Diabetes is a disease that many Americans do not take as seriously as we should.
Many people think Type 2 Diabetes is something someone “gets” because they are overweight with a poor diet. This is not true. My dad was diagnosed with this slowly eroding disease when I was in high school. At the time, he wasn’t overweight and ate a healthy diet.
There are many aspects of diabetes but, today, we want to take a deep dive into vein health. Issues with vein health run from the aesthetic (unsightly varicose veins on a female’s legs) to severe issues that are medically necessary to treat.
Hamilton Vein Centers are located throughout Texas (San Antonio, Round Rock and Houston) and, at these clinics, doctors are treating the least to the greatest in vein issues. We talked to Dr. Justin Smith at the Round Rock location.
“Many people don’t realize that diabetes and vein disease go hand-in-hand, with as many as 70% of diabetics having these issues. Signs include wounds or blisters, changes in skin color, heavy or achy legs, restless legs, swelling in the legs or feet, numbness or tingling, or pain/ cramps,” explained Dr. Smith. “Diabetics with vein disease are at risk for deep vein thrombosis, foot and leg ulcers and poor circulation.”
If you experience vein issues, here’s how the process works at Hamilton Vein Center. After your initial appointment, next steps are decided on, including coming back in for an ultrasound (which most insurances will cover). After that, various types of treatment can be administered including Radiofrequency Ablation, Phlebectomy, Ultrasound Guided & Visual Sclerotherapy and a conservative treatment utilizing compression stockings.
“15-20% of the population deals with some type of vein issues.”~Dr. Justin Smith
Let’s say you’re an active woman in your 40s and you’re beginning to notice unsightly varicose veins on your legs. No one wants those. But, many women who have had multiple pregnancies deal with venous issues, and our changing hormones don’t help. Spider veins are more cosmetic, as opposed to the more serious medical issues related to diabetics’ vein disease.
“Did you know that 15-20% of the population deals with some type of vein issues?” asks Dr. Smith. Of those people, two thirds are women. Since genetics, gender and age play a role, some of these issues are out of our control. However, excess weight and lack of exercise/ movement are factors that can be adjusted.
If you are one of the unlucky ones who already lead an active life and you are interested in getting rid of those spider veins, there’s hope! You’ll make an appointment to get tiny injections of a medicine that is designed to shut the veins down that are causing the problems. This is called sclerotherapy and is followed up by one or two weeks of wearing compression socks and, at times, requires a follow up for additional injections. A daily 30-minute walk will also be prescribed.
What we’ve discovered is that some women who currently deal with the unsightly spider veins might be facing more serious vein issues later in life. However, awareness is key. And certainly knowing what to do, what steps to take, brings peace of mind.
Learn more about diabetes and American Diabetes Month here. The more you know…