How To Improve Blood Circulation If You Have Type 2 Diabetes
Poor circulation is a real concern for people living with type 2 diabetes and can lead to an increased risk of amputation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your blood flow healthy: Making the right choices about how you exercise and what you do when youre not exercising are the keys to healthy circulation.
Learning To Use Warmfeet
The WarmFeet technique can be used as a self-help treatment to provide pain relief and healing or as a preventive effort to increase peripheral blood flow. For potential users who have had longstanding pain or chronic ulcers, the technique is best introduced by a health-care professional who can assist them in learning to relax and provide them with encouragement and hope. This introductory session usually takes around 3045 minutes. The technique can then be practiced at home with the WarmFeet Kit, which includes a personal skin thermometer and a CD or audiotape with instructions on side one and the relaxation technique on side two. To maximize positive outcomes when using the WarmFeet technique, it is very important to spend time each day learning and practicing the skill of relaxation. New users often see some success right away with a small temperature increase of around 12°F. But practicing once or twice a day for 16 minutes at a time allows one to master the technique. With practice, the relaxation will come sooner and be deeper, and greater increases in skin temperature may be seen.
Benefits from daily practice with the WarmFeet technique include the following:
- Increased peripheral blood flow
- Reduced pain in the legs and feet
- Faster healing for foot ulcers
- Improved coping skills for daily stresses
Eucerin Diabetics Skin Relief Body Lotion
Eucerin diabetics dry skin relief lotion is specifically designed to leave the skin feeling comfortable, hydrated and healthier all day long. This unique, non-greasy formula is enriched with alpha hydroxyl which repairs and exfoliates dry, flaky skin. Besides smooth ing dry, rough skin, noticeably improves overall skin condition and appearance just after one use! It is designed to repair, enhance and protect your skin, giving you the confidence that comes from healthy-looking and radiant skin.
- The alpha hydroxyl formula smoothens rough, dry skin after just one use
- Fast absorbing and lightweight
- Clinically proven formulation that provides 24-hour moisture
- Paraben free
- Dermatologist recommended brand
How to use
Apply liberally over rough, dry skin every day or as recommended by the physician. Apply immediately after showering or bathing for best results.
Some Delicious Ingredients You Should Eat More Often:
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon has been proven to reduce cholesterol levels and improve blood glucose.
- Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate contains heart-healthy , which cause the blood vessels to dilate.
- Nitrate-rich foods – Beets and dark, leafy greens have high levels of , a commonly prescribed blood pressure medicine.
- Dark berries – Like dark chocolate, dark berries such as black currants, blueberries, blackberries, and even strawberries contain potent antioxidants and flavonoids.
- Healthy fats – Unhealthy, saturated fats like butter and palm oil should be limited, but healthy fats in foods like olive oil and avocado are good for your heart.
A nutrient-rich diet of fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and vegetables and decreasing your intake of processed foods filled with saturated fats will make it easier to maintain a healthy weight. This reduces strain on your joints and feet and improves your blood circulation and heart function.
Wash Your Feet Every Day
Wash your feet with soap in warm, not hot, water. Test the water to make sure it is not too hot. You can use a thermometer or your elbow to test the warmth of the water. Do not soak your feet because your skin will get too dry.
After washing and drying your feet, put talcum powder or cornstarch between your toes. Skin between the toes tends to stay moist. Powder will keep the skin dry to help prevent an infection.
Ways To Increase Blood Flow To Your Feet In 20 Days
Whether youve been diagnosed with a vascular disease or not, if you want to improve your well-being on a daily basis, its good to know some simple ways to improve the circulation to your legs. Contrary to what you might think, these techniques are really easy to do, and wont get in the way of your everyday life.
Increasing blood flow to your legs and improving your venous return is important, helping to prevent varicose veins or, if you already have them, stop them getting worse.
Wear Shoes And Socks At All Times
Wear shoes and socks at all times. Do not walk barefoot or in just socks even when you are indoors. You could step on something and hurt your feet. You may not feel any pain and may not know that you hurt yourself.
Check the inside of your shoes before putting them on, to make sure the lining is smooth and free of pebbles or other objects.
Make sure you wear socks, stockings, or nylons with your shoes to keep from getting blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well. Socks with no seams are best.
Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Here are some tips for finding the right type of shoes:
- Walking shoes and athletic shoes are good for daily wear. They support your feet and allow them to breathe.
- Do not wear vinyl or plastic shoes, because they do not stretch or breathe.
- When buying shoes, make sure they feel good and have enough room for your toes. Buy shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are the largest, so that you can find the best fit.
- If you have a , or hammertoes, which are toes that curl under your feet, you may need extra-wide or deep shoes.1 Do not wear shoes with pointed toes or high heels, because they put too much pressure on your toes.
- If your feet have changed shape, such as from Charcots foot, you may need special shoes or shoe inserts, called orthotics. You also may need inserts if you have bunions, hammertoes, or other foot problems.
The Link Between Diabetes And Poor Circulation
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body cannot properly process glucose . The result is blood glucose levels that are too high. Diabetes puts you at high risk for conditions that affect your circulatory system, including:
- High blood glucose levels cause fatty deposits to form inside blood vessels. Over time, these deposits make your blood vessels narrow and hard, lessening blood flow.
- Peripheral artery disease produces fatty deposits that narrow blood vessels, mainly in your legs and feet. One-third of people with diabetes older than 50 have PAD.
Over time, poor blood flow can be detrimental for your hands, legs and feet. Complications associated with poor blood flow include:
- Pain while walking
- Decreased sensation in hands or feet
- Increased risk of developing infections or ulcers of the foot
- Slower healing time for wounds
- Nerve damage that increases the likelihood of amputation
Healthy Habits To Improve Circulation
Heres some things you can try:
- Keep moving. Exercising regularly is a great way to increase circulation to the feet. But you dont have to run a marathon simply remembering to get up and move a bit every hour or so has positive effects.
- Give your feet a break. Remember when we talked about gravity adding to the challenge of circulation? Whenever you are sitting, put your legs up in a recliner or prop them up on a couple of pillows to ease some of this burden.
- Pamper your feet. Massage your feet with gentle, circular motions, traveling from your heels to your toes. This is also a great opportunity to check your feet for signs of diabetes-related damage.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can wreak havoc on circulation not to mention all the other negative effects it can have in your overall health. So if you smoke, stop.
- Control blood sugar levels. It also pays to keep blood sugar under control, and a diabetes-healthy diet is a healthy diet for just about everyone whether you have been diagnosed with this condition or not.
Now, when we talk about sticking to a healthy diet, were definitely not trying to take the joy out of your meals. In fact, with a few simple modifications, you can still be satisfied with your diet while also keeping your feet healthy. Which takes us to our next point
Diabetes And Your Feet
Get your feet checked at every health care visit.
If you have diabetes, heres a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every dayeven if they feel fineand see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that wont heal.
Theres a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctors appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications.
About half of all people with diabetes have some kind of nerve damage. You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet.
Vitamins And Supplements For Increased Blood Flow
For example, your cognitive function can decline if your brain is receiving inadequate blood supply. Or reduced blood flow could lead to erectile dysfunction.
There are vitamins, minerals, and supplements that many believe can help improve your circulation. For example:
- Vitamin E. You can easily incorporate this vitamin into your diet by preparing foods using oils like , , , and other nut oils. Also, you can purchase food-grade vitamin E oil at most natural food stores and even many grocery stores.
- B vitamins. You will find in most grocery and drugstore vitamin aisles. Leafy green vegetables like and are great sources of these vitamins.
- Iron. This mineral is available in , which makes it easy to ingest an adequate amount. Its possible to get enough iron through your diet too, by eating a lot of red meats and leafy green vegetables. Because of the cardiovascular risks associated with red meat, your doctor may advise you to choose the supplement and leafy greens instead of increasing your red meat intake.
Eat More Fruits And Veggies
Besides reducing your sugar and fatty food intake to steer clear of high blood pressure, plaque formation, and , adding more fruits and veggies to your repertoire leads to more nitrates and other compounds in your diet, says Dr. Patel, which your body then uses to create nitric oxidea chemical compound we exhale that boosts blood flow by relaxing blood vessels.
Foods that are high in nitric oxide converters include leafy green vegetables , beets, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, citrus fruits, watermelon, and pomegranates. The more colorful your plate looks, the better off you will be.
Top 5 Tips To Improve Circulation
Some people overlook circulatory health, but it affects our most vital organs and capabilities and increases in importance as we age. Don’t wait until more severe symptoms arise, instead be proactive about adequate circulation.
First, and foremost, check with your doctor to rule out disease and discuss a poor circulation treatment plan. Keep up with medications and monitor blood pressure to address disease-related circulation issues. With your doctor’s approval, there are simple home remedies to improve and even prevent poor foot circulation. Here are just a few ideas!
Why It Is Important To Improve Blood Circulation
There is not only one blood circulatory system in the human body, but two, which are connected: The systemic circulation provides organs, tissues, and cells with oxygenated blood so that they get oxygen and other vital substances.
Whereas, the pulmonary circulation is where the fresh oxygen we breathe in to oxygenate the deoxygenated blood, By releasing out carbon dioxide at the same time.
With each heartbeat, blood will travel throughout our bodies, carrying oxygen and nutrients to every cell. The primary organ of the circulatory system is the Human Heart.
The secondary organs of the circulatory system include the Arteries, Arterioles, Capillaries, Venules, Veins, and Blood.
And to improve the blood circulation the primary, as well as the secondary organs, should be provided with proper care and healthy habits.
To improve our blood circulation its not always compulsory to have medicines or prescribed drugs. You need to work on your regular habits for proper blood circulation.
And almost anyone can take these steps in the way to improve their circulation. Adding certain food to your diet and activities to your routine can benefit a lot to your circulation.
Tips For Healthy Feet
Get to the bottom of any foot problems by using a mirror or asking for help.
Check your feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any other change to the skin or nails. Use a mirror if you cant see the bottom of your feet, or ask a family member to help.
Wash your feet every day in warm water. Dont soak your feet. Dry your feet completely and apply lotion to the top and bottombut not between your toes, which could lead to infection.
Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes and socks or slippers, even inside, to avoid injury. Check that there arent any pebbles or other objects inside your shoes and that the lining is smooth.
Wear shoes that fit well. For the best fit, try on new shoes at the end of the day when your feet tend to be largest. Break in your new shoes slowlywear them for an hour or two a day at first until theyre completely comfortable. Always wear socks with your shoes.
Trim your toenails straight across and gently smooth any sharp edges with a nail file. Have your foot doctor trim your toenails if you cant see or reach your feet.
Dont remove corns or calluses yourself, and especially dont use over-the-counter products to remove themthey could burn your skin.
Get your feet checked at every health care visit. Also, visit your foot doctor every year for a complete exam, which will include checking for feeling and blood flow in your feet.
Be sure to ask your doctor what else you can do to keep your feet healthy.
Diabetic Foot Health 101: How Diabetes Affect Your Feet
The reason why diabetes can be quite a complex disease to tackle is due to its far-reaching damage that it may cause to the human body.
Diabetes And Circulation: 3 Tips For Improving Blood Flow
A healthy circulatory system is important. If a part of your body comes into contact with bacteria or happens to develop an infection, your circulatory system delivers white blood cells to heal the problem area. For people with diabetes, however, blood circulation is typically weaker in the arms and legs, which means that if you get an infection, your body will have a much harder time getting rid of it. Fortunately, there are a few changes diabetics can make to improve their circulation.
Protect Your Feet From Hot And Cold
If you have nerve damage from diabetes, you may burn your feet and not know you did. Take the following steps to protect your feet from heat:
- Wear shoes at the beach and on hot pavement.
- Put sunscreen on the tops of your feet to prevent sunburn.
- Keep your feet away from heaters and open fires.
- Do not put a hot water bottle or heating pad on your feet.
Wear socks in bed if your feet get cold. In the winter, wear lined, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry.
Types Of Diabetic Foot Problems
Diabetes that isnt well managed can lead to slower healing. These slow-to-heal wounds can lead to infections.
Other foot issues, like , are also common in people with diabetes. While calluses may not seem worrisome, if left untrimmed they can turn into ulcers or open sores.
People with diabetes are also at risk for Charcot joint, a condition in which a weight-bearing joint progressively degenerates, leading to bone loss and deformity.
Because of nerve damage, people with diabetes may not immediately notice that there are problems with their feet.
Over time, people with diabetic neuropathy can develop foot problems that cant be healed, which can lead to amputations. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of lower-extremity amputations in the United States.
Start Using Circulation Boosters & Foot Massagers
Unfortunately, our lifestyles have made improper circulation in the toes a bigger problem than ever. This is mostly due to being sedentary. What has developed from this growing problem, however, is a rise in effective solutions.
How Do Circulation Boosters Work?
Foot circulation boosters are designed specifically to stimulate the nerves within your feet. They do this through waveforms and pulses. The great part about these circulation boosters is that they feature different intensity levels. People who have severe symptoms of poor circulation may need more features and higher stimulation.
The best circulation machines use pulsating patterns. If your feet get used to a pattern for too long, the circulation-boosting effect lessens. Different patterns keep things from getting complacent. That encourages constant, healthy blood flow.
How do Foot Massagers Help with Circulation?
Foot massagers are for more than just relaxation at home. They work slightly differently than circulation boosters. However, they do apply pressure to the bottom of your feet. This helps to stimulate your nerves just like the circulation machine.
Most at-home massagers require you to set your feet flat on a vibrating pad. Some of the best foot massagers provide therapeutic benefits and can change patterns. Again, this will help to ensure consistent blood flow, since your body wont get used to one constant vibrating motion.
How To Avoid Injury To Feet With Damaged Nerves
- Wear appropriate shoes to protect your feet.
- Avoid injury by wearing well-fitting, protective shoes do not wear open-toed shoes.
- Keep toenails trimmed. Cut toenails along the shape of the toe and file rough edges.
- Have corns or calluses treated by a podiatrist.
- Check the temperature of your bath water with your elbow before stepping into the bath.
- Be careful not to put your feet too close to radiant heaters.
- Every six months, check for signs and symptoms that may indicate you have a problem. These may include reduced circulation or sensations, abnormal foot structure or poor hygiene.
How Can One Tell If They Have Poor Circulation
If youve had high blood sugars over a long period of time, you lose the signals that are sent from nerve to nerve, thus your feeling in affected areas. Smaller blood vessels become weakened and depraved of needed oxygen and other nutrients. Thats why people with diabetes have a high rate of . They will experience slower wound healing than people without diabetes, with increased risk of the infection turning to gangrene.
Neuropathy and poor circulation in extremities lead people with diabetes to ignore cuts and wounds until they become infected and are harder to treat. Blood vessels become thickened and the lumen narrows.
Not enough blood flow due to injury of vessels, no blood flow, and decreased sensation combine to increase risks for people in the diabetic population.
If you have diabetic neuropathy, you may feel
- A pin and needles feeling or prickly feeling in your legs and feet
- Very cold or very hot temperature in feet
- Soreness or sensitivity
Why Is It Important To Increase Foot Circulation
What happens if circulation is bad?
Once you already have circulation issues and peripheral neuropathy in your feet, what can be done? You know you are at increased risk for problems with your feet, but there are steps you can take to help with it.
Regular foot examinations by a health care provider are a must for appropriate diabetes foot care. The examination can be done by a podiatrist, or foot doctor, or your primary care physician.
There is a difference between a regular foot examination and a comprehensive one. In the comprehensive examination, the provider will use a 10 mm fishing line type filament to test sensation on different areas of your feet. They will ask you to close your eyes, and tell them where they touched you with the monofilament. You will indicate by referring to your toes or other parts as you deem right.
If there are any calloused areas, wounds or non-healing ulcers, or if youve ever had a non-healing ulcer, the provider will make a note of it. You may be asked questions about your overall foot care practices, and the examiner may provide some foot care practice demonstration or instruction to you.
You should follow all foot care recommendations. Its good for a person diagnosed with diabetes, poor circulation and peripheral neuropathy to see a podiatrist once per year. If you have thickened toenails, it may require you to visit more often and have your nails clipped or special treatments.
Taking A Walk Outside
Taking an outdoor walk surrounded by fresh air is one of the most effective low-impact exercises that anyone can do. Outdoor walks have several health benefits to the mind and body generally. The perfect time for such walks is in the morning or at night after dinner. The most important thing is to make it a habit and do it regularly. For beginners, a 15-minute walk daily is a good place to start.
How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet
Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected.
Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to .
Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an of your toe, foot, or part of your leg.A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene.
Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcots foot. Charcots foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a rocker bottom.
Get Your Blood Flowing: Improving Circulation With Diabetes
Your first thought about managing your diabetes might be controlling your blood sugar. But, dont forget about improving circulation. Your blood needs to pump smoothly so your feet and legs stay as healthy as possible.
If youre feeling numbness, tingling, or cramping in your feet, peripheral arterial disease could be to blame. This condition, that narrows and hardens arteries due to fatty plaque build-up, affects between 8-12 million Americans, and approximately of individuals with diabetes over age 50 live with it.
Poor blood flow plays a large role in the 73,000 amputations that occur among people with diabetes annually, so improving circulation could not only improve how your legs and feet feel, but it could also save you from losing an extremity.