Diabetic foot ulcer healing. 7 Cases

Diabetic foot ulcers are common in both Type 1 (insulin-dependent) and Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent diabetes) and can lead to considerable disability.

Because of the absence of suitable treatments, these ulcers tend to recur and often lead to amputation to part of the affected leg or even to the death of the patient. Healing, if it occurs, can take months to years, but many never heal at all.

Diabetic ulcers occur mainly due to reduced oxygen and nutrients reaching the skin (ischemia) causing breakdown of overlying tissue. Also, the nerves controlling the blood supply may be damaged (peripheral neuropathy) which further reduces blood supply. The affected skin then becomes vulnerable to even minor trauma which breaks the skin surface. This is the beginning of an ulcer, and often considerable associated pain and mental stress ensues.

Like leprosy ulcers, diabetic ulcers can respond well, and often quickly to wheatgrass extract as shown by the cases below. Medical research and clinical observation suggest that wheatgrass contains bioactive molecules that stimulate production of growth factors. These factors help to repair the tiny nerves that control the calibre of the microscopical blood vessels supplying the skin. (View this video on You Tube that shows how quickly wheatgrass can influence the micro-circulation in a positive way). Prevention is better than cure, so wheatgrass should be applied to the ulcer(s) to maintain the blood circulation and prevent such ulcers forming.

In the photos below, some cases were treated with wheatgrass extract daily, however, experience has shown that twice weekly application only is preferable. Even once weekly will produce results. Daily application may in fact slow recovery by increasing exudate production (the natural fluid that occurs during wound healing). My easy rule to remember is to apply a little extract on Mondays and Fridays only, then cover the wound with a light gauze dressing – and persevere. 

In the following cases, unless otherwise stated, only wheatgrass extract has been applied to the wounds. They have not been physically debrided, nor have antibiotics or sophisticated dressings or other treatments been used.

Case #1  Diabetic ulcer (Left foot)

Case #1  Diabetic ulcer (Right foot)

(Sufficient improvement to proceed to skin graft)

Case #2 Large toe amputation site heals quickly

Case #3 Diabetic ulcer skin graft heals in 3 weeks

Case #4. Diabetic ulcer heals in 5 weeks after surgical debridement

Case #5. Non-healing diabetic ulcer following trauma 4 months earlier. Wound almost healed after one week’s treatment with wheatgrass extract.

Case #6. 55 y.o. male. Non-healing ulcer on the heel filled with blood clot is debrided after 2 weeks’ wheatgrass treatment.

Case #7. Skin graft over diabetic ulcer heals with wheatgrass

Patient’s testimonial:

I am a 52-year old Type 2 diabetic, with peripheral neuropathy and a rare bullosis diabeticorum complication. Related to this condition, I developed a lower leg ulcer, underwent wound debridement surgery on June 15th which left an open wound approximately 5 cm x 8 cm, and spent 10 days in hospital on IV antibiotics. From June 16th to August 16th the wound was treated with a negative pressure dressing / attached medical device (Renasys Go). In the 2 months of treatment with the negative pressure dressing / attached medical device the wound decreased in size to about 3 cm x 5 cm. In an effort to accelerate wound recovery, doctors recommended a followup skin graft operation. The skin graft operation was performed on August 16thand I spent 6 more days in hospital. About 90% of the skin graft ‘took’ but there remained some open areas and the graft / wound was slow to fully recover. (Fig. 1.)

I commenced use of wheatgrass extract on September 11th, 26 days after the skin graft operation, applying the extract a couple of times a days and using a simple combine dressing for wound protection. Within a couple of days of commencing use of  wheatgrass, the wound had revascularised and the open areas were beginning to close. (Fig. 2). The open areas of the graft / wound closed by September 18th, just 7 days after commencing use of wheatgrass extract, and the health of the graft / wound continued to make outstanding progress. (Fig. 3.)

As a result, I was able to return to work on September 19th after over 3 months away due to this medical condition. I have found the use of wheatgrass spray to be complementary to the conventional wound debridement surgery, negative pressure dressing / medical device, and skin graft surgery. I am very happy with what I think were the accelerated graft / wound healing benefits resulting from my use of the wheatgrass. I will continue to use wheatgrass spray daily, both to help thicken / toughen up this graft / wound area and on my shins, ankles, and feet to help prevent leg ulcers. Thank you.

T. H. South Coast, NSW, Australia

Dr. Chris Reynolds.

>> Ask Dr. Chris about healing leg and foot ulcers

>> Read more about wheatgrass healing for ulcers