How can I improve the blood flow to my feet if I have diabetes?

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Diabetes can significantly affect the human vascular system and therefore blood flow, including but is not limited to your peripheral vasculature (hands and feet). Preventing or improving decreased blood flow to your peripheral extremities can significantly improve your quality of life, and there are many steps you can take to do this.

First and foremost, control your diabetes with a healthy diet, exercise and possibly medications. This should be done along with the support of a doctor. It is also very important to quit smoking if you haven't already, as this will only worsen any vascular disease you have. Studies have shown that good control of your blood pressure and cholesterol will help reduce progression of vascular disease. In certain patient populations it is also beneficial to initiate medications such as aspirin, but all of these topics should be discussed with your doctor for both personalized advice and support.
Poor circulation (blood flow) can make your foot less able to fight infection and to heal. Diabetes causes blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden. You can control some of the things that cause poor blood flow. Don't smoke; smoking makes arteries harden faster. Also, follow your health care provider's advice for keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.

Exercise is good for poor circulation. It stimulates blood flow in the legs and feet. Walk in sturdy, good-fitting, comfortable shoes, but don't walk when you have open sores.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.