The Society of Vascular Surgery has helped individuals to know if they are at risk of diabetes. It has done so by highlighting the possible signs and symptoms associated with diabetes. Moreover, society has also discussed how blood vessels get damaged by diabetes, either by type 1 or type 2.
The Link Between Vascular Problems and Diabetes
According to a vascular surgeon, Dr. William Jordan, nearly 30 to 40% of the individuals coming to him are suffering from diabetes, regardless of the fact they know about its existence or not.
If diabetes isn’t properly managed, it may lead to a continuous increase in blood sugar or glucose levels. Such a high level of blood sugar may be detrimental to arteries and may be responsible for the steady stream of diabetes patients to Dr. Jordan.
A rough estimate shows that almost 25% of the Americans suffering from diabetes are unaware of the disease, hence increasing the chances of vascular diseases due to the absence of treatment.
Diabetes is known to be a silent disease and most of the time it isn’t detected until the emergence of complications. If not managed on time, it can further cause PAD (peripheral artery disease), blindness, kidney failure, and some other serious problems that can even lead to a person’s death.
Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, results in high levels of glucose in the blood. This high BGL will harm the inner lining of arteries. Both big and small arteries respond to this situation by depositing plaques. These plaques make it difficult for oxygen-rich blood to reach eyes, legs, feet, and eyes.
According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, this condition, known as hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis becomes more common in older individuals. Moreover, along with preventing oxygen from reaching legs and feet, it can also result in strokes and heart attacks.
When legs and feet are affected, the condition is known as PAD. That, if untreated, may result in gangrene or/and amputation.
Hemoglobin A1C Test to Check Blood Glucose Levels
Patients in the emergency room require immediate treatment for vascular issues like the stoppage of blood flow to legs or feet. In such situations, involving life and death, there isn’t much time to check blood sugar levels.
According to Dr. Jordan, the HbA1C test in non-emergency patients is a more effective and accurate method, as it indicates the blood glucose levels of the last three months. But this test method isn’t standard to check BGLs in vascular patients.
Signs Indicating Risk of Diabetes
Those who think that they suffer from diabetes or a vascular problem should timely visit their primary care physician and talk to them about the need for an HbA1c test or vascular surgeon’s examination.
The Society of Vascular Surgery also highlights some other points to consider while estimating the risk of diabetes.
- Fatigue, irritability, excessive weight gain or loss, urination, and thirst are some common signs associated with diabetes
- Slow to heal wounds, particularly on the ankles and feet act as warning signs for diabetes
- In the United States, diabetes is more common in African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans compared to whites
- Family history of diabetes also increases the risk of this disease, as this disease is known to run in families
- Smokers suffering from diabetes have greater chances of vascular problems compared to non-smokers having diabetes. This may be attributed to the fact that nicotine present in cigarettes smoke can damage blood vessels
For further information, look at society’s flier on diabetes.