Does Diabetes Increase Your Risk for Varicose Veins?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
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While diabetes isn’t a direct cause of varicose veins, it can greatly exacerbate the symptoms of existing conditions.

Since diabetes also affects circulatory health, it’s only natural to assume that it has some connection with varicose veins. Indeed, while diabetes isn’t a direct cause of varicose veins, it has been established that it can exacerbate the severity of a patient’s existing venous insufficiencies — and vice versa.

Higher Stakes

While any case of varicose veins should be addressed proactively and quickly, patients who also have diabetes should act with an increased sense of urgency. Since diabetes gradually weakens the veins and leaves them more susceptible to infection, and varicose veins are chronically inflamed, varicose veins can actually worsen the symptoms of diabetes and vice versa. In short, each condition promotes the other’s progression, making the two a particularly dangerous combination.

Prevention Tips

Patients with diabetes and a predisposition to varicose veins should take extra care to reduce their risk as greatly as possible. Eating foods high in fiber and avoiding foods rich with sodium, for example, will minimize swelling in the veins. Similarly, regular exercise, consistently elevating the legs when resting, and refraining from sitting or standing for extended periods of time will all encourage circulation. Wearing loose-fitting pants and undergarments can also make a difference.

Other Health Issues

Since diabetes weakens the veins and can cause swelling, it can also lead to or facilitate other circulatory problems. The most common issues, of course, are related to the feet, such as neuropathy, pain, weakness, poor circulation, or changes to foot shape. Additionally, diabetics can be more vulnerable to ulcers, edema, nerve and kidney damage, and other problems related to high blood sugar and/or poor circulation. If you’re suffering from these symptoms, your condition isn’t limited to varicose or spider veins.

Nevertheless, patients with diabetes shouldn’t ignore any venous irregularities. Be sure to inspect your legs and feet regularly, and be aware of any changes in your body that may need medical attention. If you’re suffering from venous difficulties, you can contact a vein specialist and discuss a minimally invasive treatment to eliminate your varicose veins, improving your overall health in the process.


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