Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life and possibly 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. While there are several factors that can affect wound healing, heart health is one of the most important. Heart disease may prevent the body from getting the oxygen it needs to heal.
Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and other issues with the heart and vessels can cause obstructions that hinder the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrition to the wound. Cholesterol, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure can also affect the health of your heart. To avoid these conditions, it is important to keep your heart healthy. The Cortland Regional Wound Care Center® 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.
- Make quality sleep a priority. 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.
- For more information about how your heart health can affect wound healing, contact the Cortland Regional Wound Care Center.
Members of the editorial and news staff of The Cortland Voice were not involved in the creation of this content.