The link between diabetes and poor circulation – Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body cannot properly process glucose (sugar). The result is blood glucose levels that are too high. Diabetes puts you at high risk for conditions that affect your circulatory system, including:
- High blood glucose levels cause fatty deposits to form inside blood vessels. Over time, these deposits make your blood vessels narrow and hard, lessening blood flow.
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD) produces fatty deposits that narrow blood vessels, mainly in your legs and feet. One-third of people with diabetes older than 50 have PAD.
Over time, poor blood flow can be detrimental for your hands, legs and feet. Complications associated with poor blood flow include:
- Pain while walking
- Decreased sensation in hands or feet
- Increased risk of developing infections or ulcers of the foot
- Slower healing time for wounds
- Nerve damage ( neuropathy ) that increases the likelihood of amputation
How does diabetes affect circulation in feet?
Poor circulation — Longstanding high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the blood vessels, decreasing blood flow to the feet. Poor circulation can weaken the skin, contribute to the formation of foot ulcers, and impair wound healing.
Does diabetes Slow circulation?
How Does Diabetes-Related Poor Circulation Happen? –
Diabetes can lead to poor circulation in several ways. In many cases, high glucose levels can be the culprit. Over time, high glucose levels in your blood can cause damage to the lining of your small blood vessels, impeding your circulation.
Diabetes also increases your risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Based on from the American Diabetes Association, 1 in 3 people over age 50 with diabetes has PAD. The fatty deposits common to this condition narrow the blood vessels, mainly in your legs and feet. As this happens, your chances of having a stroke or heart attack rise significantly.
How does sugar affect blood circulation?
6 February 2018 sugar A new study reports that excess sugar intake decreases blood vessel function and lessens blood flow in only 14 days. One of the reasons for this effect is that high sugar intake “caramelizes” elastic fibers in blood vessels, causing them to lose elasticity and not be able to dilate properly.
These changes in the blood vessels are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The study was published in the renowned ‘Journal of Physiology ‘. The ability of blood vessels to regulate blood flow is vital for our physical health. As such, any reduction in the ability of a vessel to dilate can reduce the delivery of blood to parts of the body, but will also increase blood pressure.
This can ultimately strain and stress the heart and can with time lead to the development of cardiovascular disease.
How does diabetes affect blood vessels and nerves?
Causes – In people with diabetes, the body’s nerves can be damaged by decreased blood flow and a high blood sugar level. This condition is more likely when the blood sugar level is not well controlled over time. About one half of people with diabetes develop nerve damage.
- Symptoms often do not begin until many years after diabetes has been diagnosed.
- Some people who have diabetes that develops slowly already have nerve damage when they are first diagnosed.
- People with diabetes are also at higher risk for other nerve problems not caused by their diabetes.
- These other nerve problems won’t have the same symptoms and will progress in a different manner than nerve damage caused by diabetes.
Diabetes is on the rise worldwide, and is a serious, lifelong disease that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and lasting nerve, eye and foot problems. Let’s talk about diabetes and the difference between the three types of diabetes. So, what exactly is diabetes and where does it come from? An organ in your body called the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that controls the levels of your blood sugar.
- When you have too little insulin in your body, or when insulin doesn’t work right in your body, you can have diabetes, the condition where you have abnormally high glucose or sugar levels in your blood.
- Normally when you eat food, glucose enters your bloodstream.
- Glucose is your body’s source of fuel.
Your pancreas makes insulin to move glucose from your bloodstream into muscle, fat, and liver cells, where your body turns it into energy. People with diabetes have too much blood sugar because their body cannot move glucose into fat, liver, and muscle cells to be changed into and stored for energy.
- There are three major types of diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes happens when the body makes little or no insulin.
- It usually is diagnosed in children, teens, or young adults.
- But about 80% of people with diabetes have what’s called Type 2 diabetes.
- This disease often occurs in middle adulthood, but young adults, teens, and now even children are now being diagnosed with it linked to high obesity rates.
In Type 2 diabetes, your fat, liver, and muscle cells do not respond to insulin appropriately. Another type of diabetes is called gestational diabetes. It’s when high blood sugar develops during pregnancy in a woman who had not had diabetes beforehand.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born. But, still pay attention. These women are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes over the next 5 years without a change in lifestyle. If you doctor suspects you have diabetes, you will probably have a hemoglobin A1c test. This is an average of your blood sugar levels over 3 months.
You have pre-diabetes if your A1c is 5.7% to 6.4%. Anything at 6.5% or higher indicates you have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a wake up call to focus on diet and exercise to try to control your blood sugar and prevent problems. If you do not control your blood sugar, you could develop eye problems, have problems with sores and infections in your feet, have high blood pressure and cholesterol problems, and have kidney, heart, and problems with other essential organs.
People with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day, usually injected under the skin using a needle. Some people may be able to use a pump that delivers insulin to their body all the time. People with Type 2 diabetes may be able to manage their blood sugar through diet and exercise. But if not, they will need to take one or more drugs to lower their blood sugar levels.
The good news is, people with any type of diabetes, who maintain good control over their blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure, have a lower risk of kidney disease, eye disease, nervous system problems, heart attack, and stroke, and can live, a long and healthy life.
Why do diabetics lose their feet and legs?
Amputation and diabetes: How to protect your feet – Good diabetes management and regular foot care help prevent severe foot sores that are difficult to treat and may require amputation. By Mayo Clinic Staff Diabetes complications can include nerve damage and poor blood circulation.
- These problems can lead to skin sores (ulcers) on the feet that can get worse quickly.
- The good news is that managing your diabetes and taking care of your feet can help prevent foot ulcers.
- When you get a foot ulcer, it’s important to get care immediately.
- Most lower leg and foot removals begin with foot ulcers.
An ulcer that won’t heal causes severe damage to tissues and bone. It may require surgical removal (amputation) of a toe, a foot or part of a leg. Some people with diabetes are at higher risk than others. Factors that lead to a higher risk of amputation include:
- High blood sugar levels
- Nerve damage in the feet (peripheral neuropathy)
- Calluses or corns
- Foot deformities
- Poor blood circulation to the arms and legs (peripheral artery disease)
- A history of foot ulcers
- A past amputation
- Vision problems
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure, above 140/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)
Here’s how to keep your feet healthy, how to know the signs that mean you need to see a health care provider and what happens if you need an amputation.
How can diabetics improve circulation?
Consider taking these steps to improving circulation: – : Engage in some form of cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes five days a week to keep your blood pumping. Biking, walking, running, swimming, and aerobics are good options. The most important thing is to be sure you’re moving your toes, feet, ankles, and legs.
- Quit smoking: Smoking hardens your arteries, much like PAD, and decreases your circulation.
- Stopping can help improve how well your blood reaches your legs and feet.
- Control your cholesterol: High cholesterol can narrow and harden your arteries, limiting your circulation.
- Talk with your doctor about what your optimal cholesterol numbers are and shoot for lower.
Keep blood sugar low: Managing your blood sugar levels is also important to maintaining healthy blood flow. Keep your levels between 80-130 mg/dL before eating and under 180 mg/dL after eating. Pay attention to your A1C levels, too, though. The level for people with diabetes is 6.5 percent.
- De-stress: Not only does stress increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, but it also sends more blood to your brain, heart, and skeletal muscles.
- Conscious muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and visualizing comfortable situations, such as using the technique, can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, increase your body temperature, and route blood to more areas of the body, including your extremities.
In fact, WarmFeet has been clinically proven to increase circulation and heal foot ulcers. Wear diabetic compression socks: Compression socks apply pressure to your calves and feet, straightening out your veins so the valves work better and let more blood flow through.
- Be sure any socks you choose won’t wrinkle and offer extra padding and flat seams.
- Socks made from acrylic, merino wool, bamboo, and charcoal mixed with spandex minimize the abrasiveness on your feet and decrease the amount of moisture that could come in contact with any foot sores you might develop.
Compression socks range from extra-light to extra-firm pressure. Talk with your doctor about what would be best for you. Take medications correctly: If your doctor prescribes blood thinners, take it as directed. It can’t stop the build-up of plaque on your arteries, but it can improve your circulation.
Why do diabetics have vascular problems?
Diabetes & Blood Sugar – To understand how diabetes affects the blood vessels, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what causes diabetes. The body produces a hormone called insulin, which converts the food we eat into glucose or sugar. When you have diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use the insulin properly.
Why do I suddenly have poor circulation?
Plaque buildup, blood clots or narrowed blood vessels can lead to poor circulation. When obstacles or narrow paths slow down blood flow, it’s difficult for your body to send blood to every part of your body in an efficient way. Exercise and healthy food can help.
Overview Symptoms and Causes Diagnosis and Tests Management and Treatment Prevention Outlook / Prognosis Living With
Overview Symptoms and Causes Diagnosis and Tests Management and Treatment Prevention Outlook / Prognosis Living With Back To Top
Does insulin improve circulation?
1 Introduction – In addition to effect on substrate metabolism, insulin has effects on nerve function, hemostasis, lipoprotein metabolism and vascular function, Insulin resistance has been classically considered as a blunted response to insulin-mediated glucose uptake.
- However, insulin resistance may involve any of insulin’s biological effects.
- Based on recent findings it appears that insulin has an important role in the normal vascular function,
- In healthy subjects insulin increases not only blood flow but also blood volume in skeletal muscle classifying insulin as a true vasodilatory hormone,
In peripheral vasculature mainly via the endothelium-dependent mechanism, insulin induces a time- and dose-dependent vasodilation in healthy subjects, However, insulin-induced skeletal muscle vasodilation is impaired in obese, hypertensive and diabetic subjects,
- This vascular insulin resistance appears to be an important mediator of vascular pathophysiology,
- In addition, vascular insulin resistance and resistance to insulin actions on glucose metabolism appears to be differently regulated,
- The renaissance of glucose–insulin–potassium infusion (GIK) as a treatment of acute coronary events both in diabetic and nondiabetic subjects has raised new interests to clarify the effects and mechanisms of insulin on myocardium.
Since differences in the regulation of vasodilation between coronary and peripheral arteries have been observed, previous studies targeting insulin’s effects on the skeletal muscle vasculature can not be directly applied to the coronary vasculature.
- Although the action of insulin on substrate metabolism is quite well studied in heart, the cardiovascular effects were poorly known.
- There is increasing amount of evidence which demonstrate that insulin has vasodilatory properties also in cardiac vasculature,
- These findings may be clinically important.
The vasodilatory effects of insulin might partly contribute to the beneficial effects of GIK therapy, On the other hand, epidemiological studies have indentified chronic hyperinsulinemia, a common feature in subjects with insulin resistance to glucose uptake, as an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease,
What happens to your veins when you have diabetes?
Uncontrolled Diabetes Makes Varicose Veins Worse – Consider the consistency of sugary liquids. The sweeter they are, the stickier they are. High levels of glucose in the blood has the same effect as it travels through the circulatory system. Uncontrolled levels of blood glucose damage the veins and can delay blood passing through some smaller blood vessels in the legs and feet.
Why do blood vessels stiffen with diabetes?
Skip to content Home / News, PAD / How Diabetes Damages Blood Vessels Causing Risk for PAD
Research shows that approximately one out of four Americans does not realize that they have diabetes. For this reason, it is often referred to as a “silent” disease. Diabetes increases the level of glucose, or sugar, in the blood to dangerous levels and can occur in one of two forms: Type 1 which is genetic, or Type 2 which is largely due to poor diet and unhealthy eating habits.
- If left untreated, diabetes can have a negative impact on blood vessels and circulation and lead to serious conditions like atherosclerosis, PAD (peripheral artery disease), and even stroke or heart attack.
- How does diabetes affect blood vessels? Higher levels of glucose in the blood can cause plaque to build up in arteries, making it difficult for blood to efficiently pump through the arteries and reach areas like the eyes, legs, feet, and kidneys.
This plaque build-up, or hardening of the arteries, is known as atherosclerosis, When these blockages develop in arteries or blood vessels supporting the legs and feet it is known as PAD. “PAD is extremely common in diabetics,” says CTVS board-certified vascular surgeon Dr.
Nicolas Zea, “Untreated PAD can cause serious ulcers or non-healing wounds on the legs or feet, infection or gangrene, and unfortunately even loss of limbs.” Dr. Zea reassures patients that there are many treatment options to effectively manage glucose levels and diabetic complications like PAD, but it is important to recognize risk factors for the disease first so that you are aware if you have it.
What are risk factors or warning signs of diabetes? Since blood sugar levels (via the HbA1c test) are not routinely administered at regular check-ups, Dr. Zea and our team of vascular specialists recommend getting screened for diabetes if you experience or meet the following criteria:
- Excessive thirst, frequent urination, sudden weight loss, or extreme fatigue or irritability
- Wounds on the legs or feet that are slow to heal or never heal at all
- You are of Native American, African American, or Asian American descent.
- You are a smoker
CTVS offers the following therapeutic options to treat diabetic complications such as PAD and prevent limb loss/amputation :
- Medical therapy: CTVS works with various healthcare providers to coordinate medication management and offer counseling for tobacco cessation and exercise therapy.
- Arteriogram: a minimally-invasive procedure to restore blood flow to legs and feet performed in our Vascular Interventional Suite, keeping patients out of the hospital.
- Surgical revascularization: bypass surgery performed in the legs to open up arteries and blood vessels when less invasive options are not feasible.
- Wound care: CTVS works with podiatrists and other wound care specialists to promote wound healing and preserve tissue.
For questions about treatment for PAD and other diabetic complications, or for any of our cardiac, vascular, or thoracic services, please visit ctvstexas.com or call us at (512) 459-8753 to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists, Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and check our blog for regular updates.
Why do diabetics legs hurt?
Risk factors – Anyone who has diabetes can develop neuropathy. But these risk factors make nerve damage more likely:
Poor blood sugar control. Uncontrolled blood sugar increases the risk of every diabetes complication, including nerve damage. Diabetes history. The risk of diabetic neuropathy increases the longer a person has diabetes, especially if blood sugar isn’t well controlled. Kidney disease. Diabetes can damage the kidneys. Kidney damage sends toxins into the blood, which can lead to nerve damage. Being overweight. Having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more may increase the risk of diabetic neuropathy. Smoking. Smoking narrows and hardens the arteries, reducing blood flow to the legs and feet. This makes it more difficult for wounds to heal and damages the peripheral nerves.
Can a diabetic leg be saved?
Last year, Diane Sammons went to see her doctor about an ulcer on her left heel. The doctor took one look at the infected wound and called 911. On the ambulance ride over to the emergency room at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center at Parnassus Heights, she realized that she might lose her foot.
- I used to be very athletic, so this was overwhelming,” said Sammons, a retired pediatric nurse who was used to long hours on her feet and had been an avid tennis player.
- But like many people with diabetes, which can cause nerve damage, Sammons hadn’t noticed the ulcer on her foot until it had become badly infected.
The loss of a toe or limb to diabetes is more common than many people realize – and it’s a tragic outcome that UC San Francisco’s Limb Preservation and Diabetic Foot Center is working to prevent. Alexander M. Reyzelman, DPM, who co-leads the UCSF Limb Preservation and Diabetic Foot Center, examines the feet of patient Diane Sammons. Photo by Barbara Ries In 2016, more than 12,000 Californians underwent diabetes-related amputations. The problem may start with a blister on the foot that goes unnoticed and untreated because people with diabetes often lose feeling in peripheral nerves.
- These small injuries can become infected when, as is often the case, the diabetes is accompanied by poor circulation in the limbs.
- The more time that passes for diabetic patients with an ulcerated or infected foot, the more tissue they lose, and the more likely they are to face the possibility of a major amputation.
That’s why the byword among staff at UCSF’s Limb Preservation and Diabetic Foot Center is “time is tissue.” In the last few years, the limb preservation program at UCSF has shown that many diabetes-related amputations can be avoided with a new approach to treatment.
Can diabetic legs be cured?
Although there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, use of these treatments can improve painful symptoms and prevent complications. (See ‘Management of diabetic neuropathy’.) Control blood sugar levels — An important treatment for diabetic neuropathy is to control blood sugar levels.
Does metformin improve circulation?
Metformin increases blood flow and forearm glucose uptake in a group of non-obese type 2 diabetes patients.
Does diabetes cause poor circulation in the legs?
Essential Tips To Improve Poor Circulation If You Have Diabetes Are you experiencing muscle cramps? Is there a stinging feeling in your limbs? Do you have cold or numb hands? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you could be suffering from poor circulation. For people with diabetes, poor blood circulation, where one or more parts of the body receive inadequate blood flow, is a real concern and can cause serious health problems.
Brittle toenails Slow wound healing Pale blue color on the affected areas Ulcers on the legs and feet Fatigue Varicose veins Dry, cracked skin Hair loss on affected areas Erectile disfunction
Diabetes can lead to poor circulation in several ways. The most common culprit is high blood glucose levels, which damage the lining of blood vessels and impede blood flow. Diabetes also increases the risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), an abnormal narrowing of the arteries principally in your legs and feet.
Why do diabetics have to watch their feet?
This is because diabetes damages your nerves and reduces blood flow (circulation) to your feet, which can cause serious foot problems. About 1 in 5 people with diabetes who go to the hospital do so for foot problems. But if you inspect and take care of your feet every day, you can prevent many of these problems.
Can diabetic foot damage reversed?
The body is not able to repair nerve tissues that have been damaged, meaning that diabetic neuropathy cannot be reversed. However, the side effects can be managed, and neuropathy treatment often focuses on preventing further damage from happening.