Diabetes, Insomnia and Gout Linked to AMD

Diabetes, Insomnia and Gout Linked to AMD

It is difficult to cope with a health issue, but if such an issue is not dealt with accordingly it can manifest into many other issues including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Recent studies have found that diabetes, insomnia and gout are all linked to an increased risk of AMD.

If you or someone you know is struggling through one of these conditions it is imperative that adequate checkups and a healthy protocol are adhered to. Knowing how these conditions may be a risk and what to do about it so AMD doesn’t become a health issue on top of another health issue, can be the most important health move you make right now.

Manage Your Diabetes

Your immune system is a powerful force, so powerful that if confused it will attack its own host. This is called auto-immune disease and there is a long list of such diseases with diabetes being one of the most prominent.

According to the American Diabetes Association,

“In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes.”

Current statistics for diabetes have grown exponentially and now research shows that on its heels, diabetes may be a pre-cursor for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

As reported by MDLinx Internal Medicine, The Journal Summaries in Internal Medicine recently published findings from a 15 year study (between 1997 and 2012) conducted in Taiwan which stated that,

“This investigation provided large-scale [over 100,000], population-based evidence that diabetes with retinopathy was independently correlated with an increased risk of subsequent AMD development.”

The biological science behind these findings (and many other corroborating studies) is elusive. The journal PLOS One cites a systematic review and meta-analysis of diabetes mellitus and risk of age-related macular degeneration. It investigates a variety of links between the development of AMD as a result of diabetes. Theories include:

  • Advanced glycation (processes such as hardening of the arteries, skin aging, and cataracts) end products (AGEs) in multiple tissues including the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell layers and photoreceptors.
  • Inflammatory responses in tissue cells, including oxidative stress found in the serum of AMD patients are a result of diabetes. These inflammatory activations could lead to the dysfunction and even death of the RPE/photoreceptor cells.
  • Hyperglycemia (an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, often associated with diabetes mellitus) has also shown a link to affecting the function and structure of the retinal pigment epithelium, thus increasing the risk of AMD.

Talk to your naturopathic doctor or holistic practitioner to see if you can start a protocol that may help you avoid diabetes and possibly AMD. If you or someone you know already has diabetes, there are many alternative approaches that may help. These include:

  • Plant-based diet
  • Exercise program
  • Acupuncture regiment
  • Daily meditation
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Herbal supplements
  • Psychotherapy

These and many other natural approaches have enabled many people to get off their meds and back to optimal health (even though Big Pharma wants you to believe diabetes is incurable).

Go Down and Stay Down

As reported by the American Sleep Association, insomnia is a sleep disorder linked to 50-70 million US adults. It can be a sleep disorder that is associated with snoring such as sleep apnea, lack of appropriate hours of sleep or minor to major bouts of non-sleep aka insomnia. Insomnia is a problem that can trickle down to side effects such as subpar work performance or dangerous driving statistics and now macular degeneration may be collateral damage as well.

Recently presented at the 36th ASRS (American Society of Retinal Specialists) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, were the results from a 9 year cohort study of the link between insomnia and AMD. MD Magazine reported (7/18) that Dr. Der-Chong Tsai, MD, PhD, of the Department of Ophthalmology at the National Yang-Ming University Hospital and School of Medicine, in Yilan, Taiwan along with a team of researchers, reported decreased levels of melatonin in patients with AMD and how insomnia may be linked to the development of the condition.

Dr. Der-Chong Tsai commented,

“This study provides large-scale, population-based evidence that insomnia is an independent indicator for the increased risk of subsequent AMD development,”

There are many ways to work on reducing insomnia. Some that may help include:

  • Medication
  • Acupuncture
  • Psychotherapy
  • Dietary changes
  • Exercise programs
  • Herbal supplements
  • Melatonin supplements
  • Breathing practices/meditation
  • Essential oil placement on pulse points and/or bed linens (lavender is best)

Try some on your own sleep issue fixes or talk to your health care practitioner for guidance so insomnia doesn’t turn into more serious repercussions like AMD.

Uric Trouble

In some people, the overproduction of uric acid could manifest into a condition called gout. Technically known as hyperuricemia, gout is placed in the arthritis category which affects upwards of an estimated 54.4 million US adults (22.7%) annually (CDC 2013-2015 stats).

Recent studies have now linked a connection between gout and AMD. In recent research of a large cohort study, out of 1,684,314 participants, 116,097 people had developed incident AMD as reported by Bel Marra Health. Results showed that gout has an independent risk factor of increasing the chances of AMD by 40%.

There are several things you can do to avoid gout as well as natural protocols to decrease gout symptoms. These include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Exercise or just keeping physically active in any way you can
  • Eating a plant based diet
  • Avoiding gout triggers such as soda, alcohol, red meat, and certain seafoods

Overall, inflammation associated with gout or a variety of other conditions, particularly autoimmune, are believed to adversely affect the retina. As gout manifests, the inflammatory markers significantly increase. When chronic inflammation occurs it can throw your whole system off balance and increase your chances of developing diseases such as AMD.

When random conditions and diseases such as diabetes, insomnia and gout are linked to age-related macular degeneration, it just shows how important it is to maintain your health. It’s easy to ignore telltale signs or minor pain that accompanies many health challenges but in due time it will catch up to you. Don’t wait until it’s too late and keep AMD away from your eyes as long as you can. 



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