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Diabetes and Circulation: How Dark Chocolate Can Help

If you’re living with diabetes and circulation concerns, here’s some tasty news. A Sapienza University study discovered that the polyphenols in dark chocolate can increase blood flow. In turn, this increased blood flow can help patients who suffer from peripheral artery disease (PAD), diabetes and other conditions that affect circulation.

Dark Chocolate and Circulation

When it comes to diabetes and circulation, here are the relevant study details. Half of the participants ate 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate and half ate 1.5 ounces of milk chocolate. Then, researchers watched all the patients walk on treadmills for a set period of time. And here’s what they found: participants who ate dark chocolate were able to walk 11% farther. They also had improved circulation in their extremities.

Why Boost Circulation?

Poor circulation in the feet is often very uncomfortable. If you are struggling with poor circulation, contact our team of Spring and Tomball TX podiatrists at Louetta Foot and Ankle Specialists. We’ll determine what’s causing your circulation problems and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.

Diabetes and Circulation: Trouble for the Feet

What causes poor blood circulation in your feet and legs? One major cause is peripheral artery disease (PAD), which develops when plaque builds up in the arteries.

But why does plaque start building up in the first place? Atherosclerosis is the result of excess calcium and cholesterol in your bloodstream. When that happens, the narrowed arteries restrict blood flow through the arteries. Poor blood circulation in the feet and legs are sometimes caused by inflammation in the blood vessels, known as vasculitis.


Lack of oxygen and oxygen from poor blood circulation restricts muscle growth and development.

It can also cause:

-muscle pain    -numbness in legs

-cramps            -skin discoloration

-weakness        -slower nail & hair growth

-stiffness         -erectile dysfunction

If you have diabetes or smoke, you’re at the greatest risk for poor circulation, as are people who are over 50.

Diabetes and Circulation Problems: Taking Precautions

If you have poor circulation in the feet and legs it may be caused by PAD, and is important to make changes to your lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. Exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will dramatically improve conditions. Also, when you have compromised circulation, avoid heating your feet with water bottles or heating pads. Since your sensation may also be compromised, you could burn your feet, creating a wound, without even knowing you’d done so.

Worried about your circulatory health? Or do you have other questions about your diabetic foot care? If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Spring and Tomball, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle injuries.

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