If your hands and feet stay cold or numb, it is a major sign that you could have poor circulation. Poor circulation is common in people with diabetes. To learn how to manage your poor circulation it is important to know how it was developed and how it can be improved, according to the Amputation Prevention Centers of America. 

How Diabetes Leads to Poor Circulation 

  1. High Glucose Levels. A high glucose level, which is an indication of diabetes, in your blood can cause damage to your small blood vessels, which can decrease circulation.
  2. Peripheral Arterial Disease. Often times, diabetes leads to Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). PAD happens when there is excess buildup of plaque in the blood vessels causing them to narrow and decrease circulation.

Targeting Poor Circulation 

  1. Diabetic neuropathy can cause your hands or feet to become numb or cold. It is a common sign for poor circulation. Alert your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, according to the Global Diabetes Community:
  2. Pain when walking in legs or buttocks
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Wounds that will not heal on feet
  5. Dry or cracked skin on feet
  6. Infections in your feet
  7. Chest pain during exertion 

Improving your Circulation 

There are ways to improve your circulation if you are diabetic. Below is a list of ways to do so from The Diabetes Council.

  • One of the best activities you can do is exercise. Exercise improves blood flow to all of your extremities. The American Heart Association recommends exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week. 
  •  As always when managing diabetes, try to keep your blood sugar under control.
  • It is also important to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. 
  • Compression socks can be worn to improve circulation is your lower extremities.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking worsens PAD, diabetes and circulation. It also increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.