Eye care and human well-being may seem like a distant connection but are, in fact, a very intimate connection. Chronic conditions rarely, if ever, occur in one part of the body without affecting in some way the health or functioning of the entire being. A couple of examples will serve to illustrate this point.
For example, a health condition of diabetes affects the blood vessels of the entire body including the eyes, more specifically the retina which where the process of vision begins. The retina has a rich blood circulation that is separated from the actual retinal cells by a blood-brain barrier. Yes, the eyes are indeed part of the brain. Diabetes can cause hemorrhaging within the retina through neo-vascular genesis and its complications, a finding that is alarmingly common in diabetic patients. This causes a cycle of cell death and increased hemorrhaging, leading to loss of vision often times even with modern treatment through intra-ocular injections and laser treatment to the retina. A similar outcome (though through a different mechanism) of retinal damage is also seen in hypertensive patients. Unfortunately, some patients that are obese will likely progress to develop hypertension, diabetes or both, among other issues, hence the new term “diabesity” to encompass the growing number of patients starting to demonstrate both or all three of these.
Too often, however, it is merely the specialist intervention such as a retinal specialist “treating” the retinal findings and the primary care providers monitoring blood sugar levels, that occurs in the hustle and bustle of modern medicine and hectic modern life. In patients that show such retinal damage and loss of vision, merely treating the retina or similar findings or symptoms while monitoring their blood sugar levels will likely prove to be insufficient in maintaining long-term health or their visual prognosis for optimal vision.
It is indeed managing holistically the underlying causes, the conditions themselves, that will prove most beneficial to the patient ultimately by returning the patient to a state of homeostasis. Therefore, a holistic approach in caring for such patients’ well-being should be at the heart of every treatment regimen regardless of the chronic condition being addressed. This should obviously include an appropriate medication and treatment regimen for the underlying condition to start with but extended focus on any chronic condition with appropriate intervention and management including nutrition and exercise, yoga and meditation, and, lastly and perhaps most importantly, prayer. As mentioned in a prior blog entry, these approaches should be integral to health care, and should always be done in conjunction with the primary care physician for optimal outcomes.
Each of these however, nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, and prayer deserves a full exploration as it is an integral and important part of returning a person to total health. Nutrition as it impacts the body, for example, is best explored by the ancient science of Ayurveda. Hence, Ayurveda is applied nutrition that is customized for different health conditions or persons and desired outcomes.
The other issue in nutrition is its suitability and compatibility for a particular person or condition. That is, it is not just that a substance is nutritionally important in principle but, the bigger question is, is that nutritional substance suited for a particular person? Is it going to be digested and assimilated appropriately by a person and hence be nutritionally beneficial? Or is that person lacking something such that the particular nutritional substance may cause inflammation and subsequent long-term harm to that person, quite to the contrary of the hoped goal of proper nutrition to achieve homeostasis? With modern scientific approaches to nutritional food sensitivity and its compatibility with a person, this issue becomes extremely important and accessible to a modern day patient.
Discover healthful living that comes through a holistic approach to healthcare yoga, meditation, appropriate nutrition, balance of activity and exercise, prayer and, as and when necessary, medicine. Experience total human well-being through a holistic approach through conscious personal choices.
Note: Holistic approach to human well-being is a complex subject that deserves an extended discussion. Hence, this subject may be explored with a multi-part series of blogs in the future, perhaps, rather than just this one. Please feel free to contact us for more information or appointment, questions or concerns. The opinions expressed herein are the author’s; Your comments and opinions are welcome!