Nutritional Counseling

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Nutritional counseling is provided throughout a patient’s treatment to make certain their body is fully equipped for wound healing. As part of the initial patient consultation, blood work is ordered to determine the patient’s nutritional health, including electrolyte and protein levels. Protein malnutrition is common in patients at risk for chronic wounds.

Patients are given a list of vitamins important for wound healing prior to treatment as well as antioxidant vitamins E, C and Beta Carotene (a form of vitamin A) to take during the hyperbaric chamber treatment. Antioxidants are involved in preventing cellular damage and can fight against the formation of free radicals. Controlling blood glucose levels is important to diabetic patients since white blood cells function poorly if levels are high.

Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. The radicals can cause damage when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs.

HyOx also recommends patients follow a healthy daily diet, which includes:

*Adequate protein intake is critical for patients with non-healing wounds