Diabetes and Vascular Health

Diabetes, as it is known among the people, is a chronic disease that affects many organs in the body. This disease, which is characterized by high blood glucose levels, can cause problems in many organs such as the cardiovascular system, eyes, kidneys, and skin. However, nerves, hands and feet are among the organs where the effects of diabetes are seen the most.

Especially in the long term, uncontrolled blood glucose levels cause an increase in the destruction of the body. Especially the effects on the veins create the most important and difficult problems of diabetes. Effects on blood vessels can be examined under two main headings as effects on heart vessels and other large vessels and effects on small arteries.

Diabetes; It accelerates the development of arteriosclerosis, also called “atherosclerosis”, in coronary vessels, kidney vessels, intestinal vessels, carotid vessels and large vessels in the upper part of the legs, and as a result, increases the frequency of problems in the related system. Problems in the coronary arteries can cause heart attacks and problems in the carotid arteries can cause strokes. However, problems such as gastrointestinal system problems in the obstruction of the intestinal vessels, kidney failure in the obstruction of the renal vessels and pain in the legs may occur in the obstruction of the large vessels in the legs. For this reason, diabetic patients should be alert in terms of coronary artery disease in complaints such as chest pain and shortness of breath, and they should definitely consult a physician when they experience these complaints. Similarly, findings suggesting carotid artery disease such as dizziness, blackout, fainting, speech disorder and forgetfulness are also important. Although less important than the problems in these two systems, problems such as gas, indigestion and bloating that may occur in the gastrointestinal tract; Complaints such as decrease in urine suggesting kidney failure and decrease in walking distance indicating leg vein occlusion, pain, coldness and pallor caused by walking in the legs also require an urgent referral to a physician. The fact that diabetic patients are also at risk for obesity and high blood pressure are other risk factors for vascular diseases. Therefore, patients with diabetes should keep their blood lipid levels and blood pressure under control in addition to their blood glucose levels.

Problems in small veins are usually important in terms of veins in the hands and feet. Complaints, also called glove-and-sock-style complaints, are specific to diabetes. The destruction of the arteries in the hands and feet (in the areas where gloves and socks are worn) causes narrowing of the veins in the chronic process. It can cause results such as impaired circulation in the hands and feet, coldness, chills, pain and wounds with very minor traumas. Nerve problems that may occur with vascular problems in these areas will also reduce the feeling in the hands and feet, causing the complaints related to the disease to be less pronounced. For example, the nerve damage in the feet of a person with diabetes prevents him from feeling the pain of a shoe that hits his foot; for this reason, the wound is opened on the foot and the healing of the foot wound becomes more difficult due to the existing vascular occlusion. Similarly, it is possible for diabetics to have a heart attack without feeling pain due to nerve damage.

It is very important for diabetic patients to be careful first of all in terms of cardiovascular health and then other systems and to keep their blood sugar levels under control.

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