How is vascular disease related to type 2 diabetes?

Diabetes causes vascular disease if there is too much glucose in the blood. Over time, the excess glucose damages blood vessels throughout the body and vascular disease may result. In addition, many of the risk factors for vascular disease — lack of exercise, high blood pressure, obesity, high triglyceride levels, and low HDL cholesterol levels — are present in people with type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetes is linked to a number of vascular diseases or conditions, such as coronary heart disease, retinopathy (abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina of the eye), nephropathy (a disease that damages the kidney), neuropathy (a condition that causes pain and eventual loss of sensation in the feet and toes), atherosclerosis (a buildup of plaque in the arteries), stroke, and peripheral vascular disease (reduced blood flow through the arteries).

What are the symptoms?

According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, if you have diabetes-related vascular problems, you may have the following symptoms:
  • Blurry vision
  • Floating spots in your vision (floaters)
  • Swelling of your face or limbs or unexpected weight gain
  • Foamy urine
  • Foot sores
  • Loss of feeling or a burning feeling in your hands or feet
  • Pain in your legs when walking
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain
Heart disease is the number one reason for death in the United States. Stroke is the third leading cause of death.

An Integrative Approach

This is why it is so vital to maintain good blood glucose control and manage your diabetes through an integrative approach that includes appropriate medication, with an emphasis on lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, regular exercise, supplementation, and a whole foods diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein and whole grains.

Continue Learning about Vascular Disease

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.