Understanding The Link Between Nutrition And Wound Healing

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Continuing Education Course #105 — January 2003

I am very pleased to introduce the fifth article, “Understanding The Link Between Nutrition And Wound Healing,” in our new CE series. This series, brought to you by HMP Communications, consists of regular CE activities that qualify for one continuing education contact hour (.1 CEU). Readers will not be required to pay a processing fee for this course.

The impact of nutrition should not be underestimated when it comes to wound healing, according to John Hahn, DPM, ND, the author of this month’s continuing education article. As both a podiatrist and naturopathic physician, Dr. Hahn offers a unique perspective on this subject. He offers an overview of vitamins A, C and E and other nutrients and how they can facilitate quicker healing times.

At the end of this article, you will find a 10-question exam. Please mark your responses on the postage-paid card and return it to HMP Communications. This course will be posted on Podiatry Today’s Web site (www.podiatrytoday.com) roughly one month after the publication date. I hope this CE series contributes to your clinical skills.


Jeff A. Hall
Podiatry Today

INSTRUCTIONS: Physicians may receive one continuing education contact hour (.1 CEU) by reading the article on pg. 49 and successfully answering the questions on pg. 54. Use the postage-paid card provided to submit your answers or log on to www.podiatrytoday.com and respond electronically.
ACCREDITATION: HMP Communications, LLC is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a sponsor of continuing education in podiatric medicine.
DESIGNATION: This activity is approved for 1 continuing education contact hour or .1 CEU.
DISCLOSURE POLICY: All faculty participating in Continuing Education programs sponsored by HMP Communications, LLC are expected to disclose to the audience any real or apparent conflicts of interest related to the content of their presentation.
DISCLOSURE STATEMENTS: Dr. Hahn has disclosed that he has no significant financial relationship with any organization that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest in the context of the subject of his presentation.
GRADING: Answers to the CE exam will be graded by HMP Communications, LLC. Within 60 days, you will be advised that you have passed or failed the exam. A score of 70 percent or above will comprise a passing grade. A certificate will be awarded to participants who successfully complete the exam.
RELEASE DATE: January 2003.
EXPIRATION DATE: January 31, 2004.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:
• differentiate among the various micro- and macronutrients;
• recommend a nutritious diet for your patients;
• assess the impact of vitamins A, C and E on wound healing;
• list the benefits of zinc, copper and selenium;
• demonstrate an awareness of the recommended daily allowances of different vitamins.

Sponsored by HMP Communications, LLC.

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Having a better knowledge of nutriceuticals can help you improve your patients’ overall health and perhaps aid them in healing wounds like this.
By John E. Hahn, DPM, ND

In our profession, we do not receive extensive training in medical nutrition and its link to wound healing and the prevention of infections. Most podiatric and medical school curriculums devote only a limited amount of time to nutritional instruction for their students. Granted, podiatrists are aware of the nutritional requirements for the diabetic patients. Preoperatively, we usually work alongside an internist or primary care physician to help these patients balance their insulin and glucose levels during and after the foot surgeries.
However, aside from treating patients who are diabetic, morbidly obese or alcoholics, not much thought is given to a patient’s dietary habits as they relate to wound healing.

The field of medical nutrition is growing significantly each year and the general public is becoming more aware of the importance of foods and food supplements in maintaining health and preventing disease. There are daily reports in both print and electronic media on health issues and the relationship to foods, beverages and supplements. Podiatrists need to take a proactive role in learning about the field of nutrition as it relates not only to wound healing but to other diseases which affect the lower extremities and feet. Diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, psoriasis and eczema all have nutritional ramifications.
In fact, plantar fasciitis has recently been linked to obesity. Patients whose body mass index (BMI) is over 25 have an increased incidence of foot and heel pain.1 Augmenting the traditional podiatric therapies for plantar fasciitis and heel pain with nutritional counseling for obese patients will give a value-added service. Helping these patients reduce their weight can subsequently reduce weightbearing stress and plantar fascia pain.

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