Diabetes and Leg Pain
Patients that are suffering from diabetes usually experience various types of leg pain. Some of these types are caused by mild musculoskeletal pain or a mild case of neuropathy or nerve damage. Other types of leg pain would sometimes indicate a serious cardiovascular disease or the presence of blood clots which are often common occurrences for patients with diabetes.
Causes of Diabetes Leg Pain
Causes of leg pains and aches are mainly due to the complications that arise because of diabetes. These complications generally cause vascular problems that bring about the following conditions:
- Poor blood circulation in the peripheral parts of the body like the arms and legs.
- Circulatory problems can cause the blood to accumulate in the legs or feet which lead to the development of peripheral vascular disease that causes severe leg pain.
- Arteriosclerosis. This is a condition wherein plaque builds up inside the arteries and eventually hardens and limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the organs and the different parts of the body including the muscles of the legs.
- Diabetic Neuropathy. Diabetes affects the nerves which causes patients to feel pins and needles sensation in their legs which often leads to severe aches.
- Restless Leg Syndrome. This is a common symptom of patients with diabetes and brings about aches that will subside when the legs are moved.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis. This is a condition characterized by blood clots in a deep vein which is usually located in the legs. Diabetic patients often have this condition.
- Physical stature. Tall patients that have diabetes tend to suffer more leg aches than short patients and have higher risks in getting the legs infected and amputated. Studies have shown that the longer the feet and legs are, the bigger the chances it can deteriorate and cause nerve damage in the area. Short patients have shorter nerves in the legs which are less susceptible to damage and aches.
- Wounds and ulcers on legs. Diabetics often experienced slow wound healing. When accidents or trauma causes the legs to have wounds and ulcers, it can create leg aches.
- Smoking can aggravate arterial problems especially when patients have diabetes which leads to even more leg aches.
Treatment Diabetes Leg Pain
Treatment options are usually centered on managing diabetes. These options include the following:
- Maintaining a healthy diet that helps control blood sugar levels. This can be done by eating foods that are rich in fiber, low in saturated fats, and low in concentrated sugar. It is good to monitor calorie intake and stick to the required number of calories needed per day.
- Perform regular exercises.
- Eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Stop smoking.
- Always monitor blood glucose levels.
- Oral medications and insulin shots are also prescribed.