Diabetes is the most common endocrine disease in the western world. In the UK alone, there are 400,000 Type 1 diabetics, including 29,000 children. The incidence rate of the type 1 diabetes is increasing at around 4% per year. Concerningly, the UK has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world and we don’t yet know the reasons why. [1]

In this article we’re going to look at the causes of impaired circulation to the extremities and give advice about reversing the issue.

A lot of people assume diabetes is merely an issue with metabolising carbohydrates. That’s true, but there are also a number of other symptoms of the condition. One of the most concerning is impaired blood flow, especially to the extremities via microvascular damage. This particular condition can have dramatic knock-on effect including impaired wound healing, ulceration, damage to the organs such as eyes and kidneys, nerve damage and cold hands and feet.

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In this article we’re going to look at the causes of impaired circulation to the extremities and give advice about reversing the issue. We’ll also look at the science behind why KYMIRA can help improve peripheral circulation.

How type 1 diabetes causes blood flow issues

The macro and microvascular (large and small blood vessels) become damaged through a process called atherosclerosis [2]. This is a problem with multi-faceted causes such as chronic inflammation and injury to the artery wall, allowing a build-up of arterial plaque. Ultimately, the condition leads to a narrowing of the artery walls which reduces the blood flow through them.

When blood flow is impaired for a long enough period of time, oxygen, repair agents, blood sugars and the like don’t reach where they need to be and tissues aren’t correctly nourished, resulting in tissue damage and cell death.

When the blood flow to the extremities is impaired for a long enough time, there are a number of problems that can occur. One of them is called Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and that can lead to problems including calf pain, chest tightness, palpitations and difficulty with walking and basic tasks [3]. Further problems associated with the condition include foot ulceration and reducing healing capacity [4].

Improving blood flow to the extremities in diabetes sufferers

The good news is that there is a strong correlation between exercise and blood flow. When studied, there is conclusive proof that movement helps to improve the lower body blood flow in diabetic patients [5]. This study has also been echoed by further work in the field, where foot care, exercise and blood flow were monitored.

In a 2019 study, 97 diabetic patients were studied to assess the blood flow response to foot care and exercise. There were two groups of 47 patients – a control group who had no treatments and a control group who underwent a foot exercise and care package. The results were remarkable, showing a 70-80% improvement in peripheral vascular status [6].

Stopping smoking has a powerful impact on peripheral blood flow as well. Research shows that stopping smoking reduces the risk of PAD significantly, although if someone has been a smoker for a long time there risk remains higher than a person who has never smoked. Despite this, the research still conclusively shows that stopping smoking improves your risk profile as far as PAD is concerned.

By taking steps to increase the amount of exercise you take, reduce smoking and maintain a healthy weight, you’re helping to improve peripheral circulation.

Improving blood flow using KYMIRA products

One of the mechanisms by which KYMIRA products improve blood flow is via the increase in production of a chemical called Nitric Oxide. This is a vasodilator, which widens the blood vessels and allows more blood to flow freely.

The reason this particular mechanism is important when it comes to diabetes sufferers is because nitric oxide production is inhibited in diabetics. By stimulating the production of NO, there’s reason to believe that the blood flow will be improved. This assumption appears to have support amongst the literature too…

In a study published in 2020, researchers assessed the impact of far infrared radiation on the foot blood flow of patients with diabetes. The results showed that (quoted from the study) ‘Significant positive effects of FIR therapy on temperature, pulse, and blood flow were observed. Sensitivity to pain, tactility, and pressure also improved significantly in the experimental group.’ [7]

These results show that there is a case for the use of infrared when it comes to stimulating blood flow to the extremities of diabetes patients.

KYMIRA products to help blood flow to the extremities

All of the KYMIRA medical products contain the infrared technology that stimulates blood flow. If you are suffering from compromised circulation to the hands or feet, any of our socks or gloves should provide you with warmth and comfort, helping to ease and pain and discomfort and return circulation back to normal levels.

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