Contrary to popular belief, diabetes does not cause varicose veins – but the two conditions are closely linked. The risk factors for both are similar and patients who have diabetes should be vigilant about any varicose veins they may experience. Both diseases damage the circulatory system and the additional weaknesses caused by varicose veins could make the effects of diabetes worse.
Those with risk factors for both diabetes and varicose veins are those who are:
- Have a family history or genetic predisposition
Patients with diabetes have high levels of sugar in the blood, causing the veins to weaken or causing weight gain – both recipes for varicose veins. Additionally, diabetes can result in nerve and tissue damage in the legs, a common site for varicose veins.
Lifestyle changes and proper treatment can prevent or mitigate the effects of varicose veins for those without diabetes. Measures taken to prevent varicose veins can also help with circulation problems caused by diabetes. Patients should keep salt intake down and eat plenty of fiber, elevate the legs when resting and avoid constricting clothing. If you suffer from diabetes and do not have varicose veins, be sure to continue to manage your diabetes symptoms and be on the lookout for any changes to the veins.
However, if you have diabetes and begin to notice varicose veins, you should seek treatment. Varicose veins can be treated, helping patients stay healthy. Untreated varicose veins can get infected, and the infection can be critical and life-threatening. Diabetics have a higher risk due to their weaker immune system.
There are several ways to treat varicose veins and safely and effectively close down damaged veins such as varicose veins and other veins leading to leg ulcers. These procedures include Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), VenaSeal™, and Endovenous Radiofrequency (EVRF).
Colorado Skin & Vein offers outpatient procedures for varicose veins. Avoiding surgery is particularly important for diabetics, who tend to have problems healing. Be sure to let the doctor know if you have diabetes.