Diabetes has been a growing epidemic over the past 30 years. Notably, it has been on the rise with the increase of corn syrup and high sugar substrates in our diets. However, hereditary and cultural influences also contribute factors to diabetes. It is increasingly common to see signs of neuropathy and PAD in pre-diabetic patients.
Diabetes Disease Progression
Puts fatty deposits and other substances in the blood.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Atherosclerosis clogged artery.
Neuropathy and Ischemia
Oxygen starved nerves and tissue.
Dead Tissue and Amputation
If left untreated, the lack of blood to your feet and toes can lead to infection, foot ulcers and gangrene.
Neuropathy may occur in over 60% of patients with diabetes. The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may also include leg cramping or a sensation of aching pain, similar to the PAD. Therefore, from a practical standpoint, neuropathy and PAD frequently coexist as related conditions. That makes it hard to tell vascular pain and neuropathic pain apart.
Diabetes can lead to neuropathy… and the path it takes is through PAD
Neuropathy may occur in over 60% of patients with diabetes. The symptoms of diabetic neuropathy may also include leg cramping or a sensation of aching pain, similar to PAD. So from a practical standpoint, neuropathy and peripheral artery disease frequently coexist as related conditions, which makes it difficult to differentiate vascular pain from neuropathic pain.
The leading risk factors of PAD are age and diabetes. Some of the common warning signs are pain and cramping in your legs and feet. PAD restricts blood flow to your lower legs and feet, preventing oxygen-rich blood cells from reaching your lower extremities.
Ultimately, this can lead to a breakdown of the skin and diabetic skin ulcers. Sores that will not heal can lead to infections. What you need to know about the relationship between diabetes, neuropathy, and PAD is that diabetes can lead to neuropathy, and the path it takes is through PAD.
The leg pains and warning signs are similar enough that if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms you should seek a comprehensive evaluation. This is your time to take preventative action. Contact one of the Modern Vascular clinics for a PAD evaluation if you are experiencing warning signs of neuropathy and peripheral artery disease.