cataracts

  1. Clear cataracts by lowering blood sugar

    The surgery-free secret to clearing cataracts -- FOR GOOD

    Q: Is there a natural way to remove cataracts without surgery?

    GR: Sometimes, as we age, we get used to holding the newspaper a mile away... whipping out pocket flashlights to read restaurant bills... and wearing sunglasses so dark that we look like "senior" members of the Secret Service.

    What I mean by that, of course, is that our eyes suffer -- we develop visual impairments like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and maybe even cataracts, the clouding of the eye lens that blurs our sight.

    Now, most docs love to tell their patients that they can just pop those cataracts right out with a simple surgical procedure -- but as you know, every surgery comes with its own risks.

    I always tell my patients that going under the knife should be a last resort -- AFTER they've tried all the natural approaches to addressing the issue.

    In the case of cataracts, lowering blood sugar may help clear the clouds away -- because according to a recent study, cataracts is linked to the high blood sugar associated with diabetes.

    In a study out of the UK, researchers analyzed the medical records of over 56,000 patients and tracked the incidence of both diabetes and cataracts among them. After the researchers crunched the numbers, it turned out that people with diabetes were TWICE as likely to develop cataracts than those without it.

    And here's why: When we have high blood sugar, the lenses in our eyes respond by "drawing out" some of the excess sugar. But since the lenses have nowhere to store it, the sugar literally "condenses" into cataracts over time -- accumulating more and more until that telltale fog blocks our vision entirely.

    In this latest study, the cataracts risk increased with age, too: While diabetics in the 45-to-49 age range were nearly five times more likely to develop cataracts than their non-diabetic counterparts, those who were up to just five years older were almost SIX times more likely than non-diabetics in the same age bracket.

    That's likely because the longer someone lives with diabetes, the longer their lenses have been grappling with high blood sugar levels.

    Following the Paleo diet -- which keeps blood sugar steady by eliminating all sugars, grains, and processed foods -- is an easy way to reverse diabetes (and the resulting cataracts) for good.
    The dark leafy greens, animal proteins, fish, nuts, and fruits you'll be eating on the diet are also loaded with nutrients that are essential for eye health, like lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and selenium.

    And as I've shared with eTips readers before, a combination of Chinese botanicals called "Hachimi-jio-gan" has been successfully used in China for centuries to treat cataracts.

    I also recommend 30,000 IU of vitamin A (not beta-carotene), bilberry, and ginkgo for anyone who wants to treat or prevent cataracts.

    Got a different question set in your sights? Drop me a line at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com, and I may answer yours next.

  2. Treat cataracts with Chinese botanicals

    Clear your cloudy vision... naturally!

    Q: I have cataracts in both of my eyes, and my vision is getting worse. Are there any non-surgical alternatives that may clear them up naturally?

    GR: Whenever a patient of mine has cloudy patches in the lenses of their eyes... and especially when they've already been diagnosed with cataracts... I suspect that they may be suffering from abnormal sugar insulin metabolism.

    You see, the lenses of our eyes respond to high blood sugar levels by "helping" to remove some of the excess. Unfortunately, the lenses have nowhere to store this excess sugar -- so, over time, it literally "condenses" into cataracts.

    The first thing I have my patients with cataracts do, therefore, is immediately eliminate all re¬fined sugar from their diets. It's not a "cure," per se -- but it may help clear the clouds and get to the root cause of the condition.

    A natural option for treating cataracts is a combination of Chinese botanicals called "Hachimi-jio-gan," or Ba-wei-wan. This treatment has been used for centuries in China to treat cataracts, and it even has a bit of clinical evidence to support it, to boot: In a human study of early cataracts conducted in Japan, Hachimi-jio-gan was associated with lessening of cataracts in 60 percent of the volunteers.

    In the USA, Hachimi-jio-gan is available as a (much easier to pronounce) formula called Clinical Nutrients for the Eyes, which is available from natural food stores and compounding pharmacies.

    I also recommend 30,000 IU of vitamin A (not beta-carotene) for anyone who wants to treat (or even prevent) cataracts. In fact, the only people who shouldn't use this amount are very small children (who don't get cataracts anyway) and pregnant women.

    Bilberry and ginkgo are the best vision-supporting herbs, but some other, useful eye-protecting nutrients include:

    • lutein and zeaxanthin (found in highest concentrations in spinach, collard greens, and other deep green leafy vegetables)
    • zinc (found in oysters, fish, and other animal protein)
    • selenium (two to four Brazil nuts a day are an excellent source)
    • riboflavin (brewer's yeast, almonds, mushrooms, wheat bran, and dark green leafy vegetables)
    • taurine (organ meats, fish, and other animal protein), and
    • quercetin (onions, apples, kale, cherries, grapes, red cabbage, and green beans).

    If you've got something on your mind, drop me a line at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com -- I may choose your question to answer next week!

  3. Vitamin C can delay onset of cataracts

    Study showed that a diet high in vitamin C can reduce the risk of cataracts by a third.
  4. Cataracts can be prevented with B vitamins

    Cataracts are preventable, and new research shows how the B vitamins in meat and dairy can cut your risk by as much as 38 percent.
  5. Fight cataracts with these nutrients

    Eat more antioxidant-rich foods, and your risk of cataracts will plunge.
  6. Statins can cause cataracts

    The cholesterol-lowering statin drugs taken by millions of American every day can dramatically increase your risk of cataracts, according to the latest research.
  7. Asthma drugs don't work

    Daily meds given to asthmatics make no difference for most patients, according to an airway-opening new study.
  8. Statins can cause fatigue, especially in women

    Statins can cause fatigue in 40 percent of women who take them, new data finds. That's along with a higher risk of everything from diabetes to muscle pain.
  9. Vitamin C for your eyes

    If you want to protect your eyes, forget carrots -- there's another "C" that plays a much more important role in how you see: Vitamin C.
  10. Seeing the (sun)light on the tanning issue

    The way to get the health benefits of a tan is to be out in the sunlight - the natural, full-spectrum sunlight. Not the predominantly UV light you get from artificial sunlight.

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