Deal­ing with leg ul­cers

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS - Dr Dou­glas Street Gleaner Writer

A LEG ul­cer is re­ally an un­pleas­ant con­di­tion to deal with, whether you are the one af­flicted with it or the one treat­ing it. It can be un­pleas­ant to look at and can even carry an odour. It is usu­ally a source of em­bar­rass­ment for those af­flicted with it. They can also be dif­fi­cult to treat. Can more be done for them?

The cir­cu­la­tion around the an­kles is usu­ally poor, even un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances. When a med­i­cal con­di­tion that af­fects the cir­cu­la­tion is added, then the area can be­come a tick­ing time bomb. The cir­cu­la­tion in the area may be able to sus­tain vi­tal­ity un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances in these sit­u­a­tions, but should there be in­jury to the skin, the cir­cu­la­tion may not be ad­e­quate to fa­cil­i­tate heal­ing and an ul­cer de­vel­ops as a result. There are even times when ul­cers form spon­ta­neously due to an in­ad­e­quate blood sup­ply, so the skin just dies and breaks down, form­ing the ul­cer.

There are a num­ber of con­di­tions that pre­dis­pose to the for­ma­tion of ul­cers. These in­clude sickle cell anaemia, di­a­betes, pe­riph­eral vas­cu­lar dis­ease, vari­cose veins, and in­flam­ma­tory dis­eases such as lu­pus and rheuma­toid arthri­tis.

IN­FLAM­MA­TION

In­flam­ma­tion is a com­mon fea­ture of ul­cers and is prob­a­bly the root cause in most, if not all, of the dis­ease con­di­tions that lead to leg ul­cers. This is why in­ter­ven­tions that re­duce in­flam­ma­tion are so im­por­tant. There is a ten­dency to think that in­flam­ma­tion is the result of the poor cir­cu­la­tion, but it ac­tu­ally seems to be the cause. In­flam­ma­tion is a sys­temic prob­lem, so usu­ally other or­gans and sys­tems are in­volved. It im­pairs the cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem, lead­ing to re­duc­tion in cir­cu­la­tion as well as other features of in­flam­ma­tion, such as dark­en­ing and swelling.

One com­mon med­i­ca­tion used in the treat­ment of ul­cers is Daflon. Daflon is ac­tu­ally a flavonoid, which is a plant­based nu­tri­ent with anti-in­flam­ma­tory prop­er­ties. Of course, there are other in­ter­ven­tions that are help­ful in re­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion which were dis­cussed be­fore. These in­clude nu­tri­tion, mod­er­ate ex­er­cise, ad­e­quate use of wa­ter, healthy sun­shine, mod­er­a­tion in all things, avoid­ing harm­ful sub­stances and prac­tices, fresh air, ad­e­quate and proper rest, and other an­tiox­i­dant sup­ple­ments and in­ter­ven­tions. There is a ten­dency to fo­cus on one or two in­ter­ven­tions – which may not be ad­e­quate – and there are fre­quent fail­ures when treat­ing this way. A more holis­tic ap­proach is more likely to bring success.

In­flam­ma­tion is a com­mon fea­ture of ul­cers and is prob­a­bly the root cause in most, if not all, of the dis­ease con­di­tions that lead to leg ul­cers. This is why in­ter­ven­tions that re­duce in­flam­ma­tion are so im­por­tant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.