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Home :: Gangrene

Gangrene - Symptoms And Treatment

Gangrene is a condition in which body tissues die, and ultimately decay, as a result of an inadequate oxygen supply. It can affect any body part, but most frequently affects extremities-the toes, feet, fingers, hands, and arms. Gangrene of the internal organs is especially dangerous.

There are two types of gangrene :-

1 ) Wet gangrene is the result of a wound or injury that becomes infected with bacteria. The infection prevents adequate venous drainage, depriving the area of needed blood supply and oxygen. The disruption in oxygen supply in turn promotes the infection.

Symptoms of wet gangrene include severe and rapidly worsening pain, swelling, and tenderness in the area. As the infection progresses, the affected tissue changes color, usually from pink to deep red to gray-green or purple. Left untreated, wet gangrene can lead to shock and death in a matter of days. Fortunately, careful hygiene can usually prevent this type of gangrene.

2 ) Dry gangrene does not involve bacterial infection. It is caused by stopped or reduced blood flow, which results in oxygen-deprived tissue. Reduced blood flow may be caused by injury, hardening of the arteries, poor circulation, diabetes, or blockage in a blood vessel. The condition most often occurs in the feet and toes.

Symptoms of the most common type of dry gangrene are a dull, aching pain and coldness in the area. Pain and pallor of the affected area are early signs.

Sometimes gangrene is caused by frostbite. In frostbite, me oxygen-deprived area dies, but the gangrene does not spread to any other area. As the flesh dies, it may be painful, but once the skin is dead, it becomes numb and slowly darkens.

The risk of developing gangrene is higher than normal for people with diabetes, who smoke or drink excessively, or who have poor circulation in general. Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle decrease the likelihood of developing gangrene and also aid in recovery should you require surgery for this condition.

Vitamins and nutrients for gangrene

Suggested dosage
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids 5,000-20,000 mg daily For tissue repair and improved circulation. Improves the benefits of MSM.
Zinc 50-80 mg daily. Do not exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements Speeds healing. Necessary for tissue repair and immune function. Use zinc gluconate lozenges or zinc methionate (OptiZinc) for best absorption
Vitamin E 400-600 IU daily. Improves circulation. Use d-alpha-tocopherol form.

Herbs for gangrene treatment

  • Butcher's broom is important for circulation.
  • Bromelain and tumeric (curcumin) are good for reducing swelling and inflammation.
  • Olive leaf is good for fighting infections.
  • Other beneficial herbs include bayberry, cayenne (capsicum), echinacea, ginkgo biloba, goldenseal, and red seal.

Gangrene requires urgent evaluation and treatment. In general, dead tissue should be removed to allow healing and prevent further infection. Depending on the area affected, the condition of the patient, and the cause of the gangrene.

Considerations and prevention tips
  • Eat a high-protein, high-calorie diet to promote fast tissue repair.
  • Include in the diet foods that are high in germanium, such as garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and onions. Germanium helps to improve tissue oxygenation.
  • Take your medications exactly as directed. Be sure to completely finish all antibiotics the doctor may have prescribed.
  • Patients with diabetes or blood vessel disease should routinely examine their feet for any signs of injury, infection, or change in skin color and seek care as needed.

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