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For many people with peripheral artery disease (PAD), the condition has few warning signs.
However, the sobering reality is that it can lead to gangrene, limb amputation and even death. Indeed, patients may not realise they have PAD until they find that a simple wound is taking a long time to heal or it develops complications.
PAD tends to affect people living with type 2 diabetes because, when it is poorly controlled, the condition can damage nerve endings, weaken the immune system and speed up atherosclerosis, or the buildup of fatty deposits on the walls of blood vessels.
- PAD occurs most commonly in the legs as the blood vessels arethe longest and furthest from the heart- Symptoms include pain in the legs after walking; severe pain at night that disrupts sleep even with strong painkillers; wounds that develop at pressure points or from ill-fitting shoes; wounds that do not heal, become infected or turn gangrenous- In severe cases, loss of blood circulation can lead to gangrene and even amputation
In patients with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin but the body’s cells are unresponsive to the hormone. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make the hormone that helps the body convert glucose and sugar into energy. With both types ofdiabetes, blood sugar levels and fats build up as a result.