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November 16, 2007 at 4:47 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Poor Circulation As A Complication of Diabetes

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author


  • Diabetes is a condition where the body either doesn't produce insulin or the cells cannot use it properly. Insulin is required for the body to break down glucose and use it for energy.
  • Diabetes has many complications, including blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction. Many of these complications are because of poor circulation.

How does diabetes cause poor circulation?

People with diabetes often experience a hardening of the blood vessels. This prevents blood from flowing efficiently.

What are the symptoms of poor circulation?

  • Dull, cramping pain in the calves. This pain usually appears during exercise and disappears with rest.
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities, usually the feet and toes.
  • Change in skin color: skin often becomes either more reddish, bluish, or pale.
  • Cold feet
  • Sores and cuts heal more slowly.

What complications arise from poor circulation?

Many complications can arise as a result of poor circulation.

  • Amputation
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Wounds, cuts, or sores that will not heal
  • Heart disease

How can I prevent poor circulation?

You should talk to your health practitioner about poor circulation if you are diabetic. You may be advised to take some steps to prevent poor circulation:

  • Quit smoking immediately. Smoking exacerbates most health problems associated with diabetes.
  • Get some exercise. Walking or other light activity is usually enough. How much exercise you are advised to engage in will depend on your health.

What precautions should I take if I already have poor circulation?

You must take special care of your feet and hands to avoid amputation.

  • Carefully check your feet and hands every day for cuts and wounds.
  • Corns and calluses should be carefully removed because sores can develop underneath them.
  • Make sure to moisturize your hands and feet because, due to diabetic neuropathy, the nerves that control oil production can stop working. Do not put moisturizer between your toes. Dry skin can crack and peel, causing open sores.
  • Do not wear shoes that cause damage to your feet.
  • If you get a foot ulcer, see your health practitioner immediately. All foot ulcers, even ones that don't hurt, can lead to infection and amputation. Don't walk on an ulcer as this can force the infection deeper into the foot.

If you have diabetes, it's important to be especially vigilant about your health.

  • Carefully monitor and control your blood sugar levels.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat, cholesterol, and sugars.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • See your health practitioner for regular checkups.


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