Can Bilberry Help Improve Circulatory Health in Adults with Diabetic R – DIABETIC SOCK CLUB

Can Bilberry Help Improve Circulatory Health in Adults with Diabetic Retinopathy?

What Are Bilberries? 

Berries by the name of Bilberries are from the family of Blueberries but are in a smaller size and are even sweeter than blueberries. These berries, because of their sweetness, are used for things such as jams, pies, and other sweet dishes. What most people do not know is that these berries are also very popular for their medicinal uses. 

The Bilberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus) has been used for its medicinal properties for several generations. In the olden times, people used to dry the fruit out along with its leaves and then use the leaves to treat issues such as coughs, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, among other topics. In addition to this, like most leaves are infused into tea, the Bilberry leaves are also used to make tea. The tea also has medicinal properties that include treatment for urine infections and, most commonly, diabetes. 

Its benefits know no bounds as there have been claims by the pilots in the British platoon during the second world war, that Bilberry jam helped increase their accuracy. As time has evolved, the uses for this berry have also changed. Now its medicinal uses are primarily commonly used to treat circulation problems in addition to Retinopathy. 

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy? 

Diabetic Retinopathy is a side effect of diabetes, and it takes place because of increased sugar levels in the blood. This side effect can damage the retina and can be extreme. It can also cause blindness if you do not pay much attention. 

You must pay close attention to your eye health as the consequences are irreversible. Let's take a look at the connection between diabetes and eye health. 

Diabetes And Eye Health 

 A retina is a thin, sensitive layer on the back of your eyes. This layer is made up of cells that help convert light into electric signals. Once the conversion is complete, the signs are sent to your brain that then manifests these signals into images that you see. Much like the rest of the body, your retina also needs blood supply, and that blood supply is made through a chain of tiny blood vessels. 

By now, we all know how diabetes damages the blood vessels in your body. The damage in the blood vessels of your retina happens in three different stages. 

Background Retinopathy - In this stage, small bulges develop on the lining of your blood vessels, but they do not cause your blood vessels to beat a lot. At this stage, there is no damage to your eyesight specifically. 

 

Pre-proliferative Retinopathy - This stage is when the damage starts to get severe. The blood vessels get more torn and worn out, causing more bleeding. It is at this stage that the bleeding enters your eye.

 

Proliferative Retinopathy - This is the worst stage of all as here the damage gets worse. The eye experiences a great deal of scar tissue. These blood vessels end up developing on the eye and are very weak. It is because of this that patients start to experience loss of vision. 

It would help if you found out exactly what stage you are on and what can be done to fix that. You will have to get a diabetic eye screening test which will tell you whether you have no retinopathy, background retinopathy, or in a worse case, degrees of referable Retinopathy. 

How Do I Know If You Have Diabetic Retinopathy? 

Though diabetic Retinopathys not very noticeable in the initial stages, here are some symptoms that you might face: 

  • Blurred or decreased vision. 
  • Experiencing shapes floating around in your eyes
  • Eye pain or sudden loss of vision

There are not many treatment options available. Let us look at some of the treatment plans you can choose from:

Laser Treatment 

Laser treatment is prescribed because it is less intrusive to the blood vessels on the back of your eyes. Laser treatment is mainly directed towards people who have had a great deal of damage to the blood vessels in the back of their eyes. They are already pretty weak, making them susceptible to rupture. There are some side effects that you might face after getting a laser treatment, and these include blurred vision, light sensitivity, and additional discomfort. 

Eye Injections 

To stop new blood vessels from forming on the back of your eye, you can get an injection by the name -anti-VEGF. This injection helps prevent the growth of newer blood vessels, and you will be to delay the development of the new blood vessels. During the treatment, you can expect an injection in your eyeball. It is a routine procedure for doctors, so you don't have to worry much. Much like the laser treatment, you might face some discomfort along with some bleeding within the eye. 

Eye Surgery 

Last but not least, you have the option of getting eye surgery. This eye surgery removes the humour from the back of your eye. This surgery is called Vitreoretinal surgery. It may become unavoidable if your vision has become beyond damaged. There are chances that you might get a cataract or retinal detachment. 

Alternate Treatment- Bilberry Extract

As mentioned earlier, Bilberry is an excellent source of strength for the blood vessels. The question here arises, how does it do that? The Bilberries have a compound called Anthocyanosides that helps promote the health of blood vessels in the retina.

 

What Exactly Is Anthocyanosides? 

Anthocyanosides are a group of nutrients that is called flavonoids. These flavonoids are found in fruits and other substances. The Anthocyanosides present in the Bilberries is of great value as it helps treat many problems such as:

  • It helps improve the circulation of blood by improving the state of the blood vessels. 
  • It also helps in preventing the damage caused to your cells. 
  • Many people have urged that it is a great way to help you heal your Retinopathy. 

You may be wondering how do Anthocyanosides help solve these problems. Anthocyanosides are oxidants and carry significant amounts of oxygen to the blood vessels all over the body. In addition to that, because of their nature, these berries are also very useful in maintaining and establishing the health of cells. 

Connection Between Retinopathy and Bilberry

People with diabetes are most likely to develop Retinopathy. Since the leading cause of Retinopathy is the weakening of the blood vessels, Bilberry can be of extreme help. Bilberry helps strengthen blood vessels, and when it enhances the blood vessels near your retina, you are most likely to save yourself from permanent eye damage. There have been different researches that have proved that Bilberry positively impacts the retinal health of people with diabetes.  

Other than patients with Retinopathy, there have been patients with Glaucoma who have seen visible improvement using Bilberry. Their vision improved drastically as well as the circulation in their overall body. 

Considering all the benefits, if you do not want to get intrusive procedures such as operations and laser treatments, you can go for something as natural as Bilberry. 

Where To Find The Bilberry extract? 

You can find supplements with Bilberry extracts easily, or if you do not want to go for supplements, you can always go for the fruit itself or a dried version of the fruit. Bilberries might be hard to find; if you cannot get your hands on them, you can always go for other berries that have anthocyanosides. There are many different sources of anthocyanosides, such as blackberries, cranberries, and also Acai berries. You can even find this compound in the red cabbage if you are not too fond of fruits. 

Final Verdict 

Diabetes is a severe disease that can take a toll on your overall health. You must take care of yourself and keep a watchful eye on what you are putting into your body. Be sure to check with your primary care doctor if you are leaning towards a natural remedy to ensure it will not harm any other aspects of your health. Bilberry is an excellent alternative treatment that has thankfully produced results. 

However, you must understand that you are not supposed to leave your medical treatment altogether. This is an alternate treatment and should be treated as such.

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