Diabetes and Its Impact on Your Veins

If you have diabetes, you know that the problem is a disruption in the way your body processes insulin. You know you need to control your blood sugar by eating well and exercising regularly. But you may not realize the direct impact diabetes has on your vascular system.

Many of our diabetic patients at Louisiana Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute in Alexandria are surprised to learn that their veins are in danger. So, I’m taking some time here to explain the connection and educate my patients and the general public about potentially serious vascular complications.

The link between diabetes and your vein health

Diabetes interferes with your body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone that converts blood glucose (blood sugar) into energy. When this process falters or fails, it leads to a long list of complications, including vein problems.

If you don’t control your blood sugar and it remains at a high level, over time, it damages your blood vessels. Here’s what diabetes can do to your veins:

  • Weaken or damage your veins
  • Make veins susceptible to infection
  • Cause venous inflammation
  • Lead to spider veins and varicose veins
  • Cause painful veins

If you develop varicose veins, it taxes your circulatory and immune systems, which leaves you vulnerable to further health complications.

The link between diabetes and vascular disease

Eating a healthy diet low in sugar and carbohydrates and high in lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables is a great start to controlling your diabetes. Establishing a good exercise routine is also imperative. But even when you do a good job of managing your blood sugar levels, having diabetes means you’re always at higher risk for vascular disease.

That’s because diabetes affects cholesterol, blood pressure, mobility, and weight, and these things, in turn, affect your heart and circulatory system. If any of these health factors become compromised or reach an unhealthy status, you may end up with:

Uncontrolled diabetes can also damage your nerves (a condition called neuropathy) or cause diabetic nephropathy, damage to the filtering features in your kidneys.

Preventing and treating diabetes-related vein problems

It’s possible to prevent vein problems despite your diabetes, but it takes constant attention and dedication. Everything you eat and when you eat it matters. We can help you develop an appropriate meal plan and schedule to support your vein health.

Incorporating physical activity helps control your blood sugar, as well as your blood pressure, cholesterol count, and your weight, so it’s another key factor in preventing venous issues.

If you take medication to control your blood sugar, make sure you take it as prescribed and on time, and check your blood sugar regularly.

If you’ve already begun to suffer from diabetes-related vein problems, such as varicose veins, we can help. I have extensive experience using the latest technology to repair or remove damaged tissues and restore your vein health.

Using a minimally invasive endovascular technique, I insert a slender catheter into your vein and deliver thermal energy that destroys and seals off the damaged vessel. Soon, your body redirects blood flow to healthy nearby veins and sloughs off the dead tissue from the old damaged vein.

If you have diabetes, I encourage you to add me to your care team to ensure your veins and overall vascular health remain strong as you work to control your symptoms and your disease. I would love to meet with you and discuss your health and your treatment options. To schedule a consultation, simply call our friendly staff or request an appointment using our online tool today.