Is rice good for wound healing

Wound healing and nutrition

People with chronic wounds have an increased daily energy requirement, as the various wound healing processes require a lot of energy and cell building material: The process of catabolic autolysis takes place in the cleaning phase. Tissue proteins are broken down and washed out of the wound. Once the nutrient supply is guaranteed in the cleansing and granulation phase, the epithelialization phase begins and, ultimately, the wound closure. An unbalanced or inadequate diet can delay wound healing and increase the risk of the wound becoming chronic.

Malnutrition or malnutrition in people with chronic wounds

Between 20 to 50% of all hospitalized patients show signs of malnutrition (6).

An early protein-rich diet with supplementation of vitamins and minerals supports wound healing. However, especially for the elderly or sick, it is difficult to eat food due to difficulty swallowing or chewing. Those affected quickly suffer from malnutrition or malnutrition ("malnutrition").

Malnutrition is defined as a state of lack of energy, protein or other nutrients that is associated with measurable changes in body functions, results in an unfavorable course of the disease and is reversible through nutritional therapy (6). As a result of malnutrition, the spontaneous supply of protein and energy is not sufficient to minimize possible disease risks such as pressure ulcers or to promote wound healing.

The following factors or signs indicate malnutrition or malnutrition (3):

  • Laboratory parameters such as the albumin level, potassium, vitamin B, zinc or cholesterol are suitable for determining the nutritional level.
  • Assessment tools help to record the nutritional status and possible risks. An example of an instrument for evaluating the nutritional situation in inpatient long-term or elderly care is PEMU (Nursing Registration of Malnutrition and its Causes) (7).
  • Gross signs a lack of food is an unintentional weight loss of more than 5% in the last few months or 10% in the last 6 months, clothes that have become too bulky or sunken cheeks. Concentrated urine, dry mucous membranes or states of confusion indicate a lack of fluids.
  • To the unsafe signs include the Body Mass Index (BMI), as this does not take amputations, spinal deformities or edema formations into account.

How can malnutrition be prevented?

Several small meals, the enrichment of foods and beverages with substantial foods or orally balanced diets increase the supply of required nutrients.

Often, several small meals are more motivating than three larger main meals. The enrichment of food and drinks with rich foods such as cream, oil, nuts or vitamin and mineral supplements additionally increases the supply of necessary nutrients. In addition, high-protein oral balanced diets (OBD) can be offered. The selection of OBD is diverse: ready-to-eat sip food, powder to mix or bars in different flavors facilitate a balanced diet under difficult conditions. At the same time, OBD contribute to a better supply of fluids. OBD can be fully or partially balanced. In the fully balanced diet, the drinking food serves as the sole food that contains all of the essential nutrients. Partially balanced OBDs have an incomplete or unbalanced nutrient composition and are therefore not suitable as the only source of food.

Does a weight reduction diet make sense for people with chronic wounds?

A reduction diet quickly carries the risk of insufficiently supplying the body with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Medically necessary weight reduction for people with chronic wounds must be properly planned and supervised.

A balanced diet is essential for optimal wound healing. Wounds cause a greater metabolic load and use more protein and energy during the healing process. A reduction diet quickly carries the risk of malnutrition. As a result, the condition of the wound can worsen. In particular, the so-called “crash diets”, which are based on weight loss through a drastic reduction in food intake, quickly lead to an undersupply. They also cause additional physiological stress and delay wound healing. If there is a medical need to reduce body weight in patients with chronic wounds, a weight reduction diet should only be carried out under professional supervision.