If you or your loved one has diabetes, you know that it impacts many aspects of the body, including the kidneys, heart, eyes, and even fingers and toes. When it comes to care protocols, exercise is one of the common recommendations because it can help reduce the adverse metabolic effects of diabetes. For some, sports are their chosen form of exercise, but can a person with diabetes be a competitive athlete? Continue reading How Do Diabetes and Nutrition Affect Sports?
We’ve talked recently about how diabetes is a growing problem, with thousands of new cases presenting each year and millions more going undiagnosed. But with this epidemic comes an opportunity for the Doctor of Optometry. This opportunity allows them to get involved with patients’ eye and overall health in relation to diabetes. Paula Newsome, OD, saw an opportunity to make a difference in her community and in her patients’ lives, and she decided to act. Continue reading Dr. Paula Newsome Leads the Fight Against Diabetes
With diabetes being such a complicated health concern, it can be intimidating to recommend an eye vitamin. In a case study published by Healio, Drs. Nate Lighthizer and Megan Chee proved that EyePromise DVS fits right into the standard diabetes care protocol and positively impacts patient outcomes. Continue reading Real Results with EyePromise® DVS
November is recognized at National Diabetes Awareness Month, and the 14th of November is National Diabetes Awareness Day. There are few conditions that take a toll on the body the way diabetes does. From the inner working of vital organs to extremities like toes and fingers, many bodily functions can be impacted. To help bring about awareness, we’re sharing some information about diabetes.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a health issue that affects insulin production and blood sugar absorption in the body. It’s estimated that over 30 million Americans have diabetes, and there are many more who don’t know they have it yet. There are 2 types of diabetes.
Type 1 – caused by genetics and environmental factors like viruses, and the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This type usually has a quick onset of symptoms in the younger years of life, but it can arise at any time.
Type 2 – caused by factors like genetics, family history, obesity, or physical inactivity. About 95% of cases diagnosed are Type 2 diabetes. Symptoms usually develop over several years and may not be noticed by patients until they experience a related health problem.
- Increased thirst, hunger, and/or urination
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- Sores that won’t heal
- Unexplained weight loss
Before developing type 2 diabetes, many patients will have prediabetes. Prediabetes is categorized by elevated blood sugar levels. Prediabetes affects 1 in 3 U.S. adults, and many of them are unaware of the possible health issues that are just around the corner for them. It’s possible for sugar in the blood to reach very high levels and stay elevated for two or more years with little to no symptoms, and prediabetes is relatively symptom-free. In fact, you can go 5-10 years without knowing you have prediabetes or diabetes. It’s up to you and your primary care physician to have bloodwork done to identify any possible concerns.
Diabetes & Eye Health
Diabetes affects many parts of the body, including the eyes. The eyes are very delicate, with intricate nerve and blood vessel highways intertwining and working together to bring us sight. When the blood sugar levels are elevated, they start to take a toll on these fragile roadways. Diabetes usually affects visual function first, reducing the ability to see vibrant colors, in dim light situations, or peripherally.
As the damages get worse, it causes leaks and ruptures in the blood vessels and harms the nerves. Healthcare professionals refer to this damage as diabetic retinopathy, and it’s not a question of if but when those with diabetes will develop retinopathy. Practitioners categorize diabetic retinopathy as nonproliferative (mild to moderate) and proliferative (moderate to severe). As the bleeding worsens, black spots fill the visual perspective, blocking out what you can see. By this time, the damage has been done.
Be Proactive with Diabetes Care
The best way to avoid the long-term damages of diabetes is early detection and intervention. Annual visits to your primary care physician and eye doctors can help identify any changes in your vision or health before the destruction becomes irreversible. More than visiting doctors once a year, actively changing your lifestyle can dramatically decrease the odds of diabetes developing or worsening.
Eating better and exercising are the two most common and impactful suggestions for improving health and reducing the impact of diabetes. Another addition that can help, specifically to support eye health, is an eye vitamin. EyePromise DVS is specifically designed to support eye health for patients with diabetes. The best part? EyePromise DVS has been formulated to not impact blood sugar levels!
Learn more about EyePromise DVS.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2017.
- Bansal P, Gupta RP, Kotecha M. Frequency of diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes mellitus and its correlation with duration of diabetes mellitus. Med J DY Patil Univ 2013;6:366-9
- “Eye Complications.” American Diabetes Association, American Diabetes Association, 1 Nov. 2013, www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/eye-complications/.
- “ICO Guidelines for Diabetic Eye Care.” International Council of Ophthalmology, Jan. 2017.
- “Symptoms & Causes of Diabetes.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Nov. 2016, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/symptoms-causes.
- Solomon, Sharon D., et al. “Diabetic Retinopathy: A Position Statement by the American Diabetes Association.” Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association, 1 Mar. 2017, care.diabetesjournals.org/content/40/3/412.
- “What Is Diabetes?” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Nov. 2016, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes.
- “What Is Diabetes?”, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, 2016, www.diabetesresearch.org/what-is-diabetes.
“A Snapshot: Diabetes in the United States.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Nov. 2017.
Diabetes is one of the most common, chronic health issues in the world, affecting nearly 30.5 million Americans. It’s also one of the leading causes of vision impairment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone with diabetes loses visual function every 15 minutes. Continue reading The Optometrist’s Role in the Diabetes Care Team
It’s important to remember that the number of patients with blood glucose control issues continues to grow. Eye health concerns associated with high blood glucose are often symptom-free until the damage has already been done. While some options can save vision, they’re often expensive and invasive. Giving patients a more proactive way to protect their eyes can lead to more positive outcomes and a better quality of life. Continue reading Utilizing DiVFuSS and EyePromise DVS in Your Practice
The Diabetes Visual Function Supplement Study
The Diabetes Visual Function Supplement Study (DiVFuSS) was a 6-month randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial to test the effects of a novel, multicomponent nutritional supplement on visual function. Participants included patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and early stages of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). Continue reading Paul Chous Explains the Importance of the DiVFuSS Study
As many as 10% of the US population suffer from blood glucose control issues, and an estimated 40% of current US adults will develop these issues in their lifetime. While nutrition is important for everyone, it becomes one of the cornerstones of patients trying to keep their blood glucose and blood pressure levels down. The right foods and nutrients can even impact the chance of developing eye health complications related to poor blood glucose control. Continue reading Nutrition & Eye Health in Relation to Blood Glucose Control