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Diabetic retinopathy develops as a result of an increase in blood sugar levels (Hyperglycemia) and damage to the retina’s microvasculature (microangiopathy).
Hyperglycemia is defined as elevated levels of sugar, or glucose, in the blood. Mellitus hyperglycemia is the starting point for the development of diabetic retinopathy in uncontrolled diabetes.
The following are the mechanisms through which hyperglycemia causes Microangiopathy:
Cellular damage: Hyperglycemia causes damage to retinal and endothelial cells. It also causes pericytes to be lost and the basement membrane of capillaries to thicken.
Changes in haematology and biochemistry: Hyperglycemia is a major factor in the development of Microangiopathy. It also involves an increase in platelet adhesiveness, blood viscosity, and distortion of red blood cells.
Microangiopathy, commonly known as tiny vessel disease, is a type of microvascular illness. Microangiopathy affects the pre-capillary arterioles, capillaries, and venules of the retina. It is the major pathology in diabetic retinopathy caused by hyperglycemia.
Microangiopathy’s effects on diabetic retinopathy include a breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier. A weakened capillary wall causes retinal edoema, haemorrhages, and lipid leaks.
Diabetic Retinopathy and Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, there is no such condition that directly translates into diabetic retinopathy. Even in the Ashtanga Sangrah and Sushruta, where eye condition is covered in depth, there is no such mention. Few people translate it as Pramehajanya Timira from modern terminology. A name can be translated. However, pathological understanding is crucial. And due of the lack of this pathogenic manifestation, we are unable to help DR patients with Ayurveda.
Ayurveda allows a physician to make decisions regarding an illness based on the participation of the Doshas. Before we can make a choice concerning Dosha in the DR, we must first comprehend several other concepts.
In the case of diabetic retinopathy, we must comprehend the following facts, according to Ayurveda:
Low metabolism /Agni Mandya Blood vessel problems /Rakta Pitta and Vata Rakta
These are two significant points in the context of Diabetic Retinopathy. When we comprehend these, we will have a thorough understanding of the condition.
Agni Mandya / Low Metabolic Rate
According to Modern Biology, metabolism is the body’s ability to burn food for energy production. In Ayurveda, this is referred to as Agni. Diabetes is not the sole cause of retinal alterations.
Diabetes is a metabolic condition in and of itself. Diabetes primarily inhibits sugar metabolism, as well as other things (fats, etc.). However, when it is combined with dyslipidemia and other diseases, the situation worsens. And it is at this moment that diabetes problems become prevalent.
Blood vessel issues/Rakta Pitta and Vata Rakta
Ayurveda distinguishes two conditions: Vata Rakta and Rakta Pitta. These parameters are critical for comprehending the two fundamental features of DR. Infarct (no blood flow to an area) or bleeding from very tiny arteries are the two most serious issues.
Vata Rakta is all about blood supply loss, which could be caused by artery obstruction owing to cholesterol or even inflammation in the artery walls.
Rakta Pitta is concerned with bleeding. When blood heats up, it gathers extra water from the surrounding tissues, resulting in increased blood volume. As a result, blood vessel pressure rises, resulting in bleeding.
So we now have a name for the condition. The next step is to determine Doshas.
Diabetic Retinopathy Is Caused By Doshas
Diabetes is a classic Vata imbalance illness. However, this imbalance begins with the Kapha. But we’re talking about a secondary condition here. And the key issue in this case is the blood. Pitta is the Dosha associated with blood.
As a result, we must exercise caution with all of the Doshas, focusing primarily on the pitta dosha. In general, when all three doshas are present, one of them becomes imbalanced throughout treatment.
Diabetic Retinopathy Ayurvedic Treatment
Now that we have a comprehensive understanding of the issue, we can better differentiate the Ayurvedic treatment options. There are a few key aspects to consider:
Keeping blood sugar under control
Keeping the Agni in Check
Addressing the root cause- In the case of infarcts (Vata Rakta), when bleeding is prominent (Rakta Pitta).
With this three-dimensional approach, we can better deal with Diabetic Retinopathy.
Because the eye is only one of the organs affected by diabetic retinopathy. The eye is at the receiving end. As a result, it is critical to treat the illness on a systemic basis. The main advantage of treating this problem on a systemic level is that a patient can avoid subsequent diabetes complications such as diabetic nephropathy!
This is why, when we treat DR, we assure that we will work on the entire system to achieve complete recovery of your health. Not only the eye.
Ayurveda is the other side of the coin!
When we seek Ayurvedic treatment for an illness, the first question we ask is, “Is it curable through Ayurveda?” The same is true with Diabetic Retinopathy. And now for your question: How effective is Ayurveda in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy?
Ayurveda, without a doubt, can prevent “blindness.” Ayurvedic treatment can certainly halt the progression of your condition. You can also live a normal life. Patients’ vision improves over time.
However, in addition to treatment, we always advise patients to keep taking their diabetes medications. We just add certain Ayurvedic medicines that can assist in controlling blood sugar levels and avoiding illness complications.
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