Diabetic Neuropathy and Poor Circulation Problem

Diabetic Neuropathy

Poor circulation can be caused by a number of things. In otherwise healthy people, it can merely be a result of leading a sedentary lifestyle as in one that lacks healthy amounts of physical activity or exercise. It can also occur from occupations that require long periods of sitting. However, there are serious medical conditions that can result in poor circulation causes as well. Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most feared one. And, symptom identification is often the key to determining the cause of the signs the body presents when circulatory distress is occurring.

In healthy people encountering circulatory problems merely as a result of lifestyle factors like smoking or occupation, and symptoms are generally mild. They can include numbness in feet or hands and occasionally pain or discomfort as well. Since the lower extremities are the most common place to encounter symptoms, thanks to the already challenging job faced by the body to defy gravity to pump blood upward from this area, foot circulation and that in the legs is the most frequently impacted. And, this is also the case in serious conditions that cause circulatory problems as well such as diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetics are susceptible to developing peripheral neuropathy which Mayo Clinic explains is nerve damage that can lead to a wide range of problems. Since the nerves that help to regulate blood pressure and heart rate can be affected, the condition can have a severe impact on circulation. Peripheral neuropathy also affects people who do not have diabetes, but it is common in people who have the disorder.

The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy differ from those who are merely suffering from circulatory challenges. However, because the symptoms can range from mild to moderate to severe, early symptoms can mimic those that are experienced by people who are experiencing circulation problems from other reasons. While the pain and discomfort and numbness and tingling found in people with poor circulation are found in sufferers of diabetic neuropathy, other symptoms are often present that can indicate that a more serious problem is present. Since there are four types of the condition, symptoms vary from person to person depending on what type is present and how pronounced symptoms are.

Diabetic amyotrophy affects nerves in the buttocks and thighs and it symptoms include weakness and pain in the area as well as abdominal swelling. Focal neuropathy affects a specific nerve that may be in the face, torso or leg. Symptoms of this condition can be mistaken for poor circulation in feet because pain in the foot or shin is common amongst symptoms. Autonomic neuropathy affects many of the organ systems within the body including the heart. Symptoms of this form of the condition include erectile dysfunction and difficulty regulating the temperature within the body. But, peripheral neuropathy is the most common type of diabetic neuropathy and it is also the one most likely to be attributed simply to poor circulation, especially if symptoms are mild.

When pain is not present in either case, the feeling of colds hands and feet can be experienced when circulation is depressed, and it is common in both conditions. However, unlike sufferers of poor circulation or common conditions like Raynaud’s disease, sufferers of diabetic neuropathy can experience a different temperature related phenomenon. Instead of feeling cold hands and feet, they may not be able to sense temperature changes as all. While similar, these symptoms are different.

Distinguishing between circulation problems caused from common problems resulting from lifestyle choices, those caused by disease like peripheral artery disease and those encountered as a result of diabetes is best done by a health care provider. And, sufferers of symptoms should seek medical care to determine the underlying cause of the condition if one exists. While there are times that circulation is depressed without an underlying sinister cause, progression of health conditions that cause circulatory impairment can lead to serious consequences including limb amputation, heart attack, stroke and even death. Diabetics should be particularly mindful of symptoms as well as changes experienced in the lower extremities and not dismiss them as merely a consequence of lifestyle. Diabetic neuropathy can be very serious and requires the care of a physician to properly manage and treat. In non diabetic people, circulation problems should still be monitored carefully and a health care provider be consulted to rule out more ominous causes of the condition. And, when the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy present, medical care is needed.