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Diabetes and DVT: Understanding the Risk of Developing DVT

ankle tendonitis

Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT, also known as Venous Thrombosis, is a blood clot usually occurring in a large vein of a lower leg, pelvis, thigh or arm.

Doctor DVT examination

DVT Causes

DVTs may develop after prolonged bed rest (hospitalization after an operation), long plane or car trips. Diabetes is a risk factor that may increase the likelihood of DVT development.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms 

Blood clot symptoms are as follows: 

  • Pain
  • Red patches
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • warmth

If not treated in time,DVT can travel to your lungs through your blood vessels to cause pulmonary embolism. This condition is fatal and can damage your lungs.

However, if the clot doesn’t move, it can become big. This could block the normal blood flow and damage the veins. The affected area may hurt, swell, and change color.

Relationship Between Diabetes and DVT

If you have diabetes, the sugar is not used for energy, it rather builds up in your blood stream causing changes in your blood and arteries leading to formation of blood clots. Thus, diabetes is one of the risk factors that can increase your chances of developing DVT. Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke in people with diabetes. Other risks are damage to the kidneys, nerves and eyes. 

People with diabetes have elevated levels of fibrinogen that pose a strong risk factor of developing CVD. High levels of fibrinogen make the blood sticky thus resulting into clots. 

Complications of DVT

DVT can lead to life-threatening complications. If you see any DVT signs and symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. The doctor will examine you and conduct a few tests that are required for DVT diagnosis.Some of the complications are as follows:At times, the blood clot can break and travel through the bloodstream to cause embolism. It can reduce or block the flow of blood in a blood vessel. Depending on where the embolism is present, it can cause a stroke, heart attack, lung damage,or evendeath. Once you have had an experience with DVT, you may develop phlebitis or thrombophlebitis, which makes your veins extremely sensitive to pressure and hard to feel. If the leg is affected with thrombophlebitis, you may feel pain and cramps, especially while walking or flexing your foot. 

Precautions to Avoid DVT Complications

1. Healthy Lifestyle – Exercise and Diet

Exercise regularly, at least for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Engage in a lot of physical activities like walking, stretching, etc. If you are travelling, make sure to keep your legs elevated every 30 mins. 

Indulge in healthy eating. Include green vegetables, whole grains, fruits and fish in your diet. Use less of processed foods; eat less of fried foods, grill or broil them. If in doubt about your diet, talk to your doctor. 

2. Avoid Bad Habits

To minimize your chances of DVT, you need to control your blood sugar levels and your blood pressure. These good habits can save you from DVT complications:

  • Minimize your alcohol intake
  • Kick your smoking habit
  • Eat only healthy snacks
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water
  • Do not skip any meals
  • Regularly monitor your blood sugar and blood pressure

3. Proper Foot Care is Essential

If you are travelling or if your job demands you sitting for long hours, to avoid foot injuries or any kinds of blisters, cuts, and swelling, you should wear copper compression socks

Wear shoes that fit correctly and consider diabetic shoes. Talk to your physician about copper compression socks to help prevent blood clots. These special socks help blood circulation by squeezing the veins in your legs to move the blood back towards your heart.

You can reduce the risk of DVT by following these tips:

  • Get up and walk around every 30 mins or an hour
  • Exercise while you sit. Simply raise and lower your heels keeping your toes firm on the ground. Then, keep your heels on the ground and lift and lower your toes. Next, lift your foot and draw imaginary circles with your toes then do it the other way around. Next, lift each leg and straighten it.
  • If you are hospitalized, discuss DVT prevention plan with your doctor. 

Regular doctor visits are a must to manage diabetes to minimize your risk of developing DVT. 

Is DVT dangerous to diabetic patients?

Yes, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be particularly dangerous for diabetic patients due to several reasons:

  1. Complications

DVT poses a higher risk of complications in diabetic individuals. Diabetes can impair the blood vessels’ health, making them more susceptible to damage and reduced blood flow. When a blood clot forms in a deep vein, it can impede circulation and lead to serious complications such as pulmonary embolism, where the clot travels to the lungs and blocks blood flow.

  • Impaired Healing

Diabetes can delay wound healing and increase the risk of infections. If a DVT leads to a leg ulcer or skin breakdown in diabetic individuals, the healing process may be further compromised, increasing the risk of infection and potentially leading to more severe consequences.

  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Diabetic patients often have underlying peripheral arterial disease, which involves narrowed blood vessels in the legs. When combined with DVT, it can worsen blood flow, further increasing the risk of complications.

  • Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage commonly seen in individuals with diabetes. It can affect the sensation in the legs and feet, making it challenging to detect early symptoms of DVT, such as pain or swelling. Delayed diagnosis and treatment can increase the likelihood of severe complications.

  • Management Challenges

Diabetic individuals with DVT may face additional challenges in managing their condition. Medications like anticoagulants (blood thinners) used to treat DVT can interact with diabetes medications, requiring careful monitoring and potential adjustments.

  • Increased risk of recurrent DVT

Diabetic patients who have experienced DVT in the past are at a higher risk of developing future episodes, emphasizing the need for ongoing monitoring and preventive measures.

Given the increased risks and potential complications, it is important for diabetic individuals to maintain good overall vascular health, manage their diabetes effectively, and seek medical attention promptly if they experience any symptoms or signs of DVT.

Author Bio: Rory is the R&D Director and passionate entrepreneur, fascinated by the workings of the human body and natural solutions for common health problems. He’s single-minded in his aim to make Copper Defence a brand that’s recognized across the globe, by partnering with global brands to make these high-tech materials easily accessible for everyone. If you’d like to get in touch, email Rory at or visit for copper-infused clothing, pet accessories and more.