Eyes help us look outwards. They sometimes help us look within, more so in people
with diabetes who could additionally be obese, and suffer heart-related ailments.
Most people in the Indian context aren’t much aware of the apparent relation
between eyes and diabetes. Science today shows the connection very clearly. So says
Dr Ashwini Joshi, Physician & Diabetologist of Pune’s famed Aloha Clinics who in her
20 years of practice has come across her share of such cases.
According to her, every part of our body right from our toes to the top of our head
functions as a system that uses oxygen and energy to keep things “alive” as we know
it. Every cell in the body needs to be enriched with a constant flow of blood that is
rich in oxygen, energy and essential nutrients. This is the ideal situation, though in
most cases this is far from the state due to a variety of reasons, be they genetically
induced or brought about by excesses of a ‘happening’ lifestyle.
One such problem that she says is being seen increasingly among Indians, and
shocking even among those young of age, is ocular complications brought about by
diabetes and the presence of high blood sugar.
What do you think diabetes does to our body?
Diabetes, according to the Doctor brings about swellings in the body in many places.
This takes place because of the high glucose levels in the blood that damages the
lining of the smaller blood vessels impeding blood circulation. In the absence of
effective blood circulation, fluids accumulate at various places in the body which
without effective drainage form swellings. Such swellings are most visible in
extremities including hands, legs, fingers and toes.
What do you think diabetes does to the eyes?
In particular, diabetes and elevated blood-sugar levels affect the eyes in the
- Retinopathy: The most common disorder, it can cause permanent damage to
the retina’s blood vessels. The retina for your information is that part of the
eye that relays information from the eye’s nerves to the brain for processing.
If left unchecked, it may lead to permanent blurring or even complete
- Cataracts: Most Indians are aware of cataract. It’s to do with the lenses in our
eyes that help us focus on objects while looking at them. Cataract leads to a
clouding of these lenses with a thin layer of proteins. In diabetics, it goes
further and may cause swelling in the lenses that could change their shape,
sometimes permanently causing permanent blurring or loss of clear vision.
- Glaucoma: Diabetes may lead to the progressive narrowing of the ocular
blood vessels. This may cause fluid to collect in them that does not drain as
desired. Even though it does not bring any obvious discomfort, if left
untreated it can damage the optic nerves besides causing peripheral vision
- Macular Degeneration: Macula, a part of the retina degenerates with age. In
diabetics, this takes place much before time and may lead to blurred and
How does one avoid ocular degeneration caused by high blood sugar levels?
With the central reason for ocular degeneration being the existence of elevated
blood sugar levels, it’s important to treat the underlying conditions at the earliest.
Steps to mitigate the same may include:
- Diet: Eat foods with low glycaemic properties including millets and coarse
grains, fruits and vegetables regularly as against those high in sugar and
carbs. Being high on fibre, the former makes one feel full, which takes care of
hunger. Being low on the glycaemic index, they release blood sugar slowly and
don’t cause a sudden rush. Sugar thus released, turns into glucose efficiently
and effectively with very little remaining as sugar, the cause of most problems.
- Exercise: Do you know that during phases of physical activity, blood glucose
fuel the muscles with very low insulin! This goes to show that one of the best
ways to use all the blood sugar is by effective physical activity. Mind you, the
level of physical activity that is beneficial differs from person to person. It thus
makes sense to consult a medical practitioner as also an expert physical
activity coach to be on the safer side. The safest incidentally would be to come
to Aloha Clinics Medi-Gym in Karve Nagar, Pune where you get every element
that goes into improving your health, under one roof!
- Medication: High blood sugar may have many reasons, including genetics
and age. In these, the best bet to remain healthy is to visit a registered
medical practitioner. In Pune, you find the best lifestyle disease reversal
doctors including Diabetologists, Cardiologists, Orthopaedics, Gynecologists
and Nutritionists only at Aloha Clinics!