Protecting Your Feet

5 Things Diabetics Need To Know About Poor Foot Circulation

Your circulation system sends blood and the oxygen and nutrients it carries throughout your body. When your circulation system is functioning properly, all parts of your body receive the blood flow they require. When you have poor circulation, some parts of your body don't get enough blood. This is a big problem for people with diabetes.

How does diabetes affect your circulation?

Diabetes affects your circulation by damaging the veins and arteries in your legs and feet. Diabetes makes these blood vessels narrower and harder, and this makes it harder for blood to travel through the vessels. Once your vessels have been damaged, less blood will reach your feet, leading to poor blood circulation.

What are the signs of poor circulation?

If you have poor circulation in your feet, your feet may frequently feel cold, even when the rest of your body is a comfortable temperature. Tingling in your feet is another clue that you have poor circulation. Swollen or sore feet can also be a warning sign of poor circulation.

Why is poor circulation a problem?

Poor circulation doesn't just cause cold feet; it can also lead to more serious problems. When your feet don't get enough blood flow, they aren't able to heal from injuries as well. This means that if you get a blister or a cut, your feet may not heal as quickly as they otherwise would.

Poor circulation can also make it harder for your feet to fight off infections. This is because your blood carries white blood cells, the cells responsible for fighting off bacteria, around your body. If your feet don't receive enough blood, they also don't receive enough white blood cells, and this can give bacteria the upper hand.

Can poor circulation be treated?

Your podiatrist may recommend doing gentle exercises, like walking, to help improve your circulation. Exercise helps your body use oxygen more efficiently and can reduce the symptoms of poor circulation.

If you're having trouble controlling your blood sugar, you may also need to see your family doctor. Your doctor can help you manage your blood sugar more effectively and keep your circulatory system safe.

How can you keep your feet safe?

To keep your feet safe, make sure to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels. If you have poor circulation, it's also very important to check your feet every day since you may not notice problems otherwise. Check your entire foot, including in between your toes for signs of blisters, cuts, or other problems. If you find any issues, see your podiatrist right away.

Poor circulation is a serious problem for diabetics, but if you monitor both your blood sugar and your feet, issues can be found early when they are most treatable. For more information, talk to a podiatrist at a place like Center for Foot Care.