Venous Insufficiency and The Unlucky Dietitian

Venous Insufficiency and The Unlucky Dietitian

In this previous article, I shared my encounter with a virus that caused my thyroid to go haywire and release large amounts of thyroid hormone.  That encounter is clear evidence that my whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet does not make me invincible.

Although I’m very fortunate that my thyroid levels appear to be leveling off, my body’s imperfections have provided me a new health challenge.

Sucky Veins

I have some veins that aren’t functioning properly.  It has resulted in Venous Insufficiency in both legs. I’ll spare you the ridiculous symptoms I’ve experienced over the past several weeks.  Be assured that they were sufficiently serious to schedule a visit with a vascular surgeon.

My Visit with the Vascular Surgeon

Prior to scheduling my visit, I concluded that my symptoms corresponded very well with a venous insufficiency diagnosis.  After a physical examination, my vascular surgeon concurred.  I did a much better job at diagnosing this condition than I did diagnosing my acute thyroiditis. However, it looks like I was wrong about suspecting the Great Saphenous vein and perforator veins as the slackers.  The vascular surgeon thinks my problem is probably with some deep veins.  This is not what I wanted to hear as I was hoping my condition could be addressed with a minimally invasive procedure called Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT).  If my problem is with deep veins, then stenting looks like my best option.

One of the many questions I asked the surgeon was “Could I have done anything to prevent this?”  He responded “No, It’s just bad luck.” On a positive note, he told me that my arteries are great!  Score one for the WFPB diet.

Did I have other risk factors besides genes?

I think the surgeon is correct about my genetics predisposing me to developing venous insufficiency.  However, I do have other risk factors that include:

  • Current and past jobs that require(d) long periods of sitting
  • Past job that required long periods of standing
  • Age >50

My advice to those of you who sit a lot at work – get up every hour and move your legs.

What’s Next?

I’ve scheduled a procedure that may result in the stenting of deep veins in my pelvis. The vascular surgeon thinks the Iliac Vein is probably compromised. Only one leg can be stented at a time, so it’s likely I’ll have to schedule a second procedure.

I have no choice but to accept a new paradigm.  The old paradigm was Dominic – the new paradigm is Dominic with sucky veins.

On the bright side, I’ve learned a lot about thyroid disease and veins over the last few months.  As Eric Idle says, “Always Look on The Bright Side of Life”.

Stay Healthy and Strong!



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