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What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a medical condition involving irregular blood sugar levels and insulin production. There are two kinds: Type 1, which develops in childhood and young adulthood; and Type 2, which develops in adulthood. Risk factors include family history of diabetes, obesity, Hispanic or African American ethnicity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

A common symptom associated with diabetes is having high blood sugar levels, which can breakdown the integrity of blood vessels and nerves in the body. This begins to effect blood circulation, most commonly in the eyes, kidneys and skin.

How Does Poor Circulation Affect Diabetics?

Over time, poor circulation causes decreased oxygenated blood to reach the skin. Diabetics are at risk for developing wounds and open ulcers in the lower legs and feet. Along with consistent skin care, proper footwear is a must.

Patients with diabetes should be aware of the risk of developing neuropathy--damaged nerves in the feet. This can be very painful, causing burning or stinging in the feet and usually gets worse at night. The feet may become numb. This poses a danger for diabetics who may step on sharp objects or puncture the bottom of the foot and not realize it. Diabetics should examine their feet every night for signs of trauma or redness and call a primary care provider if these signs are present.

How Can Compression Stockings Help?

Compression stockings address circulation problems by supporting the leg veins. This support increases oxygen and circulation to ulcers. Maintaining good circulation is crucial to preventing and managing these types of open wounds.

If you are diabetic or know someone who is, ask your primary care provider about the benefits of wearing graduated compression stockings or socks for preventative and diabetic care.

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