An increasing number of people are suffering from diabetes. In addition to the initial effects of the condition, patients need to be aware about the lesser-known but severe complications that develop over time.
High blood sugar levels can affect your blood vessels, causing issues like venous insufficiency, and ultimately amputations.
In most cases, when we talk of diabetes, we are referring to Type II diabetes, which is usually the result of diet and lifestyle choices. Normally, insulin produced by the body can manage blood sugar levels, but in some people, either the pancreas is unable to keep up with demand, or the insulin produced doesn’t work effectively. As a result, a wide range of symptoms start appearing.
Diabetes and Blood Circulation
High blood sugar levels impact the circulatory system. It is not uncommon to see changes in the function and structure of the blood vessels, including hardening of vessels. While large vessel damage causes problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, complications in the smaller vessels may cause damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves, and especially feet.
High blood sugar levels damage nerve endings in the peripheral nervous system, the sensitivity in the feet reduces. This might increase the risk of injuries. Sustained sores or “diabetic wounds,” may not heal due to reduced blood circulation in the feet.
A severe complication in diabetes is the risk for amputation, especially of the feet. When wounds don’t heal, it can cause severe tissue and bone damage that may require surgical removal.
If you or a loved one is experiencing complications like decreased sensitivity in the feet, or if you notice reduced circulation in the lower legs, you must consult an internal medicine doctor who can offer comprehensive care including vein treatments.