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Gangrene is a condition where the body tissue of any localized area dies (a condition called necrosis). The effected parts of the body turn black and start oozing pus. It is a common perception that gangrene can occur only in legs or arms, but the fact is that it can set wherever there is body tissue.

Gangrene can be caused by an infection or ischemia and is the result of blocked blood vessels or insufficient blood supply. This condition of gangrene is often associated with diabetes and long term smoking. Gangrene is usually found in the areas of lower extremes.

Types of Gangrene

Gangrene is usually classified into three types: dry, moist and gas.

Dry gangrene is caused by a disturbance in the blood supply to the body tissue leading to the death of the tissue. One of the common reasons for this condition to arise is injury. Dry gangrene is usually seen to be affecting the toes and feet of elderly people. It begins at the distal part of the limb and is often the result of ischemia. In a slow progression, it reaches the point where the blood supply is low and inadequate for the tissue to sustain itself.

The affected tissue is observed as dry, shrunken and black in colour, where the colour is owing to the formation of iron sulfide, formed due to the reaction between hemoglobin from demolished red blood cells and hydrogen disulfide released by the bacteria. Eventually, the tissue falls off itself if not removed surgically. Initial symptoms of dry gangrene are dull ache and sensation of coldness in the affected area, pallor of the flesh.

Moist gangrene is the result of saprogenic microorganisms (For example, Bac.perfringes, fusiformis, putrificans, etc), which destroys the body tissue by causing it to swell and emit a fetid smell. This kind of gangrene occurs in wet body tissues like mouth, bowel, lungs, cervix, and vulva.

Areas like the sacrum, buttocks and heels, when suffering with bedsores, even though are not moist areas, become susceptible to this type of gangrene. Usually, moist gangrene occurs due to blockage of blood and this leads to a rapid growth of bacteria in the area filled with stagnant blood. The toxins produced by the bacteria may also lead to the formation of septicemia and might eventually lead to the death of the person.

Gas gangrene is the result of a bacterial infection, often caused by a bacterium called Clostridium porringens. The infection here tends to spread really fast as the gases released by this bacteria tends to infiltrate and affect the healthy tissue as well. This type of gangrene can cause further complications and result in myonecrosis, gas production, and sepsis. Toxemia and shock are also known to happen to the patients suffering from this type of gangrene.

Causes of Gangrene

Those conditions and activities which might lead to any blockage of the blood supply to the body tissue can result in formation of gangrene. These activities and conditions might be such as injury, diabetes, smoking, thrombosis, frostbite, severe burns, drinking alcohol to excess and old age.

How can gangrene be prevented from developing?

People who are at risk of acquiring gangrene should make it a habit of exercising their toes and fingers regularly. Wearing clothes or shoes which might restrict blood flow should be avoided.

Gangrene Treatment

In gangrene it is really important to restore the blood supply (revascularization) of the effected body part and allow it to heal and reverse the effects of necrosis. For this, one can make use of the anticoagulants and antibiotics in order to prevent the blood from clotting and the infection from setting in. keeping the wounds clean, giving the patients a lot of rest, using antiseptic dressings and pain killers can all help.

If diagnosed early, proper treatment can be provided for gangrene and the person can make a complete recovery without undergoing surgical knives. In severe cases, amputation of the limb is also used in order to stop the spread of the infection to other body parts. This method is usually used on gas gangrene, if it is not responding to any other methods of treatment.

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Above information is very educative. Congratulations for a very decent research.

I have developed alternate remedies for gangere. Very effective but I do not know how to market and popularize.
#1 - R.S.GUPTA - 08/27/2009 - 23:34
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