Did you know that heart health is one of the most important factors in how our wounds heal? 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, in extreme cases, amputation.

Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and other issues with the heart and vessels can block the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrition to wounds. Heart issues, along with parallel issues such as cholesterol, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure, drive many patients to seek specialized care from the Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Centers at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center and at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center.

“Wounds cannot readily get oxygen and other nutrients when plaque builds up in the arteries or blood flow to the arms and legs is restricted,” said Dr. Jeffrey Wang, a vascular surgeon who provides advanced wound care treatment at the center. “To avoid complications, it is important to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.”

The Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center offers these heart-healthy tips:

  • Live an active lifestyle, with 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco.
  • Eat a diet that is heart-healthy, with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other low-fat sources of protein.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Ensure you get quality sleep, about 7-9 hours a night. Making rest a priority in your life.
  • Manage your stress with positive self-talk, by doing things you enjoy and by taking regular relaxation breaks.
  • See your healthcare provider for regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

If you believe poor heart health is impacting your wound healing, contact the Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at 240-826-6106.