Although there is a common held believe that there is a medical link between those that suffer from diabetes and varicose veins, this believe isn’t as simple as it may seem. There is no medical evidence that diabetes directly causes varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis. The link is that due to both conditions impacting similar areas of the body and both affecting vein health, they often appear in tandem.
Unfortunately suffering from diabetes means raised blood glucose levels can impact the sensations in your feet, which affects circulation around the entire body. It doesn’t just impact internal ailments, with cutes and sores struggling to heal as the blood is unable to reach these areas at a good ‘rate’. These later leads on to foot ulcers and as we all famously know, amputations. The appearance of thread veins, varicose veins and even DVT are more likely for those suffering from diabetes and the chances of these becoming more severe or and needing further medical intervention. Which ever of the ailments you suffer from originally, it is advised that you visit a doctor after the appearance of the other as there is now a risk of both deteriorating at a higher rate.
Veins in good health allow blood to travel up and down the legs through the opening and closing of their veins, it is when one of these veins ‘fails’ that blood begins to collect or ‘pool’ in an area that cannot release itself. After an extended period of time the veins will enlarge, producing the tell-tale purple vein that begins to bulge under the skin.
Common signs that come with varicose veins beyond the usual enlarged protruding veins include swelling around the ankles in the evenings, a redness or even purpleness to the lower leg, and a feeling of heavy and painful legs. Many suffers of varicose veins also complain of an affliction known as ‘night cramps’. It is a painful occurrence of sudden cramps while sleeping that jolt the sufferer awake with severe cramp described as “the muscle knotting itself”. Although doctors are unaware of the cause of night cramps and solutions for it remain uncertain, varicose vein treatment has often helped to reduce the frequency and ‘strength’ of night cramps in many patients.
While these are often seen in those who are overweight, pregnant, and over 50, this can affect those of any age with roughly 30% of the population suffering from varicose veins at some point in their life. Individuals can reduce their risk of these venous diseases through:
- Following the self-care guides provided by their doctors
- Laying with your legs above your heart for 20 minutes several times a day
- Spending 10 minutes every hour walking/moving around on your feet.
- Daily exercise that includes the use of leg muscles
- Taking care of the skin and muscles in the leg through gentle massage and moisturising
- Wearing compression socks throughout the day.
Hopefully as someone who may already be suffering from diabetes you will be following many of these key points and will continue to incorporate these into your daily routine. These can help stave off the other common diabetes ‘fuelled’ issues such as bunions, corns, calluses, ‘hammertoes’, ingrown toenails and fungal infections that are all cause due to the nerve and vascular damage caused by diabetes. It is always recommended to continue visiting your doctor regularly for check-ups on these potential problem areas. The advice given by them is so you can do all that you can to stop these occurring and the deterioration of your condition, however sometimes this isn’t sufficient, so an early spot by your doctor is the best course of action to ensure you don’t get ‘knocked off your feet’.