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Your Healthy Family: How to treat and prevent ulcers - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: How to treat and prevent ulcers

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There are some easy steps you can take to be proactive against ulcers, that can be debilitating to the elderly if not caught early and treated. There are some easy steps you can take to be proactive against ulcers, that can be debilitating to the elderly if not caught early and treated.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

Ulcers are a major part of the epidemic of chronic wounds that affect the elderly population.  Karlene Wood is the wound care manager with Interim Healthcare in Colorado Springs says ulcers are a reality for all of us as we age.

“We are all at risk as we age of venous-stasis ulcers.  The veins have little valves in them, and the valves on a normal person open and close so that the blood does not pool.  As we age those valves become a little less effective and your calf acts as the pump so as you become less mobile the pump doesn't work as well and that leads to the blood pooling and causing ulcers.”

Once one ulcer appears there is a good chance more are coming says Karlene.  Standard treatment is compression wraps, and compression stocking can be preventative.

“Wear those compression stockings, and elevate those legs because that prevention as much as people don't like wearing them, will prevent them from having a return ulcer and even getting a new ulcer.”

Type 2 diabetes is tied to foot ulcers which can be serious if they are not treated effectively and quickly says Karlene.

“Diabetes is growing in this population of seniors and all of us look at possibility of type 2  diabetes but people don't understand is 25% of people with a diagnosis of diabetes will develop a foot ulcer.  These can be quite serious and of those 25%, 14% will end up with amputations.  That not good news and there are things patients can do to prevent them.  If you have diabetes get a mirror, and check your feet every day.  Look at those callousness and shake out your shoes before you put them on so that if there are little pebbles in them.  What happens many times with seniors is they develop what we call neuropathy, or a lack of feeling in their feet.  So  someone may not feel that little pebble in their shoe until it's too late, by then you have a sore and once a sore develops it's a long healing process.”

Also managing blood sugars, not going barefoot, and wearing special diabetic shoes that prevent trauma to the foot can help in the fight against foot ulcers.  

If you have any questions follow up your doctor or the folks at Interim Healthcare.

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