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Diabetic Vein Problems

Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

Enlarged veins that typically appear as cords bulging through the skin. They are commonly seen on the backs of the calves or the insides of the thighs and may be dark purple or blue in color. Varicose veins are commonly accompanied by aching pain, heaviness, swelling, numbness, itching, or rash in the legs along with darkening of the skin. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body, and veins carry oxygen-poor blood back to the heart. The veins of the legs must work against gravity to carry blood back to the heart; they are aided by the squeezing of leg muscles, which help pump the blood upward. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves become weak, a condition known as venous insufficiency, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. Varicose veins are very common, affecting roughly half of people age 50 and older. Risk factors include older age; a family history of vein problems; hormonal changes that occur with puberty, pregnancy, or menopause; obesity; and prolonged standing. Varicose veins can gradually grow larger, causing health problems that require medical treatment. In cases of severe venous insufficiency, pooling of blood in the veins can significantly slow the return of blood to the heart, leading to blood clots and severe infection. Blood clots are dangerous because they can travel to the lungs and cut off circulation – a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. Sores or skin ulcers can also form on the skin surrounding varicose veins. Be sure to see your doctor if you have a sore or rash on a leg with a varicose vein, or if you have a varicose vein that becomes swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch. A number of treatments are available for varicose Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Vascular Disease

Diabetes And Vascular Disease

Diabetics have a high incidence of stroke. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life. There are several types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (previously called “juvenile diabetes”) is an autoimmune disorder, in which the insulin producing beta cells are destroyed by the body’s immune system. As a result, the body cannot produce insulin, the hormone that allows glucose to enter and fuel the cells. To survive, individuals with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day. It is estimated that 5-10% of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes (previously called “adult onset diabetes”) is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for 90-95% of all diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin and/or the body’s cells become resistant to insulin. Gestational diabetes occurs in some women who have high blood glucose levels during pregnancy but have never had diabetes. It affects about 4% of all pregnant women, with about 135,000 cases in the United States each year. Women who have gestational diabetes have a 20-50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the next five to ten years. Prediabetes is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. There are 41 million Americans who have prediabetes, in addition to the 20.8 million with diabetes. If you do not manage your diabetes or maintain healthy habits, you could develop serious health conditions, including blindness, severe kidney disease, stroke, heart attack, sores in your feet, or gangrene (dead tissue) th Continue reading >>

The Connection Between Diabetes And Varicose Veins

The Connection Between Diabetes And Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a sign of aging – enlarged, gnarled veins clearly visible through the skin. Is there a connection between varicose veins and diabetes? A lot of people think that diabetes causes varicose veins. The truth is rather more complicated than that. Does Diabetes Cause Varicose Veins? No. Diabetes does not “cause” varicose veins – not all diabetics develop them and varicose veins are also seen in other older individuals. The apparent correlation is, instead, the result of the risk factors for both being similar. Varicose veins are, in fact, caused by “venous insufficiency” – the flow of blood through the veins is slow and blood pools in the veins, causing the visible enlargement. The root cause is problems with the valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction, towards the heart. This is why varicose veins are generally seen on the legs. Diabetes, on the other hand, is a result of insulin resistance or the production of insufficient insulin. (Type I diabetics have a chronic insufficiency from an early age, Type II develops in older adults). When the two occur together it is because both varicose veins and type II diabetes are seen in older, overweight individuals who have a family history of the disease. Both can also occur in pregnant women. These shared risk factors are often the reason why varicose veins are often attributed to diabetes. Both diabetes and varicose veins are possible health hazards for individuals who are: aging pregnant obese have a family history or genetic predisposition How Can Diabetics Prevent Varicose Veins? First of all, remember that the one does not cause the other – but the measures taken to prevent varicose veins can also help with circulation problems caused by diabetes. Patients should keep salt intak Continue reading >>

Caring For Your Veins If You Have Diabetes

Caring For Your Veins If You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes, many of the things that you can do to manage your health will also be good for your circulation and veins. Learn how diabetes and vein health are related, and what you can do to stay healthy. How Diabetes Affects Vein Health High blood sugar, or glucose, caused by diabetes can damage your veins and arteries, as well as the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke as well as certain vein diseases. Many people with diabetes also have chronic venous disease (CVD). Diabetes may make your CVD symptoms worse. Diabetes may increase your risk of blood clots in your leg (venous thromboembolism) by a small amount, although the results of scientific studies are mixed. Diabetes and Venous Ulcers Two major complications of diabetes are nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation (peripheral arterial disease, or PAD). These can cause slow-healing or non-healing sores (ulcers) in the feet. These diabetic ulcers are similar to venous or stasis ulcers. However, venous ulcers are caused by blood pooling in the veins of the legs due to ineffective valves in the veins. If you have diabetes and venous ulcers, then keeping your blood sugar under control can help the wounds heal faster. The main signs of diabetic neuropathy or peripheral arterial disease (PAD) include: Bunions Dry skin on the feet Hammer toes Sores or ulcers on the feet that do not heal Thickened toenails Weak or absent pulses in the feet or lower legs Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke Its crucial to keep your blood sugar under control by following your doctor’s instructions for insulin injections, medications, diet and exercise. You can also reduce your risk for diabetes complications and vein disease by eating a well-balanced diet, mai Continue reading >>

Varicose Vein Issues And Diabetes

Varicose Vein Issues And Diabetes

People with diabetes are more prone to blood flow problems known as peripheral vascular disease and nerve ending issues known as neuropathy. Excess glucose creates damage to the blood vessels and nerves especially the smaller vessels and weakens the veins. Although there is no direct link between diabetes and varicose veins, many people suffer from these conditions simultaneously. “50% of people 50 and over have varicose veins.” Although not as troublesome as neuropathy or PAD, varicose veins can be painful and troublesome. They are more common in women due to their fluctuating hormone levels but are seen in men as well. Varicose veins can have a negative impact on blood circulation. Let’s examine varicose veins: What are Varicose Veins? Varicose veins are enlarged, elongated, bulging blue and purple veins that resemble cords and are twisted directly under the skin due to relaxed vein walls. The veins have a one-way valve “that prevents blood from flowing backwards due to the pull of gravity.” Over time, and for specific reasons, the vein valves become faulty and relax. Some of the blood, which should be traveling to your heart, backs up and pools in the veins. This then continues to weaken the vein walls. Besides large varicose veins, the relaxed valves can cause spider veins which are smaller, superficial and mostly cosmetic. They are usually found on the calves or on the insides of the thighs. Varicose veins can also cause venous insufficiency which is a true circulation problem that can occur in deeper veins and cause blood clots. What are the Risk Factors of Varicose Veins? One of the biggest risk factors is heredity and family history. Other risk factors are: being over the age of 50, being pregnant due to increased blood volume/hormones, and going throu Continue reading >>

Is There Any Treatment For Varicose Veins For A Diabetic Person?

Is There Any Treatment For Varicose Veins For A Diabetic Person?

Varicose veins can be, and often are, treated in a diabetic patient. Treatment requires vascular surgical assessment before any intervention in a diabetic patient. Ideally the vascular surgeon is involved at every stage, even if not performing each procedure. Many extra considerations apply and it is wise to let the patient reflect on the available options in most cases. Some basic concepts and examples are: 1. Mildly symptomatic, uncomplicated veins that are an appearance issue may be better left alone. Support stockings or socks can reduce symptoms and stabilise venous dermatitis. 2. A review consultation and repeat vascular venous ultrasound exam should be part of the initial care plan. Varicose veins that worsen or develop complications may then be reconsidered for intervention (largely this means their removal or ablation). 3. A conservative approach with specialist review is preferred because treating varicose veins may involve intervention on the long (greater) or short (lesser) saphenous veins. These long straight superficial veins are important potential autogenous graft options for the patient in the future. They are useful for these purposes even if moderately varicose. Despite the advent of stents and synthetic grafts for peripheral arterial disease and stents and arterial grafts for cardiac bypass operations, there remain a substantial number of diabetic patients in whom these veins may be life or limb saving grafts later in life. 4. Conversely, varicose veins associated with complications often deserve intervention. Typically one is referred a diabetic patient with a leg ulcer. Assessment and treatment of the arterial circulation comes first. This involves the usual pathways: optimise diabetes control, start or review cholesterol lowering therapy, start or Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Varicose Veins – Learn More On Keye November 12

Diabetes And Varicose Veins – Learn More On Keye November 12

Dr. Stephen Bunker and his medical team will be at the KEYE Television studios on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. They will be discussing frequently asked questions about diabetes and varicose veins. Watch for the live interview at 3:15 PM for answers to these questions and more! Be sure to call into the phone bank during the news hour and schedule your free screening. This will also be a monthly television event, so stay tuned by liking our Facebook page. Does diabetes cause varicose veins? There are no proven direct links between diabetes and varicose veins. Standing for long periods of time, however, does increase the risk of varicose and spider veins – and people who are overweight and stand for too long place greater strain on the veins in their legs. Being overweight also increases the risk of developing diabetes, as well as developing other medical conditions that can impair healthy blood flow. Simply put, the more weight that the legs have to support, then the harder it is for veins to fight gravity and do their job. What types of foot problems are common in people with diabetes? Diabetes causes damage to small blood vessels, including those that supply the nerves. Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy. This can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot. It can also cause loss of feeling in the foot, resulting in developing an injury without knowing about it. Poor blood flow, or changes in the shape of the feet or toes, may also cause problems. What can people with diabetes do to prevent varicose veins? To prevent swelling, people with diabetes should do the following: Cut down on salt intake Elevate the legs when resting Eat high-fiber foods such as bran cereals, whole grain breads, and fres Continue reading >>

Foot Problems With Diabetes

Foot Problems With Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease affecting nearly 16 million Americans. Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar. Diabetes mellitus can have a variety of serious impacts on a person’s vascular health. Diabetes puts people at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. It often leads to serious problems in the feet through the development of nerve damage (neuropathy) and/or poor circulation (peripheral arterial disease, or PAD). People with diabetes should check their feet daily and have their feet examined regularly by a physician. The following are symptoms that may indicate developing neuropathy or peripheral arterial disease (PAD): Dry skin and thickened nails Loss of sensation in the feet Hammer toes Bunions Weak or absent pulses in the lower legs or feet Blister or pressure spot that the person does not feel Sores or ulcers that do not heal To prevent foot problems, patients with diabetes should: Check feet daily Have feet examined by a physician at least once a year Wear shoes with a wide toe box Wash feet daily Wear socks and shoes at all times Keep skin soft and smooth with emollients Control blood sugar levels Protect feet from exposure to cold and heat Exercise regularly The treatment of diabetic neuropathy of the feet focuses on controlling blood sugar to prevent progression of the nerve damage, treating any existing sores to prevent infection and preventing the recurrence of sores through the use of special shoes. Nerve damage cannot be reversed. See peripheral arterial disease (PAD) for treatments for poor circulation. Continue reading >>

Vascular Disease And Diabetes

Vascular Disease And Diabetes

People who have diabetes are more at risk of getting vascular disease because their blood sugar levels have spent prolonged periods of time being poorly controlled and higher than normal. In turn, this affects the lining of the body's arterial walls, making the inside of the blood vessels more likely to fur-up causing them to narrow (atherosclerosis). People with Type 2 diabetes are also more likely to have raised triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol which also increase the risk of atherosclerosis. So what is diabetes? There are two types: Type 1 diabetes (also referred to as early-onset, juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes). Children and young adults are most likely to develop the condition over a short period of time (days and weeks). Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops releasing insulin. It is treated with insulin injections and a healthy diet. Type 2 diabetes (also referred to as late-onset, maturity-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes). It is most likely to develop in those over the age of 40-years-old (but can occur in younger people). It is more likely to affect those who are obese or overweight. The illness and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes tend to develop gradually (over weeks or months). Unlike Type 1 diabetes the pancreas still produces insulin, but it may not be as much as the body requires, or the body's cells are not able to use the insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. I have diabetes, so how can I prevent the risk of other complications like vascular disease? In general, the closer your blood glucose level is to normal, the less likely you risk developing complications. Your risk of developing complications is also reduced if you deal with any other 'risk factors' that you may have such as: high blood pressure smokin Continue reading >>

When Diabetes Leads To Nerve Damage

When Diabetes Leads To Nerve Damage

Tingling, numbness, pain in the arms, legs, hands, or feet — these are all common signs of diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage. Up to 70 percent of people with diabetes will develop some type of neuropathy, making it one of the most common side effects of this disease. Diabetes: Understanding Neuropathy Although tingling, numbness, or pain in the extremities are common signs of neuropathy, others may experience no symptoms at all. Nerve damage can also occur in internal organs, such as the heart or digestive tract. Diabetes-related neuropathy can affect muscle strength, sensation in various parts of the body, and even sexual function. People who develop diabetic neuropathy are typically those who have trouble controlling their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body weight. Although researchers haven't quite figured out exactly why this happens, they know that neuropathy can occur due to: Alcohol use and smoking Genetic predisposition Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome Nerves that become inflamed related to autoimmune conditions Neurovascular issues that damage the blood vessels responsible for bringing nutrients and oxygen to your nerves Your risk also increases the older you get and the longer you have diabetes, with the highest rates of neuropathy occuring in people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetes: Where Neuropathy May Strike Here are some of the specific types of neuropathy that occur in people with diabetes: Autonomic neuropathy impairs the functioning of the digestive system, resulting in diarrhea or constipation as well as impaired bladder function. This type of neuropathy also affects how you perspire and even your sexual response — men may have trouble getting an erection and women may experience vaginal dryne Continue reading >>

Can Diabetes Cause Venous Insufficiency?

Can Diabetes Cause Venous Insufficiency?

Tags: diabetes, Safety Harbor vein doctor, Tampa vein doctor, Tampa vein specialist, venous insufficiency There are numerous medical conditions that can lead to and are associated with venous insufficiency, though some of them are arguably more serious than others. One of the more serious associated conditions is diabetes, which while it may not directly cause venous insufficiency to develop, is definitely related in that it can greatly affect the tissue found in the lower extremities. While either condition involves careful and close monitoring, when both are present at the same time it can be even more important to pay close attention and follow all instructions from your physician. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes result when the body cannot produce enough insulin on its own, which in turn affects the amount of glucose that is present within the blood. When there is an excess of glucose within the blood, it can greatly weaken vein walls and cause severe damage to them over time. In fact, in the majority of adults who die from diabetes the actual cause of death is vascular disease, and their risk can be considered as much as 2-4 times that of adults without diabetes. Because both venous insufficiency and diabetes have such negative impacts on the skin and underlying fatty tissue, they can present a very dangerous combination. In terms of venous insufficiency, weakened vein walls can cause veins to leak and blood to pool, which can result in painful and uncomfortable symptoms like swelling, itching, and burning. In the long term, this can also cause skin ulcers to form and scarring of the skin and fatty tissue just underneath it. Damage from diabetes, on the other hand, is usually more related to the nerves and arteries in the legs and feet. Over time, excess glucose in Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes and foot problems facts Two main conditions, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy, are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Symptoms and signs of diabetic foot problems arise due to the decreased sensation from nerve damage as well as the lack of oxygen delivery to the feet caused by vascular disease. Diabetic foot problems also include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, fungal infections, dryness of the skin, and ingrown toenails. These problems are not specific to diabetes, but may occur more commonly due to the nerve and vascular damage caused by diabetes. Treatment depends on the exact type of foot problem. Surgery or even amputation may be required for some cases. Gangrene (dry gangrene) is tissue death due to absence of blood circulation. It can be life threatening if bacterial infection develops (wet gangrene). Many diabetes-related foot problems can be prevented by good control of blood sugar levels combined with appropriate care of the feet. How can diabetes cause foot problems? Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves that can result in problems in the legs and feet. Two main conditions, 1) peripheral artery disease (PAD), and 2) peripheral neuropathy are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes referred to as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), means that there is narrowing or occlusion by atherosclerotic plaques of arteries outside of the heart and brain. This is sometimes referred to as "hardening" of the arteries. Diabetes is a known risk factor for developing peripheral artery disease. In addition to pain in the calves during exercise (medically known as intermitte Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathydiabetic Neuropathy Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Diabetic Neuropathydiabetic Neuropathy Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Diabetic neuropathy definition and facts Diabetes is thought to damage nerves as a result of prolonged elevated levels of blood glucose. Peripheral neuropathy most commonly causes: Autonomic neuropathy causes symptoms related to dysfunction of an organ system, such as: Diagnosis of diabetic neuropathy is usually done by a clinical exam. There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy, but treatments are available to manage the symptoms. Diabetic nerve pain may be controlled by medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, duloxetine (Cymbalta), or certain antiseizure medications. Keeping tight control of blood sugar levels is the best way to prevent diabetic neuropathy and other complications of diabetes. Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Improve Diabetes Nerve Pain What are the symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy? The symptoms and signs of diabetic neuropathy depend upon the type of neuropathy that is present. Signs and symptoms can also vary in severity among affected people. Signs and symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include: Numbness or tingling of the feet and lower legs Pain or burning sensations Loss of sensation in the feet or lower legs Sometimes, but less commonly, these symptoms can occur in the hands or arms Signs and symptoms of diabetic proximal neuropathy include: Pain, usually on one side, in the hips, buttocks, or thighs Signs and symptoms of diabetic autonomic neuropathy depend upon the organ system that is involved and can include: Feeling full after eating a small amount Inability to empty the bladder completely Decrease in vaginal lubrication in women Rapid resting heartbeat Signs and symptoms of diabetic focal neuropathy also depend upon the location of the affected nerve. The symptoms can appear suddenly. It usually does not cause a long t Continue reading >>

Diabetic Nerve Pain

Diabetic Nerve Pain

Tweet Diabetic nerve pain is a syndrome that affects people with diabetes. This type of nerve pain can affect both type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers. Nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, is a result of one of the complications of diabetes, called peripheral neuropathy, or diabetic neuropathy. Why does diabetic nerve pain occur? Diabetic nerve pain most commonly occurs when a person with diabetes has prolonged spells of high blood sugar levels. It is thought that high blood glucose affects the nerves by damaging the blood vessels which supply them. High blood pressure, in addition to hyperglycemia, also has a detrimental effect on the nerves. Smoking and alcohol are also known to increase the risk of nerve pain occurring. Where does diabetic nerve pain typically occur? Diabetic nerve pain usually occurs in peripheral regions or extremities, such as feet and legs, hands and arms. Neuropathic foot pain is one of a number of conditions affecting the feet which are termed as problems of ‘the diabetic foot’. For this reason, people with diabetes are advised to undergo a foot examination once each year. A foot exam can help in two ways, by helping to diagnose new problems, such as diabetic neuropathy or circulation problems and it can also help to spot further complications of the foot such as wounds, blisters and a joint disorder known as charcot arthropathy or charcot foot. What are the symptoms of diabetic nerve pain? Diabetic nerve pain symptoms can include: Prickling or tingling feelings A burning sensation Sharp, stabbing or shooting pains in the aforementioned areas. These can range from mild to extreme. In serious cases the whole area may become numb. A condition known as dysesthesia can develop, in some people, which affects one’s sense of touch causin Continue reading >>

Peripheral Arterial Disease In People With Diabetes

Peripheral Arterial Disease In People With Diabetes

ABI, ankle-brachial index CABG, coronary artery bypass graft CAPRIE, Clopidogrel versus Aspirin in Patients At Risk of Ischemic Events CLI, critical limb ischemia CRP, C-reactive protein eNOS, endothelial cell nitric oxide synthase FDA, Food and Drug Administration FFA, free fatty acid MI, myocardial infarction MRA, magnetic resonance angiogram NF-κB, nuclear factor-κB PAD, peripheral arterial disease PAI-1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 PI, phosphatidylinositol PKC, protein kinase C PVR, pulse volume recording RAGE, receptor for advanced glycation end products UKPDS, U.K. Prospective Diabetes Study VSMC, vascular smooth muscle cell Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition characterized by atherosclerotic occlusive disease of the lower extremities. While PAD is a major risk factor for lower-extremity amputation, it is also accompanied by a high likelihood for symptomatic cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Although much is known regarding PAD in the general population, the assessment and management of PAD in those with diabetes is less clear and poses some special issues. At present, there are no established guidelines regarding the care of patients with both diabetes and PAD. On the 7–8 of May 2003, a Consensus Development Conference was held to review the current knowledge regarding PAD in diabetes. After a series of lectures by experts in the field of endocrinology, cardiology, vascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, podiatry, and nursing, a vascular medicine panel was asked to answer the following questions: 1) What is the epidemiology and impact of PAD in people with diabetes? 2) Is the biology of PAD different in people with diabetes? 3) How is PAD in diabetes best diagnosed and evaluated? 4) What are the appropriate treatments for PAD in peo Continue reading >>

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