There are several factors that influence wound healing, and it can be especially difficult for patients on chemo therapy.
Factors that can influence wound healing may include:
Age. The older you are slower the healing process, exercise can help improve the healing process for older adults, the female hormone estrogen helps with healing, so women tend to heal better. Diabetes can slow the healing process, use of certain medications like steroids and chemotherapy, radiation, use of alcohol, smoking, poor nutrition and being overweight can all slow down the healing process.
Good Nutrition can help with the Healing process
Nutrition is important for healing for those surgical wounds or pressure ulcers. There are some key nutrients involved in this process, paying attention to them will reduce you hospital stay and help with wound healing.
Protein helps to build healthy tissue as the wound heals. The amount you need depends on your body weight, a Dietitian will be able to give you the grams of protein you will need for healing. Track your intake by keep a good food log, to do this you will have to read the food label to figure out the amount of protein in a particular food.
Some good protein sources are, all kinds of meats, eggs, dairy and dairy products, beans, tofu etc.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, it can be obtained from fruits and vegetables and low Vitamin C is a rare thing. This vitamin plays a big role in wound healing. High doses of this Vitamin are not recommended, start this vitamin supplementation only if recommend by your doctor. Dietary source should be your first go to.
This Mineral deficiency can happen to people with celiac disease, Crohn’s, short bowel syndrome and sickle cell diseases, some vegetarian and alcoholics as well. Zinc can be lost during processing of grains, look for whole grains and fortified breakfast cereals, red meats, beans, peas and Lentils are some other good sources. Zinc supplementation should be started in consultation with your Dietitian and should not be taken for more than 3 months.