Diabetes mellitus is considered one of the most important medical emergencies currently affecting our health system – in the U.S. and globally. Diabetes causes a wide variety of problems due to elevated glucose levels in the blood which can lead to complications with the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves, and limbs. Of all the complications derived from diabetes, foot infections are one of the most frequent occurrences and can lead to high morbidity and occasional mortality. More importantly, foot infections derived from diabetes are incredibly taxing to our health systems and the individual patient. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) affects over 26 million people worldwide, incidentally it is also the leading cause of amputations across the globe. These foot ulcers are incredibly difficult to treat and often recur for the patient within 3 years, and there is a serious need for new treatment options. Recently, advances in tissue allograft therapy are providing novel options for patients who are looking for additional healing opportunities. Today we’re going to discuss Allograft Therapy For Diabetic Foot Ulcer treatments and how they’re providing help for patients.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers Is One Of Many Diseases From Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease characterized by elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels where the cells of your body are unable to use the sugar appropriately for energy. The “signal” to use the glucose comes from insulin which tells the cells to use the sugar for energy production. The increase in sugar in the blood leads to a whole host of problems, but there are four primary diseases which stem from diabetes:
- Diabetic Polyneuropathy – a malfunction of the nerves branching to your limbs which often feels like tingling, numbness, sharp pain, and sensitivity. If left untreated this can cause foot ulcers and infections in the feet, but also complications with many other organs including your eyes, sexual organs, kidneys, and more.
- Peripheral Vascular Disease – this is a blood circulation disorder affecting diabetic patients defined by plaque lining the walls of the blood vessels. This lack of blood flow greatly affects the limbs (especially the feet) and is an additional cause to diabetic foot ulcers.
- Macroangiopathy – a disease where large blood vessels get filled with plaque and constrict the blood flow due to blood clots.
- Microangiopathy – this is a relatively unclear disease from diabetes but it’s characterized by abnormal growth of small blood vessels and severe leakage of these blood vessels resulting in abnormal tissue function.
As you can hopefully see, diabetes is a very serious disease with severe complications. However, in the context of foot ulcers, it’s the combination of these diseases (polyneuropathy and peripheral vascular disease) which are the primary causes for ulcers. When you combine these conditions, you end up with limbs that are unable to heal themselves and result in life-threatening infections.
How Tissue Allograft Therapy Can Help Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The primary goal of treating DFU is to close the ulcer for proper healing. Currently the essential components of healing DFU break down into four unique parts:
- Treat underlying disease with proper nutrition
- Get adequate blood flow to limbs
- Control the wound from infection
- Offload any pressure on limb
If this can be accomplished there’s a significant decrease in the need for amputation. However, the problem is that conventional medicine cannot treat foot ulcers if caused by improper blood flow to the vessels within the foot where the ulcer is occurring. This is why so many patients are at risk for amputation.
This could potentially be reversed with the use of regenerative medicine. Tissue allografts can be applied topically to the foot and can help stimulate the affected area to start the healing process naturally. The aim of tissue allograft therapy for diabetic foot ulcer is to support the healing of a wound by actually stimulating the formation of new blood vessels around the ulcer which can increase blood supply and begin repairing tissue damage.
Historically, if a patient had diabetic foot ulcers there would be a high probability of amputation for further infection prevention. However, with the introduction of tissue allograft therapy for diabetic foot ulcer, there is a new hope for patients looking for healing. If you’re interested in learning more contact LUX Therapeutics for additional information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Treatment For Foot Ulcer?
Right now the best treatment is a combination of four things: systemic nutritional changes, blood flow to affected limb, wound infection control, and reduction of pressure on the affected limb.
What Happens If A Foot Ulcer Doesn’t Heal?
Generally, the conventional choice in this situation is the removal of affected tissue and, if necessary, amputation of the limb.
Why Do Diabetic Foot Ulcers Not Heal?
The combination of nerve damage and lack of blood flow are the primary reasons why ulcers won’t heal.
How Can I Speed Up The Healing Of A Foot Ulcer
Tissue allograft therapy is an innovative way to speed up the healing of DFU by helping promote regeneration around the ulcer. When used in conjunction with the treatment options above, it may speed up the healing of foot ulcers.