Why Do Diabetics Have Poor Circulation?

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Diabetics have poor circulation because the high blood glucose levels which they experience over a period of years lead to blood vessel damage, according to Diabetes.co.uk. When the blood vessels are damaged, they are unable to supply enough blood to nearby cells due to plaque formation.

Dr. Julie K. Silver of the Harvard Medical School explains that diabetes leads to artery damage, which causes poor circulation. Diabetes is one of several conditions that put the heart and arteries at risk, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity. Poor circulation due to diabetes may lead to open skin sores, infections, damage to the arteries in the leg, and ultimately amputation.

Diabetes damages the blood vessels that play a key role in supplying blood to vital body organs, according to Native American Cancer Research. This leads to poor circulation, which prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching cells. Without proper levels of oxygen and nutrients, wounds do not heal, leading to amputation.

Diabetes.co.uk states that diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are risk factors that increase a person's chance of developing peripheral arterial disease and poor circulation. Symptoms of poor circulation include cold or numb feet or hands, slow healing of wounds and hair loss on feet or legs.