What is poor circulation?

Poor circulation occurs when there is inadequate blood flow to certain parts of your body, and is common for persons with diabetes. The way your blood flows throughout  your body is via your arteries and veins, which are responsible for delivering blood throughout your body and returning it back to your heart. As we age, plaque may buildup in our arteries, which can make them become clogged or blocked, otherwise known as vascular disease. When that happens, a number of health problems can take place.

Risk Factors for Poor Circulation and Vascular Disease

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(current or former)

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High Blood Pressure

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Personal/Family History of Heart Attack or Stroke

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High Cholesterol Icon

High Cholesterol

Diabetics & Poor Circulation

Those with diabetes are at greater risk for circulation problems, and vascular or arterial disease.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, this condition can put you at risk for poor blood flow in your veins and arteries, known as vascular disease. Diabetics are particularly more likely to develop circulation problems in their legs and feet. Keep an eye out for warning signs in your lower limbs, such as pain, cramping, tingling, discoloration, or wounds that seem slow to heal. These seemingly innocent symptoms can lead to harmful medical problems, such as stroke, limb loss- or even death. If you or a loved one experience these concerns, act quickly. Schedule a circulation evaluation with PVA.

Did you know that paying close attention to- and providing proper care of your feet can be life (or limb) saving for a diabetic? Diabetes often leads to circulation problems in the lower extremities, which can result in non-healing wounds, Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.), or even amputation.

What Causes Poor Circulation?

Your arteries deliver oxygen-rich blood from your heart to all of your body including your arms, legs and brain. Healthy veins allow the blood to return to the heart. When your arteries are healthy, they are smooth and unobstructed, allowing your blood to flow freely. But as we age, we begin to gradually buildup plaque in our arteries, which is a sticky substance made up of fat and cholesterol. This can cause the arteries to harden, become clogged, or even blocked (known as atherosclerosis), resulting in poor blood circulation. If left untreated, serious medical problems can occur, including stroke, amputation, or even death.

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

  • Painful muscle cramping in the hip, thigh, or calf after activity
  • A poorly healing wound, sore, or ulcer on your toe, foot, or leg
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in the lower leg or foot (compared to other parts of the body)
  • Change in skin color, or dry, shiny skin on the legs
  • Hair loss or slower hair growth on the legs and feet
  • Slower toenail growth
  • No pulse, or a weak pulse, in the legs or feet

Watch for These Warning Signs

Many people don’t realize that your legs and feet can give an indication of blood circulation issues. Did you know that problems like foot pain, cold feet, and non-healing wounds can be a sign of poor blood flow to your veins and arteries? When that happens, it’s known as vascular or arterial disease. This lack of blood flow can become dangerous, and can lead to amputation- or worse- in serious cases. Fortunately, PVA offers an easy, painless circulation evaluation.

This connection is even more prevalent among diabetics. And because many diabetics have lost nerve sensation in their feet, they often cannot feel wounds developing there. These wounds may be non-healing due to lack of blood flow, and time is of the essence to help them preserve their limb. If left untreated, the chances of amputation increases.

Plaque buildup limits blood flow and circulation

Are you or a loved one experiencing symptoms or risk factors of poor circulation, or vascular disease?

Take our quiz to see if you may be at risk for poor circulation, or vascular disease

Learn if you may have the symptoms or risk factors for these conditions.

Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or a family history of vascular disease?

Do you have leg pain with walking that goes away at rest?

Do you have pain in your foot or toes, even at rest?

Do you have slow or non-healing sores on your feet?

Do you have tightness, swelling, or weakness in your legs?

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with P.A.D?

Have you been told by another physician that you have leg circulation problems?

If you are a diabetic over 50 years old, and you have one or more of the symptoms or risk factors noted above, contact the vascular experts at PVA for a circulation evaluation.

Request an Appointment

Visit us at one of our 15 convenient locations throughout San Antonio and across South Texas, or enjoy a virtual telemedicine appointment in the comfort of your home. Appointments are readily available.

7 Ways to Improve Circulation in Legs and Feet

There is a lot you can do to improve circulation in your legs and feet. You can start by making lifestyle changes that will greatly reduce your risk factors for poor circulation. Here are a few helpful tips to improve circulation.

Diabetes and Vascular Disease

Diabetics are at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and peripheral arterial disease. Knowing the signs and symptoms of these can facilitate you seeking help before a tragic event occurs. However, diabetes can also blunt the usual nerve response to diseases such as the pain of peripheral artery disease. This loss of sensation results in an increased risk of pressure ulcers on the feet.

Artery Disease, A Silent Killer – Part 2 (Diabetes)

Diabetes causes high levels of glucose in your blood, damaging the blood vessels. Over time, this leads to plaque buildup in your arteries.  This decreases the blood flow throughout your body, especially in your lower extremities- such as legs and feet.

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