause of cellulitus, what is the best treatment? How long
> is the
> treatment?
> My father has a non-healing wound and has now developed cellulitus.
> The DR
> wants to amputated his leg. I think that we should 1st try a wound
> care
> specialist. he is diabetic and the blood flow to his foot is limited.
> This is
> where the wound is (on the foot) He is in a lot of pain. we believe it
> is
> from the cellulitus. is this normal? (pain)
> I would like some feed back on this.
> Karen Chamberlain

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