Peripheral Vascular Disease and Diabetes

How Are Peripheral Vascular Disease and Diabetes Related?

Individuals who have diabetes also suffer from a number of peripheral diseases. One of them is the peripheral vascular disease (PVD). This medical condition causes the blood vessels (outside the heart and brain) to shrink and cause blood circulation disorder.

It usually affects individuals with type-2 diabetes with conditions like elevated cholesterol levels and coronary illness. PVD is also known as: arteriosclerosis obliterans, arterial insufficiency of the legs, claudication or intermittent claudication and is one of the most expensive chronic diseases.

Since development and narrowing of the supply routes happen in all the arteries in the body, individuals with PVD are at high risk of coronary failure and stroke. In the event that you presume you have PVD, it’s critical to speak to your physician. He can assist you in finding a way to treat and protect your heart and blood vessels.

According to the CDC, 12 to 20% of Americans over the age of 60 develop Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which is the most common form of PVD.

Both the terms PVD and PAD are often used interchangeably. Peripheral vascular disease in diabetic patients can occur in any blood vessel, but it is more common in the legs than the arms.

The Symptoms

While peripheral vascular disease is quite common in diabetic patients, numerous specialists and patients disregard inconspicuous indications of the condition.

The side effects of PVD are so simple and common that you may not presume that you actually have an issue. Patients would often dismiss the mild body pain as an indication of aging.

It is, therefore, essential to focus on your body and pay attention to potential indications of PAD. Early treatment is the key to ensuring the protection of your vascular framework.

If you notice, you would find that all these symptoms are either the causes or the effects of diabetes.

Potential Symptoms of PVD include:

  • Pain in claves when you’re strolling or exercising
  • Feeling of pins and needles, shivering or numbness in your lower legs or feet
  • Injuries or cuts on your legs or feet that don’t heal or recuperate gradually
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst & hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Blurry vision


The most widely recognized cause of PVD is atherosclerosis. It is a progressive procedure in which a greasy material develops inside the veins.

Less basic reasons for peripheral artery disease are blood clusters in the arteries, damage to the limbs, and unordinary structures of the muscles and tendons.

Risk Factors

Some of the major risk factors for PVD are: diabetes, smoking, heftiness or obesity, hypertension, growing age, high cholesterol, family ancestry of coronary illness, and excess of C-receptive protein or homocysteine.

You may also be at higher risk of PVD if you have high blood pressure; cases of previous heart attack or stroke; are physically inactive; are a smoker; issues of overweight or obese.

Although, both men and women are equally affected by PVD, black people are more associated with an increased risk of PVD, according to a CDC data.

But ultimately, these are also the risk factors and causes of diabetes or high-blood sugar.


Undiscovered or untreated PVD can be hazardous. It can lead to the loss of a leg, expanded danger of artery disease, and carotid atherosclerosis (a narrowing of the veins that supply blood to the cerebrum).

PVD can be analysed through different diagnostic procedures. If it is suspected, the specialist will at first check the patient’s legs.

  • Ankle-Brachial Index: The doctor can use the ankle-brachial index, which compares the blood pressure in arm to the blood pressure in ankle. Other diagnosis mechanisms might also include angiography, and blood tests.
  • Doppler and Ultrasound Imaging: This method visualizes the artery with sound waves and measures the presence of a blockage.
  • Computed Tomographic Angiography: This is useful for patients with pacemakers or stents.

Prevention and Treatment:

Diabetic Care & Management is the key to deal with PVD and related complications. The American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Foundation (ACCF/AHA) suggest the following necessary steps to help prevent and treat PAD.

Eat Healthy: By eating healthy food in the right quantities, you can keep your glucose level near ordinary (non-diabetes level). Eat a wide range of nourishments including vegetables, whole grains, natural products, non-fat dairy items, beans, lean meats, poultry, and fish.

Regular Exercise: Physical movement encourages you to control diabetes. Physical activities can help bring down your blood glucose (sugar) level, circulatory strain, and increased bad cholesterol level.

It will likewise diminish your risk for coronary illnesses and stroke, ease pressure, and reinforce your heart, muscles, and bones. Furthermore, physical activities and exercises will also improve your blood dissemination and keep your joints adaptable.

Lose the Extra Pounds: If you are overweight, losing some weight could help you control diabetes. Individuals with diabetes are often overweight and obese. At times, they are also diagnosed with hypertension and high cholesterol.

So, visit your nutritionist, physician, or physical trainer to prepare weight loss plan for you.

Quit Smoking: Both smoking and diabetes put you at an increased risk of vascular malady and together, they are a deadly combination.

Medications: The doctor might prescribe antihypertensive drugs to lower cholesterol levels. Cilostazol and pentoxifylline may be recommended for patients.

Heart also pumps blood and blood moves through pipes called arteries to all of our organs and limbs. The health of the pipes is necessary for the smooth flow of water and similarly the health of blood arteries and veins are important for our body’s healthy functioning.

Think you or a loved one has diabetes and other symptoms pointing towards the possibility of PVD or PAD? Book an appointment with an EPIC Primary Care physician today!

No Comments

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.