Leg Ulcers Help Sheet

Leg ulcers are extremely common in the over 60’s and are caused by a restricted circulation and lack of oxygen and nutrients reaching the skin. Leg and foot ulcers are more common in diabetics due to changes in circulation and the nerve endings near the skin.

Foods to Avoid

Foods which affect circulation in the long term and should be kept to a minimum include animal fats especially red meats, sausages, meat pies, burgers, full fat cheeses and dairy produce, plus hard margarines made from refined vegetable oils. Avoid all fried foods and don’t use mass produced vegetable oils. Cut down on alcohol and low fibre foods such as jelly and ice cream, white breads, mass produced pies and cakes.

Friendly Foods

Eat more leafy greens especially cabbage, kale, celery, Pak Choi, spinach and broccoli which contain high levels of carotenes and minerals that help to protect your skin. Eat more salads and sprinkle unrefined sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds over them as these seeds are high in essential fatty acids, minerals and fibre. Oily fish are rich in Omega 3 fats which thin the blood naturally and aid healing. Sprinkle wheat germ and lecithin granules over your breakfast cereals to lower LDL the ‘ bad’ cholesterol and emulsify fats. Add almonds, Brazil nuts, hazel nuts and walnuts to fruit dips as they are all high in zinc which aids skin healing. High protein foods like whey protein are a very rich source of glutamine which speeds the healing process. You can buy powdered whey at all health shops.

Useful Remedies

Zinc 30mg 1 – 2 times a day taken with meal. This is absolutely essential if you are suffering slow wound healing. Gotu kola 500mg x 3 times a day, this herb historically has been used for wound healing and when combined with zinc can be very successful. Vitamin C, 1gram daily with food is essential for healing connective tissue. If the ulcers are superficial and not too deep, aloe vera gel applied topically can speed healing, ease the discomfort and protect from infection. Many elderly people cannot be bothered to cook proper meals, so if this is the case make sure you take a multi vitamin and mineral. A varied diet is always best but when needs must the supplements will make a difference if taken regularly. Ginkgo biloba helps to increase circulation. Take 120mg of standardised extract daily until symptoms ease. Oralmat is a wound healing spray, based on rye grass, it contains powerful wound healing, analgesic, anti inflammatory, immune, antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties. Apply up to 4 times daily. A/v from The Nutri Centre on 0207 436 5122 or ask at your local health store

Helpful Hints

Nutraderm, a skin treatment rich in vitamins C and A, should help heal ulcers. Apply it to the skin around the ulcer and apply it a little closer to the ulcer each day. To order call 01435 884668 Try Bach Rescue Remedy cream once the skin starts to heal – from good health stores. Place raw, organic honey on the site of the ulcer which speeds the healing process. Raise legs above hip level when resting and move feet backwards and forwards slowly to increase circulation in lower legs. Try and walk for at least 15 minutes twice a day. Wearing magnets in your shoes greatly aids circulation. For details call London pharmacy John Bell & Croydon on 020 7935 5555.

If you stop supporting your body, it will stop supporting you. Extracted from 500 of The Most Important Health Tips You’ll Ever Need by ME! Hazel Courteney Cico Books. In which I have given alternative remedies for more than 200 conditions. £10.99.