Feet complications in Diabetes.
Frank Russo - June 9 2006.
Diabetics seem to have the most bother with feet complications, starting with poor circulation and leading in some cases, to ulcers and possible eventual amputations. It is currently thought that this is due to long term high sugars, which presumably lead to blood vessel and nerve damage.
My observations tend to steer me to believe something quite different. It appears that diabetes is characterized by a marked insensitivity to the cold temperatures and this appears to be even further accentuated by front line diabetic medications.
I couldn't understand people's insistence on a 20 degrees Celsius ambient temperature, I was quite happy even with 12 degrees - that's till I went off one of my diabetic medications for 2 days... all of a sudden even 18 was a bit too cold!
Of course the blood vessels in the feet were all of a sudden very contracted so that blood was squeezed through and generated heat. This could well be the mechanism by which the blood vessels are damaged: it's alright for the blood cells to get damaged - the spleen detects these and digests them producing a new lot by recycling the nutrients resulting from their breakdown. Furthermore, it appears that the feet only feel really warm, when using a convective means of heating such as gas - good old "Mother Earth"!
Perhaps the diabetic medications "think" that they are stopping peripheral neuropathies of the feet, without realizing that what is going on is a last resort by the body to keep warm! Of course the feet are going to hurt! Yes! Long term exposure to the cold would result in damage to both the blood vessels and the nerves. This obviously happens in the feet first, because they have their circulation greatly augmented when one lays down. Therefore if the feet are cold to begin with, the blood vessels would be very contracted, and there would be a marked amount of friction as the force of the blood rushing through is greatly increased.
So what is the solution? Definitely not stopping the diabetic medications! Especially if you've got a definite problem. Rather the solution is that one should invest in keeping his house warm, especially in the severe cold winter months, regardless of whether one feels the cold or not - let a thermometer guide you rather than your warped insensitivity to the cold!
As for drug companies, perhaps they could design some medications that may make a diabetic shiver, tremble and shake as he gets cold... perhaps even a bit of gnashing at the teeth! Ah! That might be nice for people who like taking medications of all sorts... and there's plenty of those people around!