Something many people don’t know is that if you’re recovering from surgery, serious diabetic arterial disease can actually complicate the healing process.
At the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center, we see this issue a lot. That’s why we’ve got a lot of experience helping patients overcome these issues.
How Diabetes Impacts Surgery Recovery
So why precisely do diabetes and surgery recovery not always mesh? The answer comes down to the science of how diabetes impacts arterial health.
So, how does diabetes damage blood vessels to the point it complicates your healing process?
Diabetes causes vascular disease if there is too much glucose in the blood. This excess glucose damages the blood vessels. This damage to the inner linings of the artery walls of your limbs makes them narrower, hindering blood flow. It also exacerbates existing atherosclerosis.
But more specifically, this condition prevents sufficient blood flow and the movement of nutrients your body needs to recover. Surgery can take a lot out of patients, and insufficient blood flow or poor general health makes healing from that process far more difficult. This makes both mental recovery and physical recovery less likely.
What You Can Do To Minimize Risk
The best strategy for preventing diabetes and surgery from becoming a problem is proper diabetes management. This means taking advantage of a healthy diet, regular exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and adherence to any necessary, prescribed medication regimen.
You should talk to your primary care provider if you’re interested in learning more, but there are certain things you can do in the short term to improve your likelihood of safe and simple recovery.
Here are a few specific steps you can take to improve your artery health, overall circulation, and lessen your risk of diabetes complications:
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your vascular system, so our first piece of advice is to stop smoking immediately. Smoking contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, meaning it’s a major risk factor for the development of arterial disease and a decrease in quality of life.
Exercising is a great way to improve vascular health, as it keeps blood flowing and prevents further plaque buildup. Walking and cardiovascular exercise are incredibly beneficial, but anything that elevates your heart rate is good. You should make a point of exercising once a day or as much as is feasible.
Diet is a major contributing factor to arterial disease. Foods high in cholesterol are a major cause of plaque buildup and increased blood pressure. One way to avoid this outcome is to eat more fruits and vegetables and less red meat and dairy. You should also make sure to eat smaller portions in individual sittings to reduce stress on your circulatory system.
This item is the most difficult. Being overweight can significantly strain your circulatory system, as it requires more work to move blood around your body. Losing weight is vital to improving circulatory function and overall vascular health.
Monitor Your Health
Make sure to check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly to keep tabs on your arterial health! Routine health screenings and physicals are critical to maintaining your overall physical health and can be especially useful for identifying and mitigating arterial disease.
Note: It’s important to remember that none of these behaviors should replace consulting a healthcare provider or vascular specialist if you are worried about your vascular health.
Diabetic Arterial Disease Experts
If you’re experiencing complications from diabetes and surgery, come to the Ozark Regional Vein & Artery Center. Our experience and growing suite of care options enable us to guide you toward lasting wellness solutions for a happier, healthier life.
We are the premier practice in Northwest Arkansas for all the highest-quality vein treatments available. Patients come to Dr. Haney, Dr. Stout, and the expert staff from all over Northernwestern Arkansas, from Fayetteville to Bentonville, to ensure they receive the best concierge-level care and leg vein procedures.
Lead the charge on your vascular care with our Virtual Vein Screening Tool or by scheduling a consultation.