Varicose veins and diabetes are two serious conditions that can lead to several different complications for patients. When they occur together, the risk of significant problems increases. But what is the nature of the connection between these two disorders?

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your body cannot regulate blood sugar levels properly. Most people with this condition have either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes begins at a young age and develops because the body isn’t able to produce the insulin it needs to keep blood sugar levels normal. Type 2 diabetes develops later in life when the body’s ability to respond to insulin and/or produce insulin becomes compromised. Because both types of diabetes lead to higher than normal blood sugar levels, both types of diabetes cause similar symptoms and can lead to similar complications. 

About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are abnormal veins that usually develop in the legs. They are large and gnarled, and they may be blue, purple or red in color. In some cases, varicose veins protrude above the skin’s surface, but they may be found deep within the tissues as well. In addition to their unsightly appearance, varicose veins can cause cramping, pain, weakness and other uncomfortable symptoms. 

Does Diabetes Cause Varicose Veins?

Untreated diabetes can weaken the walls of your veins, which may make varicose veins more likely to develop. However, diabetes does not cause this condition directly. People who have diabetes are often able to avoid getting varicose veins as long as they protect their vein health and follow all of their doctor’s treatment recommendations. 

Although diabetes doesn’t directly cause varicose veins, it can make the condition worse after it develops. Both varicose veins and diabetes have a negative impact on circulation, which may raise your risk of developing life-threatening complications like deep vein thrombosis. In addition, if you develop an ulcer because of an untreated varicose vein, you are more likely to contract a serious infection if you are also diabetic. 

Preventing Complications

If you have diabetes, you need to be more proactive when it comes to diagnosing and treating varicose veins. If you notice any symptoms of abnormal veins in your legs, you need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. An experienced vein doctor will be able to evaluate your legs, diagnose any vein disease and help you treat the problem effectively. Contrary to popular belief, having diabetes should not prevent you from being treated for varicose veins. The sooner you seek the treatment you need, the lower your chances of complications will be.