Vascular Complications of Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Diabetes can increase your risk of many other health issues, including vascular problems. In most cases, vascular issues in people with diabetes show up as problems in the legs, feet, and toes.

At Bloomfield Vein & Vascular PLLC in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Dr. Diego Hernandez can diagnose vascular issues related to your diabetes and present you with a range of options designed to relieve your concerns and safeguard your health.   

Peripheral artery disease

Most people with diabetes suffer from high glucose levels, which can damage the inner walls of your arteries by coating them with a buildup of plaque. Blockages in your arteries between your knee and ankle can cause lack of proper blood flow to your lower legs, feet, and toes. This is called peripheral artery disease, or PAD.

Skin and muscular changes

People who have diabetes may also notice that their skin is drier and more prone to crack or split. Muscles can contract in the feet, which can cause you to walk unevenly. You'll have new pressure points on your feet and toes and even around your ankles or the top of your foot where your shoes will fit and rub differently.

Nerve damage and slowed healing

The combination of skin and muscular changes can mean you end up with wounds on your toes, feet, and ankles. Lack of proper blood flow because of PAD can significantly slow healing. People with diabetes are at high risk of leg, foot, and toe ulcers. Untended or treatment-resistant wounds can develop infection or even gangrene. Diabetes complicated by PAD and wounds that refuse to heal is the leading cause of toe, foot, and leg amputation in the United States.

Diabetic neuropathy

Since diabetes also affects your nerves, you may discover you have peripheral neuropathy. This can mean you don't even feel a blister or wound forming on your toe or foot. Delayed medical attention due to peripheral neuropathy can cause wounds to fester. Recognizing the signs of vascular disease and nerve damage as well as getting the correct treatment could save your toe or foot from requiring amputation. 

Treatment for vascular complications of diabetes

Dr. Hernandez provides a range of minimally invasive treatment options, including:


Angioplasty requires a small catheter to be inserted into the blocked artery. This allows a small balloon to be inflated to open the blockage.


Stenting is used if the balloon won't be strong enough. Instead, a stent (small metal cylinder) supports the wall of the blood vessel.


Atherectomy shaves down the plaque inside a vein using an extremely tiny diamond burr. It's carefully inserted and spun at high speed to clean out the interior of the artery.

We'll examine you and perform a specialized ultrasound test to identify any blocked arteries that could be interrupting blood flow to your legs, feet, and toes.  

Do you have diabetes and are concerned about your vascular health? Contact our office at  248-218-0278, or request an appointment online today.

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