Does Diabetes Cause Varicose Veins? What’s The Connection

A varicose veins is a common problem which affects both men as well as women. Around 40 million people are known to be affected by this condition in which there is an acute pain in the body and the movement of the affected area becomes a problem. It is important to treat this because if the condition is allowed to grow, it may lead to serious threats such as thrombosis, blood clotting problems, ulcers, sores in the ankle area amongst other complications. In most of the cases, diabetes is believed to be the main cause of varicose veins. However, the same may not always hold true because many people who are diabetic do not have varicose veins and vice versa. Let us further analyze the relationship between varicose veins and diabetes in the article that follows.

So, come and join in for the article “Does Diabetes Cause Varicose Veins?”

Table of Contents

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are the large, blue-colored veins that can be easily seen through the skin. The most common area of the body where you can witness these enlarged and twisted veins are on the legs.

Varicose Veins

The body has a mechanism that prevents the back flow of blood through the valves of the veins. In certain cases, when this mechanism of the body fails, varicose veins start appearing. As a result, the blood which does not have oxygen in sufficient quantity is accumulated in the veins and is not taken back to the lungs for restarting the circulation of blood. It is for this reason that you see the purple colored bulging veins which accumulate in the body.Varicose veins also cause venous insufficiency which again is a problem caused in the circulatory system of the body.

Apart from the elongated and bulging blue colored veins, you will know that you have varicose veins when you have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Cramping or too much of pain in the area
  • Itching at all times
  • Feeling of tiredness
  • You experience odd sensations around the area
  • You want to frequently cause movement in your leg so that you do not feel the sensation

Risk Factors That Contribute to Varicose Veins

In order to better understand the relationship between diabetes and varicose veins, we need to see the risk factors involved in causing these veins in the first place. The following are the risk factors which cause varicose veins:

  • Hereditary and the family history are the biggest contributors to the condition.
  • Age is another important contributor. People over the age of 50 are more susceptible to getting this problem
  • When there are changes in the hormones of a person such as in the case of pregnancy, menopause, puberty, etc. varicose veins are caused.
  • Another risk factor which makes a person suffer from the condition is the amount of time you spend just standing. If you are a nurse, or a teacher, or are in any other profession in which you have to stand for a long time, you are exposed to a greater risk of getting it.
  • If you have heart-related conditions particularly that of the heart valve, you can get the condition more easily than the others.
  • Finally, if you are someone who suffers from the problem of too much weight, you will experience varicose veins. This is because of the pressure that is exerted on the legs.

Relationship Between Diabetes and Varicose Veins

Most of the people ask the question “Does Diabetes Cause Varicose Veins?” Although there can be a close association between the causes that individually expose you to both diabetes and varicose veins, there is no evidence that will make you reach the conclusion that diabetes is responsible for varicose veins in its patients.

If you are a diabetic patient, it does not necessarily imply that you will have varicose veins. Varicose veins are seen in a lot of old people who might not have diabetes. However, the risk factors for both these conditions may be similar to a large extent. It is for this reason that many people are of the belief that diabetes causes varicose veins which may not be true. Varicose veins are caused when the valves of the veins responsible for carrying the blood into the lungs stop working efficiently. Now, diabetes is a condition which we know hinders the smooth flow of blood. The reason is the high or elevated levels of blood glucose in diabetes. If the blood sugar is high for too long a time, damage can be caused in the veins, edema, as well as various nerves of the body.

When you are a diabetic patient, you are more susceptible to getting wounds, sores, etc. The healing time in case of wounds is also too long. Particular damage is caused in the feet, legs, as well as hands. Another reason why varicose veins are often associated with diabetes is the fact that one of the risk factors for both the conditions is obesity in the patients. If you are overweight, you have greater risks of developing type 2 diabetes. Similarly, if you are obese, the smooth flow of blood is hindered and that is why you stand a greater risk of getting a varicose vein in your leg.

Thus, to sum up, diabetes does not result in varicose veins. However, the fact that the risk factors that are mainly responsible for both diabetes and varicose veins are more or less the same, cannot be denied.

How Can You Prevent Varicose Veins in Diabetes?

When you have diabetes, there are greater chances that the smooth flow of blood will be hindered and the high blood glucose shall cause damage to the veins and the blood vessels. Also, varicose veins, when combined with diabetes can cause difficult complications in the body. Hence, you need to take extra care to avoid getting varicose veins when you are a diabetic. Let us see how you can prevent yourself from getting varicose veins in diabetes:

  • You should reduce the amount of salt that you take in on a daily basis.
  • You should avoid wearing those types of clothes that are too tight around the waist or legs.
  • When you are taking rest, do not keep your legs on the floor
  • High fiber food products, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, etc. should be a part of your daily diet

Following the above-mentioned guidelines will help you deal with both diabetes and varicose veins effectively.

We hope that the above article has been helpful in improving your understanding of the relation that exists between diabetes and varicose veins. We hope that through this article, it is also clear that there is no direct evidence that proves that diabetes leads to varicose veins. Having said that, we cannot deny the fact that the risk factors for both types of conditions are similar and when diabetic, you need to be careful about getting varicose veins as certain complications that arise from diabetes can lead to the problem of varicose veins in the patients!!

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