Diabetic Retinopathy: Therapy and Healing


Natural treatment of diabetic retinopathy

Among natural remedies, diet is the most important means of lowering blood sugar.

Avoid cereals (pasta, bread, rice, spelt, etc.) and desserts, especially if they contain gluten.

  • According to conventional medicine, you can eat whole grains and should limit sweets, potatoes and fruits, especially bananas, figs and grapes.
  • According to the blood group diet, cereals (including whole grains), dairy products and pork should be avoided; then everyone can choose the foods that are allowed according to the blood type.
  • According to the vegan diet / raw food, fruit is not a problem because it has a low blood sugar index, because it contains a lot of fiber. Foods that provoke diabetes are all cereals, sweets, precooked and transformed products.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy Non-proliferative retinopathy
does not necessarily need to be treated.
However, the doctor should check the eyes more often to determine when treatment is needed.

In the presence of macular edema, the doctor prescribes laser coagulation to reduce edema and stop worsening of the disease

Medication for diabetic retinopathy

VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) are naturally produced substances of the body’s cells.
They are important for the growth of normal blood vessels, during the healing of wounds and in the formation of new vessels to restore oxygen delivery where it is deficient.

Injections help reduce macular edema (swelling) caused by bleeding from the new vessels.
It is therefore imperative to keep the underlying disease under control (for example, diabetes control), even if the patient is receiving anti-VEGF injections, as these do not treat the diabetes. And because the effect of the injections is short, the repetition of the injections at intervals of 4-6 weeks may be necessary to achieve a more lasting effect.

Ranibizumab (Lucentis) is a drug that contains fragments of an antibody that inhibits and neutralizes all active forms of VEGF.

Advanced diabetic retinopathy
With proliferative diabetic retinopathy, surgical treatment is necessary.
Depending on the specific problems of the retina, the options may be:

  1. Focal laser treatment,
  2. Panretinal photocoagulation,
  3. Vitrectomy.

Focal laser treatment
This laser treatment, also called photocoagulation, can interrupt or slow the loss of blood and fluid in the eye areas previously identified with fluorescence angiography.
This form of treatment is chosen when the damage is limited to smaller areas with micron diameter.

The tissue treated with the laser does not produce a growth factor that leads to the formation of new blood vessels.

  • It is performed in the eye clinic or in an ophthalmologist’s office.
  • In this procedure, the diseased tissue is burned with the laser.
  • Focal laser treatment is usually done in a single session. Vision is impaired for about a day after the procedure.
  • Sometimes you notice small spots in the visual field, which are a consequence of laser treatment.
    Normally, these pass again over the course of a few weeks.
  • If vision was nebulized before surgery due to swelling of the central macula, it may not be possible to fully restore it.
  • In some cases, vision does not improve.

Panretinal photocoagulation
Laser treatment, also called panretinal photocoagulation, can reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels.
It is used when the area to be treated is expanded, it can be done on the entire retina (panretinal photocoagulation).

  • It takes place in the doctor’s office or in an eye clinic.
  • In the procedure, the retinal areas away from the macula are burned with the laser.
  • The burns cause shrinkage and scarring of the abnormal blood vessels.
  • Laser treatment is usually carried out in two or more sessions. Vision is impaired for about a day after therapy.
  • Partial loss of peripheral vision or night vision is possible after the procedure.

This procedure can be used in the removal of blood from the eye center (vitreous) and scar tissue pulling on the retina.

  • It is performed in a hospital under local or general anesthesia.
  • In the procedure, the doctor makes a small incision in the eye.
  • The scar tissue and blood in the eye are removed and replaced with a saline solution, which serves to maintain eye shape and eye pressure.
  • Sometimes a gas bubble needs to be pumped into the eye socket to allow the retina to reattach.
    When the gas is pumped into the eye, it may be necessary to keep the head tilted down until the gas has evaporated again. This may take a few days.
  • You have to wear a blindfold on both eyes and antibiotic eye drops for a few days or weeks.
  • The vitrectomy can be followed by laser treatment or it can be accompanied by one.

The surgery itself slows or stops the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but is not a definitive treatment.
Because diabetes is a permanent condition, further retinal damage and vision loss can occur.
Even after treatment of diabetic retinopathy, regular examination by the ophthalmologist is required.

Prognosis of diabetic neuropathy

Non-proliferative retinopathy progresses to more severe forms in most people.
If left untreated, 50% of patients with proliferative retinopathy lose vision within 2 years and 90% risk losing vision after 10 years.
Patients undergoing treatment have a lower risk of vision loss or it decreases from 3% to 30% in the following 15 years.
Patients undergoing panretinal photocoagulation have a risk of severe vision loss, which is reduced by 50% compared to those who are not treated at this stage.

A diabetes diet is important to avoid blood sugar spikes that can further damage the retina.

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