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How To Increase Blood Flow To Feet For Diabetics

How To Improve Circulation

How To Improve Circulation

Q: I'm 41 years old, overweight, and was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My legs and feet hurt due to poor circulation. Will this lead to amputation? Is there anything I can do improve the blood flow to my feet? A: Rest assured, by getting and keeping your blood glucose under control and practicing preventive measures with regular foot care and annual (or more frequently if needed) leg and foot exams by your health-care provider, amputation can be avoided in many instances. The pain in your legs and feet may be due in part to poor circulation but may also be due to diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage from higher than normal blood glucose levels over time. It is common for diabetic neuropathy to cause numbness, pain, tingling, and other symptoms in the legs and feet. Even though you were recently diagnosed with diabetes, it is likely that your blood glucose has been elevated for some time. As your blood glucose levels become closer to normal, the pain may gradually decrease. Keeping your blood glucose close to normal and caring for your feet can help improve circulation and delay further complications. You should take off your shoes and socks at every visit to remind your doctor to check your feet. Look at your feet daily, using a mirror or magnifying glass to examine the tops, bottoms, and sides. Seek medical attention if you spot a problem. Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D.,, is a certified diabetes educator. Marion J. Franz, M.S., R.D., L.D., CDE, has authored more than 200 articles and books on diabetes, nutrition, and exercise, including core curriculum materials for diabetes educators. Continue reading >>

Diabetic Wound Care: 3 Foods For Improved Blood Flow

Diabetic Wound Care: 3 Foods For Improved Blood Flow

Ginger can help improve circulation while adding flavor to tea, rice and other foods. Many people may not realize it, but blood flow is an important factor in the wound healing process. Diabetics often suffer from poor circulation, and this can result in a loss of sensation in the extremities. In such cases, someone may not notice if he or she has a lesion on the foot, and by not properly caring for the wound can experience infection that becomes gangrenous and requires amputation. Even for those without diabetes, good circulation is essential for the wound site to receive an ample amount of vitamins, nutrients and protective white blood cells. Exercising regularly is important to maintaining healthy circulation, as is being mindful of the foods you eat. Some fruits, vegetables, spices and other edibles are great for improving blood flow, and they can be integrated into the meals you eat everyday in tasty ways. Take a look at these circulation-boosting foods and how to incorporate them into your diet: Ginger Many Americans know of ginger as the flavoring in a large number of Asian dishes as well as in holiday cookies. The root of the ginger plant has been ground up and used as a popular spice for thousands of years, and it has also been utilized for its medicinal purposes. The ancient Chinese used ginger for nausea, diarrhea and other digestive issues, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. More recently, it has been found to help maintain healthy blood pressure levels, which is particularly important for people with diabetes and for wound healing. To incorporate ginger into your diet, add it to: Tea: Grate a teaspoon or two of fresh ginger root into your tea with lemon juice and honey to taste. Rice: Add grated ginger to the water before boiling and ad Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Foot Care And Foot Ulcers

Diabetes, Foot Care And Foot Ulcers

Some people with diabetes develop foot ulcers. A foot ulcer is prone to infection, which may become severe. This leaflet aims to explain why foot ulcers sometimes develop, what you can do to help prevent them, and typical treatments if one does occur. Why are people with diabetes prone to foot ulcers? Foot ulcers are more common if you have diabetes because one or both of the following complications develop in some people with diabetes: Reduced sensation of the skin on your feet. Narrowing of blood vessels going to the feet. Your nerves may not work as well as normal because even a slightly high blood sugar (glucose) level can, over time, damage some of your nerves (neuropathy). Read more about diabetic neuropathy. If you have diabetes you have an increased risk of developing narrowing of the blood vessels (arteries), known as peripheral arterial disease. The arteries in the legs are quite commonly affected. This can cause a reduced blood supply (poor circulation) to the feet. Skin with a poor blood supply does not heal as well as normal and is more likely to be damaged. What increases the risk of developing foot ulcers? If you have reduced sensation to your feet (see above). The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes and the older you are. If your diabetes is poorly controlled. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to keep your blood sugar (glucose) level as near normal as possible. If you have narrowed blood vessels (arteries) - see above. The risk of this occurring increases the longer you have diabetes, the older you become and also if you are male. The risk also increases if you have any other risk factors for developing furring of the arteries. For example, if you smoke, do little physical activity, have a high cholesterol leve Continue reading >>

Exercises To Increase Blood Circulation For Diabetics

Exercises To Increase Blood Circulation For Diabetics

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 23.6 million people in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, a chronic life-time disease that can only be managed through lifestyle changes and regular medication. Diabetes can narrow and harden the blood vessels in the feet and legs leading to improper and poor circulation in the areas. The lack of proper blood circulation in different parts of the body may make it difficult to feel heat, pain or cold. Exercising, at such a juncture, can prove to be beneficial as it can increase blood flow to the legs. [Read: Exercise for Diabetes] Stretches Performing stretching exercises can help reduce stress levels, improve blood circulation through the body and elongate the tight muscles. Stretching the different muscles, especially those connected affected by diabetes increases the amount of blood flow. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least two sessions of stretching per week that involve all the major muscles of the body. You may also do extra stretching exercises for your calves, feet and ankles to improve circulation that is negatively impacted by diabetes. To stretch your calves, stand in front of a wall. Press the ball of your left foot against the wall and dig your heel into the ground. Your hands should be extended directly in front of the shoulders and on the wall. Place the ball of your right foot 24 inches from the wall. Lower the chest towards the wall while you press the ball of the left foot against the wall. Stop as soon as you feel a stretch in your left calf and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat the exercises. Ankle rotations Ankle rotations increase blood flow to the ankles, toes and feet. To rotate your ankles, sit on a comfortable chair and rest your feet on the g Continue reading >>

Otc Cream Improves Blood Flow In Feet

Otc Cream Improves Blood Flow In Feet

patients lose toes, feet, and legs to amputation. Even minor foot trauma can lead to major problems caused by diabetes-related nerve damage, medically known as neuropathy. Now early research offers hope that an over-the-counter cream can help save the lower limbs of people with diabetes. The cream contains the amino acid arginine, and the newly published study shows that it dramatically improves blood flow to the feet of patients with type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Association (ADA) vice president Robert Rizza, MD, calls the findings from the small study "intriguing but preliminary," and says the next step is to determine if the cream can actually prevent or lessen the foot complications that lead to diabetes-related amputations. "This pilot study showed that arginine does increase blood flow, but it is not yet clear if this translates into fewer foot ulcers or better healing of ulcers," he tells WebMD. Up to 70% of all diabetics have some degree of nerve damage caused by the disease, with numbness, tingling or pain in the extremities being some of the common symptoms. Diabetes is the leading cause of nerve damage, it accounts of 50-75 % of nontraumatic, preventable foot amputations. Foot problems can be among the most common and troublesome complications of diabetes. Government statistics show, 15% of diabetics will develop foot ulcers, and as many as one in four of these patients will eventually require amputation. Diabetes-related foot ulcers occur because of neuropathy and vascular disease. Arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is a precursor of nitric oxide, which has been shown to control blood flow by relaxing the smooth muscle cell lining of the blood vessels causing blood vessels to dilate. In the study, published in the January issue of the ADA Continue reading >>

Why Increasing Foot Circulation Is Essential For Diabetics

Why Increasing Foot Circulation Is Essential For Diabetics

Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common complications associated with diabetes. High blood sugar can injure nerve fibers throughout the body, however, diabetic neuropathy most often damages nerves in the legs and feet. If your A1c (average blood glucose level) remains high over time, or you simply have been dealing with diabetes for decades, diabetic neuropathy can begin to occur. The highest rates of diabetic neuropathy are in people who have had diabetes for 25+ years. Diabetics have poor circulation as a result of high blood glucose levels, which they experience over a period of years and eventually lead to blood vessel damage. Learning to promote circulation is essential for diabetics, especially individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes for an extended period of time. What Causes Diabetic Neuropathy? Nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common form of neuropathy caused by diabetes. It affects nerves leading to your extremities—including your feet, legs, hands, and arms. The nerves to the feet are the longest in the body and are most affected by neuropathy. High blood sugar interferes with the ability of the nerves to transmit signals. It also weakens the walls of the small blood vessels that supply nerves with oxygen and nutrients. People with diabetes are among the highest in receiving foot amputations. This occurs when individuals with diabetic neuropathy leave cuts and sores (that go unnoticed due to lost sensitivity), and allow them to become severely infected. Diabetes also reduces blood flow to the feet, which increases the risk of infection. What Does Diabetic Neuropathy Feel Like? -The "pins and needles" feeling is common, as well as an overall tingling -Feet feeling very cold or very hot -Feeling like you have socks on when you a Continue reading >>

Poor Circulation In Feet: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Poor Circulation In Feet: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

While poor circulation in the feet is not a disease on its own, it’s often the sign of another medical health issue that prevents proper circulation of blood to the distant extremities. Many abnormalities can lead to this condition, which is often accompanied by symptoms of pain and numbness in the legs, feet, and toes. What causes poor circulation in feet Poor blood circulation has been linked to chronic health conditions such has high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. The following are some of the most recognized causes of poor circulation in feet: Peripheral artery disease: This is a condition where distant arteries aren’t able to receive normal adequate blood flow due to narrowing vessels. This condition can cause tingling, numbness, nerve, and tissue damage over time. When the veins are affected, a condition called venous insufficiency occurs, resulting in ineffective delivery of blood back to the heart from the legs. Venous insufficiency can lead to varicose veins, severe leg swelling, and skin discoloration. A condition called atherosclerosis, which results in blood vessel stiffening due to plaque buildup, is often associated with peripheral artery disease. Blood clots: When the body experiences abnormal blood clotting, clots can obstruct blood vessels. If a blood clot occurs in the legs, it can lead to pain and discoloration. This is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and it has the potential to dislodge and travel to the lungs. Varicose veins: Due to the incompetence of the valves in the veins. This means that insufficient blood flow occurs, leading to poor circulation. This condition is commonly seen in overweight women. Diabetes: This is a condition signified by poor blood sugar metabolism and leads to poor blood circulation long term. Diabetic pat Continue reading >>

Improving Blood Flow To The Feet

Improving Blood Flow To The Feet

The Power of Relaxation and Biofeedback Many people with diabetes experience discomfort in their legs and feet, with symptoms such as cramping, numbness, tingling, and pain. The culprits may be poor circulation, nerve damage, or both, and the underlying causes are referred to as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy. While both appear to be triggered by high blood glucose levels and some of their symptoms overlap, they are two distinct conditions. In the most common form of PAD, arteries in the legs (and sometimes arms) narrow and harden as a result of fatty plaque deposits, leading to decreased blood flow in the legs and feet. This disorder affects 8–12 million Americans and is far more common in people with diabetes than in the rest of the population: About one-third of people with diabetes over the age of 50 have PAD, although many of them are undiagnosed. Symptoms of PAD include intermittent claudication (cramping leg pain that develops while walking and stops with rest); numbness, coldness, or tingling of the legs and feet; and slow healing of cuts and sores on the affected extremities. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes in which nerves in the feet and legs (and sometimes hands and arms) are damaged, resulting in pain and/or loss of sensation. While the exact mechanism by which neuropathy develops is not known, the condition usually develops after years of exposure to high blood glucose levels. Weakened nerve fibers may give off false sensations in the extremities, often experienced as pain or burning; cramps and extreme sensitivity to touch may also result. The loss of nerve fibers can result in muscle weakness, numbness, loss of reflexes, foot deformities, change in gait, and impaired balance and coordinati Continue reading >>

Foot Care For Diabetics – Appendix D

Foot Care For Diabetics – Appendix D

Although not directly related to the normalization of blood sugars, this short but important section on foot care has been included because of the constant danger diabetes can present to the lower extremities. The incidence of limb-threatening ulcerations in diabetics is very high, affecting approximately one in six to seven patients. Nonhealing “diabetic” ulcers are the major cause of leg, foot, and toe amputations in this country, after traumatic injuries such as those occurring in motor vehicle accidents. These ulcerations do not occur spontaneously; they are always preceded by gradual or sudden injury to the skin by some external factor. Preventing such injuries can prevent their sad consequences. Virtually all diabetics who have experienced ongoing higher-than normal blood sugars for more than five years suffer some loss of sensitivity in their feet to pain, pressure, and temperature. This is because prolonged blood sugar elevation can injure and eventually destroy all sensory nerves in the feet (sensory neuropathy). Furthermore, the nerves that control the shape of the foot are likewise injured, with a resultant deformity that includes “claw” or “hammer” toes, high arch, and prominent heads of bones at the bases of the toes on the underside of the foot. The nerves that stimulate perspiration in the feet are also affected. This results in the classic dry, often cracked skin that we see on diabetic feet. Dry skin is both more easily damaged and slower to heal than is normal, moist skin, and cracks permit entry of infectious bacteria. Long term elevated blood sugar also may cause impairment of circulation in the major arteries of the legs, as well as in the minor arteries and small capillary blood vessels that supply the skin of the feet. In order to heal Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Feet

Diabetes And Your Feet

If you have diabetes, here’s a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every day—even if they feel fine—and see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that won’t heal. There’s a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctor’s appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications. Between 60% and 70% of people with diabetes have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. Feeling No Pain Some people with nerve damage have numbness, tingling, or pain, but others have no symptoms. Nerve damage can also lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold. Living without pain sounds pretty good, but it comes at a high cost. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong so you can take care of yourself. If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, sore, or other problem. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early. Risk Factors Anyone with diabetes can develop nerve damage, but these factors increase your risk: Nerve damage, along with poor circulation—another diabetes complication—puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well. If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading and to save your life. When you check your feet every day, you can catch problems early Continue reading >>

Ways To Increase Circulation In Diabetics

Ways To Increase Circulation In Diabetics

Circulation problems can be common in people suffering from diabetes. Poor wound healing can be the result of such poor circulation. According to the American Diabetes Association, poor blood flow in the legs can cause blood vessels to harden and narrow. There are several things you can do to improve your circulation, one of them being to participate in regular exercise. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program, and about your circulation issues. Video of the Day If you have diabetes and are a smoker, one of the most important things you can do to improve your circulation is to stop smoking. The American Diabetes Association explains that your arteries harden faster when you smoke; this hardening of the arteries leads to poor circulation. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Talk to your doctor about getting your blood pressure under control, if it's too high. This will help improve your circulation. It's also important for your circulation to have a cholesterol level that's within a recommended range. Another way to improve your circulation, according to the Better Health Channel website, is to monitor your blood glucose levels. It is important that you do all you can to keep your blood glucose level as normal as possible. Exercise is good for most people, but is particularly important for those with diabetes. It will help improve your HDL, or "good," cholesterol level and can also help to lower your blood pressure. Physical activity will improve blood flood in your legs and feet. Choose an exercise you enjoy so you will be more inclined to continue with it. The American Heart Association notes that regular exercise can not only improve circulation, but may reduce a need for medication in some people who have type 2 diabetes. Aerobic activity, such as bicycli Continue reading >>

Signs Of Poor Circulation

Signs Of Poor Circulation

Poor blood circulation, otherwise known as peripheral (puh-rif-er-uhl) vascular disease, is a very common diabetes complication associated with all types of diabetes. Poor circulation leads to serious heart complications, including heart attack and stroke. Poor circulation can also lead to problems with the legs, arms, and feet, such as numbness, tingling, and slow healing wounds. Causes of Poor Circulation Poor circulation is generally caused when the arteries become blocked. As such, many people with poor circulation also have Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high levels of fat in their bloodstreams. Good blood circulation is important because blood carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body that help it function. Treat Type 2 Diabetes - With A Non-Insulin Medication Learn About A Non-Insulin Treatment Option For Patients With Type 2 Diabetes. Prescription treatment website There are certain lifestyle factors that also lead to poor circulation, including: a lack of physical activity smoking poor diet poorly controlled blood glucose levels Check Your Pressure >> untreated high blood pressure untreated high cholesterol Side Effects and Other Complications of Poor Blood Circulation slow-healing infections erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems swelling in the legs and extremities tingling in the legs and arms heart complications changes in skin temperature changes in the color of skin cold feet How to Treat Poor Circulation Follow Your Heart Beat Most diabetics can improve their circulation by modifying their diets, increasing exercise, losing weight, and taking blood sugar medications. Stretching is a particularly important exercise for diabetics with poor circulation, as stretching will help to increase blood flo Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

COULD I HAVE DIABETIC NEUROPATHY? If you have diabetes and feel numbness or tingling in your feet, that could mean you suffer from what’s called diabetic neuropathy. Keep reading to learn more about the causes and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy from the experts at FootSmart. WHAT IS DIABETIC NEUROPATHY? While many people know that diabetes affects blood sugar levels, it may also cause nerve damage in a pattern that first affects the hands and feet. That damage to the nervous system is called diabetic neuropathy, and it can have direct consequences on your feet. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may not appear until many years after your diabetes is diagnosed. High blood sugar levels—also called hyperglycemia—can injure the walls of the blood vessels that nourish your nerves and result in nerve damage. That’s why controlling your blood sugar levels with the right medication, diet, and exercise is essential in helping prevent diabetic neuropathy. That nerve damage may result in painful tingling or burning sensations in your feet and legs. But even worse is when you experience decreased protective sensation in your feet—a condition called "peripheral neuropathy" where you become unaware of pressure, pain, heat, and cold. For example, if you develop calluses, fissures, and wounds in your feet without noticing them, your risk of foot and leg infections increases. In addition, motor nerves—the nerves that control your muscles—can be affected as diabetic neuropathy progresses. Combined with the decreased protective sensation, repetitive microtrauma (a series of small, unnoticed injuries) may result in joint damage to your feet and worsen over time. In severe cases, this condition may even lead to foot deformity, which doctors call Charcot neuroarthropathy. Think y Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you’ll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy. How can diabetes affect my feet? Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected. Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg. A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene. Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a “rocker bottom.” What can I do to keep my feet healthy? Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should inclu Continue reading >>

Amputation And Diabetes: How To Protect Your Feet

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. Diabetes complications can include nerve damage and poor blood circulation. These problems make the feet vulnerable to skin sores (ulcers) that can worsen quickly. The good news is that proper diabetes management and careful foot care can help prevent foot ulcers. In fact, better diabetes care is probably why the rates of lower limb amputations have gone down by more than 50 percent in the past 20 years. When foot ulcers do develop, it's important to get prompt care. More than 80 percent of amputations begin with foot ulcers. A nonhealing ulcer that causes severe damage to tissues and bone may require surgical removal (amputation) of a toe, foot or part of a leg. Some people with diabetes are more at risk than others. Factors that lead to an increased risk of an amputation include: High blood sugar levels Smoking Nerve damage in the feet (peripheral neuropathy) Calluses or corns Foot deformities Poor blood circulation to the extremities (peripheral artery disease) A history of foot ulcers A past amputation Vision impairment Kidney disease High blood pressure, above 140/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) Here's what you need to know to keep your feet healthy, the signs you need to see a doctor and what happens if amputation is necessary. Preventing foot ulcers The best strategy for preventing complications of diabetes — including foot ulcers — is proper diabetes management with a healthy diet, regular exercise, blood sugar monitoring and adherence to a prescribed medication regimen. Proper foot care will help prevent problems with your feet and ensure prompt medical care when problems occur. Tips for proper foot care include the followin Continue reading >>

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