34.2 million Americans have diabetes and they don’t even know about the relation between diabetes and eye health, and another 88 million have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In all, more than one-third of the population in the United States has been diagnosed with diabetes or is on the verge of developing it.
Diabetes is a major public health issue, yet most people are unaware that diabetes has ramifications beyond our metabolic health. When someone has diabetes, their capacity to regulate blood sugar (also known as glucose) is impaired, either because their bodies are unable to manufacture insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because their bodies have grown resistant to insulin as a result of persistently high blood sugar levels (this is called type 2 diabetes).
In any instance, diabetics are in danger of having high blood sugar levels all of the time. Healthowealth has provided you with the latest information about diabetes.
What is the relation between diabetes and eye health?
Here are a handful of the most prevalent Diabetes and eye health disorders.
It is a condition that occurs when a person has diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious possible consequence of diabetes. This is vision loss or blurriness caused by chronically high blood sugar, which destroys the retina over time.
Excess hyperglycemia can clog the small blood vessels in the eye over time, resulting in fluid leakage or hemorrhage. In extreme situations, it can lead to retinal detachment and blindness if left untreated. During your annual eye exam, your eye doctor can check for diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetics are two to five times more likely than non-diabetics to acquire cataracts. Cataracts are hazy patches in the lens of the eye that cause blurry or dim vision. High blood sugar levels for an extended period of time can affect lens metabolism, resulting in cataract development. Cataracts can only be treated with surgery, which is why it’s vital to prevent them from forming in the first place. At your yearly eye checkup, your eye doctor can check for this as well.
Ways to Prevent Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
When it comes to Diabetes and eye health, the most serious risk is chronically high blood sugar levels. The best strategy to avoid eye damage is to maintain a healthy blood sugar level over time with a mix of food, lifestyle, and medication if needed. Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines for managing your blood sugar and diabetes and eye health.
The Plate Method can help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level
If you have diabetes, what does a well-balanced diet look like? The Diabetes Plate Method is a simple way to think about it. One-quarter of your dish should be made up of lean proteins like chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, or edamame. A complex carbohydrate should take up another quarter of your meal. Fruit, beans, a whole grain such as brown rice, quinoa, or oats, or a starchy vegetable such as potatoes, maize, peas, or winter squash can all be used in this way. Nonstarchy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, okra, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, or leafy greens should make up the remaining half of your meal.
The Plate Method provides a simple visual indication to ensure you receive enough protein, the right amount of carbs, and plenty of nutrient-dense veggies to keep you satisfied and feeling your best. To minimize blood sugar spikes, it’s also vital to eat periodically throughout the day and spread out your carbs equally throughout meals.
The Most Important Nutrients for diabetes and eye health
Researchers have discovered numerous nutrients that are vital for diabetes and eye health and minimizing the risk of eye illness, in addition to keeping your blood sugar levels regulated. If you have diabetes, make sure you get enough of these nutrients to keep your eyes healthy.
It is a kind of vitamin A that is found in. Beta carotene is a potent antioxidant that can help reduce oxidative stress in the eyes. It is a precursor to vitamin A. Oxidative stress, if left uncontrolled, can damage the retina and impair eyesight. Carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe, and apricots all contain beta carotene, which appears in meals as an orange color.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein
Lutein and zeaxanthin are orange pigments that, like beta carotene, operate as potent antioxidants in the eye, lowering oxidative stress. Lutein and zeaxanthin-rich diets have been linked to a reduced risk of glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Egg yolks, leafy greens, maize, and einkorn are excellent providers of both antioxidants.
It is a powerful antioxidant. Some scientific data shows that vitamin C may also help to reduce oxidative stress in the eyes, however, more study is needed in this area. Vitamin C is present in tomatoes, citrus fruits, potatoes, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, and Brussels sprouts, among other foods.
It is a powerful antioxidant. Another potent antioxidant is vitamin E, as you may have seen. It can help minimize oxidative stress in the eye by quenching free radicals that could otherwise harm the retina and other vital components of the eye, including photoreceptors. Vitamin E may be found in a variety of foods, including vegetable oils, peanut butter, and a variety of nuts and seeds.
Fatty Acids Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids, like the antioxidant elements we’ve discussed, assist battle inflammation and oxidative stress. Omega-3 fatty acids are unusual in that they may act as crucial mediators in the resolution of various inflammatory processes. Unfortunately, the average American diet is deficient in omega-3 fats, but there are numerous tasty ways to supplement your diet with more. Fish (particularly cod) is a good source.
Zinc has a number of functions that help to maintain or improve diabetes and eye health. It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress and aids in the delivery of vitamin A to the eyes. Even poor night vision has been linked to zinc deficiency. Zinc may be found in oysters, poultry, red meat, beans, almonds, fortified morning cereals, dairy products, and whole grains.
Diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma are just a few of the eye disorders linked to diabetes. This is mostly related to long-term elevated blood sugar levels. The good news is that by maintaining a healthy blood sugar level and including important antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in your diet, you can reduce your risk of diabetes-related eye illness. Check out a dietitian’s list of the greatest foods for diabetes and eye health for additional information.
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