diabetestalk.net

Why Do Diabetics Have Poor Circulation In Their Feet?

Diabetic Neuropathy And Poor Circulation Problem

Diabetic Neuropathy And Poor Circulation Problem

Poor circulation can be caused by a number of things. In otherwise healthy people, it can merely be a result of leading a sedentary lifestyle as in one that lacks healthy amounts of physical activity or exercise. It can also occur from occupations that require long periods of sitting. However, there are serious medical conditions that can result in poor circulation causes as well. Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most feared one. And, symptom identification is often the key to determining the cause of the signs the body presents when circulatory distress is occurring. In healthy people encountering circulatory problems merely as a result of lifestyle factors like smoking or occupation, and symptoms are generally mild. They can include numbness in feet or hands and occasionally pain or discomfort as well. Since the lower extremities are the most common place to encounter symptoms, thanks to the already challenging job faced by the body to defy gravity to pump blood upward from this area, foot circulation and that in the legs is the most frequently impacted. And, this is also the case in serious conditions that cause circulatory problems as well such as diabetic neuropathy. Diabetics are susceptible to developing peripheral neuropathy which Mayo Clinic explains is nerve damage that can lead to a wide range of problems. Since the nerves that help to regulate blood pressure and heart rate can be affected, the condition can have a severe impact on circulation. Peripheral neuropathy also affects people who do not have diabetes, but it is common in people who have the disorder. The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy differ from those who are merely suffering from circulatory challenges. However, because the symptoms can range from mild to moderate to severe, early symptoms can m Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Care Article

Diabetic Foot Care Article

A A A Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body's ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious. With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin of the foot. Sores may develop. Damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system from diabetes make it difficult to heal these wounds. Bacterial infection of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and bones can then occur. These infections can develop into gangrene. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily. Often, the only treatment for this is amputation of the foot or leg. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, this process can be life-threatening. People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, to recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention - including good control of blood sugar level - remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications. People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot problems. They should also l Continue reading >>

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 >>

Symptoms And Causes Of Poor Circulation

Symptoms And Causes Of Poor Circulation

Your body’s circulation system is responsible for sending blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout your body. When blood flow to a specific part of your body is reduced, you may experience the symptoms of poor circulation. Poor circulation is most common in your extremities, such as your legs and arms. Poor circulation isn’t a condition in itself. Instead, it results from other health issues. Therefore, it’s important to treat the underlying causes, rather than just the symptoms. Several conditions can lead to poor circulation. The most common causes include obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, and arterial issues. The most common symptoms of poor circulation include: Each condition that might lead to poor circulation can also cause unique symptoms. For example, people with peripheral artery disease may have erectile dysfunction along with typical pain, numbness, and tingling. There are several different causes of poor circulation. Peripheral artery disease Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can lead to poor circulation in your legs. PAD is a circulatory condition that causes narrowing of the blood vessels and arteries. In an associated condition called atherosclerosis, arteries stiffen due to plaque buildup in the arteries and blood vessels. Both conditions decrease blood flow to your extremities and can result in pain. Over time, reduced blood flow in your extremities can cause: numbness tingling nerve damage tissue damage If left untreated, reduced blood flow and plaque in your carotid arteries may result in a stroke. Your carotid arteries are the major blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain. If plaque buildup takes place in the arteries in your heart, you’re at risk of having a heart attack. PAD is most common in adults over age 50, but it can also occur Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Cold Feet

Diabetes And Cold Feet

We’ve all heard of a bride or groom “getting cold feet” before walking down the aisle, but for people with diabetes, having cold feet takes on another meaning entirely. What causes cold feet? Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, is one of the most common causes of cold feet. About sixty to seventy percent of people with diabetes develop some form of neuropathy over time. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is actually the cause of all kinds of symptoms, including tingling, burning, or sensitivity to touch. Your feet might seem warm to the touch, but feel cold to you. Symptoms may worsen at night. Poor circulation is another common cause of cold feet. Poor circulation makes it more challenging for your heart to pump warm blood to your extremities, keeping your feet cooler than the rest of your body. Peripheral artery disease, caused by clogged arteries in your legs, can reduce circulation and lead to cold feet. This could be a sign of something more serious, like increased risk for heart attack or stroke, but your doctor can usually detect it by checking the pulse in your legs. Certain medications, particularly those that cause blood vessels to constrict, can cause cold feet. Popular medications associated with cold feet are those to treat blood pressure, migraine headaches, and head colds. Talk to your pharmacist if you start to experience cold feet after starting a particular medication. Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by an underactive thyroid. Low levels of thyroid hormone interfere with your body’s metabolism, contributing to reduced circulation and colder feet. Other causes of cold feet Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder that causes funny sensations in your legs when at rest, such as creeping, crawling, aching—and, so Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Protect Your Feet And Legs

Diabetes: Protect Your Feet And Legs

If you have diabetes, you are more likely than people without this disorder to develop leg and foot problems. Diabetes can destroy nerves and cause you to have poor circulation. Left unchecked, these complications can lead to amputation. But there's a lot you can do to prevent that from happening. How Diabetes Causes Limb Problems First, it's important to understand what causes these diabetes complications. According to Marilyn Tan, MD, an endocrinologist and the clinic chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic in California, risk factors include poor circulation from atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease, poor wound healing, and uncontrolled blood sugar increases, which increases the risk of infection. “Think of sugar as fuel for bacteria and fungus,” says Dr. Tan. Researchers also know that high blood glucose levels can cause nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. The damage can occur in any part of your body, but it is most common in your arms and legs, with the lower extremities affected first. This type of nerve damage is known as peripheral neuropathy. Some people have no symptoms, while others experience numbness, tingling, burning, sharp pain, cramps, extreme sensitivity when touched, and a loss of coordination and balance. When you have peripheral neuropathy, small sores can go unnoticed because of the numbness — you simply don’t feel them. Left untreated, these little problems can become major infections that invade the bones. What’s more, poor circulation from diabetes means any ulcers and infections are harder to heal. If an infection invades your bones, then amputation could be required to save your life. “Diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic lower extremity (leg and foot) amputations in the United States,” says Tan. “Five perc 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 >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Diabetes And Foot Problems

For people with diabetes, having too much glucose (sugar) in their blood for a long time can cause some serious complications, including foot problems. you might like Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet: Diabetic neuropathy. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your nerves. If you have damaged nerves in your legs and feet, you might not feel heat, cold, or pain. This lack of feeling is called "sensory diabetic neuropathy." If you do not feel a cut or sore on your foot because of neuropathy, the cut could get worse and become infected. The muscles of the foot may not function properly, because the nerves that make the muscles work are damaged. This could cause the foot to not align properly and create too much pressure in one area of the foot. It is estimated that up to 10% of people with diabetes will develop foot ulcers. Foot ulcers occur because of nerve damage and peripheral vascular disease. Peripheral vascular disease. Diabetes also affects the flow of blood. Without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal. Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called "peripheral vascular disease." Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder that affects blood vessels away from the heart. If you have an infection that will not heal because of poor blood flow, you are at risk for developing ulcers or gangrene (the death of tissue due to a lack of blood). 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 >>

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes almost a year ago. At first he was experiencing numbness in his feet. Over the past few months, he began having pain as well, sometimes as far up his leg as his calf. What can we do to help these symptoms? I have read that vitamin E and even flaxseed oil are good for the circulation. Would those be helpful? Continue reading >>

Dealing With The 6 Most Common Diabetic Foot Problems

Dealing With The 6 Most Common Diabetic Foot Problems

People who suffer from diabetes are much more susceptible to foot problems, and even ordinary problems can easily become worse and develop into serious issues. Generally speaking, foot problems come about due to nerve damage and poor blood circulation. This leads to many different complications that range from pain in the feet to complete loss of feeling. Let’s look at 6 of the most common foot-problems diabetics face… Neuropathy Neuropathy is the term used for nerve damage, and in the case of diabetes, the damage is usually caused by the high sugar levels in the bloodstream. Neuropathy can cause the affected area to hurt, but can just as easily cause a total lack of feeling where heat or cold cannot be told apart. The latter can lead to various other problems with your feet as you may not feel when something is hurting your foot. You might get a cut, blister, or other injuries without noticing it! In this way, a foot injury might go untreated and then it can become infected. Foot Skin Changes Changes in the skin on the feet can be a big consequence of nerve damage, as the nerves that control the oil and moisture in the feet no longer work the way they should. The best way to manage this is to dry your feet after bathing, and then seal the remaining moisture in with a thin coat of plain petroleum jelly or plain hand cream. Be careful not to put too much of it between your toes, as too much moisture here can lead to infection. Calluses Diabetics are much more prone to calluses on their feet, and the calluses also tend to build up faster. This happens due to the fact that the undersides of the feet are high-pressure areas. Therapeutic shoes or inserts can go a long way in helping to sooth the discomfort or pain of calluses underneath your feet. If calluses are not tri 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 >>

Diabetes: Foot & Skin Related Complications

Diabetes: Foot & Skin Related Complications

How can diabetes affect feet and skin? For people with diabetes, having too much glucose (sugar) in their blood for a long time can cause some serious complications, including foot and skin problems, as well as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, and other problems. How can diabetes affect my feet? Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet: Diabetic neuropathy — Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your nerves. If you have damaged nerves in your legs and feet, you might not feel heat, cold or pain. This lack of feeling is called diabetic neuropathy. If you do not feel a cut or sore on your foot because of neuropathy, the cut could get worse and become infected. Peripheral vascular disease — Diabetes also affects the flow of blood. Without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal. Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called peripheral vascular disease. (The word "peripheral" means "located away from a central point," and the word "vascular" refers to the blood vessels. Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder that affects blood vessels away from the heart.) If you have an infection that will not heal because of poor blood flow, you are at risk for developing gangrene, which is the death of tissue due to a lack of blood. To keep gangrene from spreading, the doctor may have to remove a toe, foot, or part of a leg. This procedure is called amputation. Diabetes is the most common, non-traumatic cause of leg amputations. Each year, more than 56,000 people with diabetes have amputations. However, research suggests that more than half of these amputations can be prevented through proper foot care. What are some common foot problems of people with diabetes? Anyone can get the foot problems listed below. For people Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Feet

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Feet

For people with diabetes, foot complications such as neuropathy and circulation problems can make it difficult for wounds to heal. Serious problems can arise from common skin issues such as: sores cuts ulcers Diabetes that is not well controlled can lead to slower healing. These slow-to-heal wounds can lead to infections. Other foot issues, such as calluses, are also common in people with diabetes. While calluses may not seem worrisome, if left untrimmed they can turn into ulcers or open sores. People with diabetes are also at risk for Charcot joint, a condition in which a weight-bearing joint progressively degenerates, leading to bone loss and deformity. Because of nerve damage, people with diabetes may not immediately notice that there are problems with their feet. Over time, people with diabetic neuropathy can develop foot problems that cannot be healed, which can lead to amputations. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of lower-extremity amputations in the United States. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels in people with poorly controlled diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy, the medical term for numbness and loss of sensation due to damage to the nerves that serve the feet and hands. People with diabetic neuropathy cannot feel various sensations, such as pressure or touch, as intensely as those without damage to their nerves. On the other hand, peripheral neuropathy is often very painful, causing burning, tingling, or other painful feelings in the feet. If a wound is not felt right away, it can go unchecked. Poor circulation can make it difficult for the body to heal these wounds. Infection can then set in and become so serious that amputation becomes necessary. Checking the feet for abnormalities is a very important part of diabetes care. Abnormalities may Continue reading >>

Foot Complications And Diabetes

Foot Complications And Diabetes

Have you checked out your feet today? Your feet go through a lot on a daily basis. As a person with diabetes, you need to pay extra attention to them! Even the smallest of problems could get worse and lead to more serious complications in the future. Neuropathy Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is the most common foot problem for those with diabetes. Neuropathy can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can cause loss of feeling in the feet, which can lessen your ability to feel pain, heat, cold, or injury. You could be walking around with a serious injury or an infected blister and not be aware! Nerve damage also can cause poor blood flow or changes in the shape of your feet or toes. Skin Changes Take a look at the skin of your foot. Diabetes can cause the skin of your foot to become very dry, which causes peeling and cracking. This happens because the nerves that control the oil and moisture in your foot no longer work. Stock up on supplies! After bathing, dry your feet and rub any oil or cream products that work to relieve dryness. Keep the oils and creams away from in between your toes to avoid infection. Avoid soaking your feet is another problem that can dry your skin. Calluses Think of all of the jumping, walking, and moving that your feet go through on a daily basis! All of the movement that you are going through can cause calluses to form on the high-pressure areas of your feet. Calluses occur more often and build up faster on the feet of those with diabetes. Calluses can get very thick, break down, and turn into open sores if not trimmed. Let the professionals cut your calluses. Do not try to cut calluses by yourself, or you might cause an ulcer or infection. Invest in a pumice stone and use it daily on your feet to keep the calluse Continue reading >>

More in diabetes