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Home > Health Topics > Diabetic Supplies > Living with Diabetes: Diabetes, Poor Circulation and Your Feet

Living with Diabetes: Diabetes, Poor Circulation and Your Feet

If you have diabetes, poor circulation (blood flow) can make your feet less able to fight infection and to heal, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Diabetes causes blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden.


The ADA says you can control some of the things that can lead to poor blood flow:

• Don’t smoke. Smoking makes arteries harden faster.

• Follow your healthcare provider’s advice for keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

• If your feet are cold, you may be tempted to warm them. Unfortunately, if your feet cannot feel heat, it is easy for you to burn them with hot water, hot water bottles or heating pads. The best way to help cold feet is to wear warm socks.

• Some people feel pain in their calves when walking fast, up a hill or on a hard surface. This condition is called intermittent claudication. Stopping to rest for a few moments should end the pain. If you have these symptoms and you are a smoker, you must stop smoking. Work with your healthcare provider to get started on a walking program. Some people can be helped with medication to improve circulation.

• Exercise is good for poor circulation. It stimulates blood flow in the legs and feet. Walk in sturdy, good-fitting, comfortable shoes, but don’t walk when you have open sores. Check your feet daily.

 

 

 

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Health Connection, August 2018

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