Proper Use Of Vitamin C For Glaucoma & Vision
Further to: Avoiding Visual Degeneration here is some useful information regarding Glaucoma, an affliction on which their is scant little available other than toxic drugs and/or Laser peripheral iridotomy none of which address the underlying causes such as nutritional deficiencies and/or toxins. In fact generally toxic drugs cause Glaucoma! For a comprehensive review see LifeExtension Web site.
Here yet again is another example why the Drug/Medical Mafia hate Vitamins and in particular Vitamin C! I am about to discuss/show how simple, not mention cost effective, it is to test efficacy of nutrients (at least on yourself). Naturally the medical Mafia refuses to do such research. They can then claim that there are no studies to support efficacy of nutrients/vitamins. Could it be that they are afraid of the results? What about the pretentious health agencies who are for ever trying to protect us from, generally non existent, harmful effects nutrients/vitamin yet look the other way form the real harm caused by drugs? Then to further add injury to insult they go to great lengths to hide good research or say the studies are old not done here (NIH syndrome (Not invented here) ) etc. etc. Then the crowning glory of excuses is that this or that symptoms conveniently named as a diseases be they glaucoma, diabetes etc. are incurable so why bother looking... And of course they are sweating night and day to manage these symptoms for you by developing this or that drug for each one of these symptoms...yea right!
Unlike drugs, that cause a multitude of problems (side effects) - addressing nutrient deficiencies often balances and provides the body with much needed building blocks to literally heal many, if not all, seemly non related other issues in the body. Here is a brilliant comment by Charlotte Gerson the daughter of late Dr. Max Gerson:
"When you heal the body - everything heals!" Need I say more?
You will see the wisdom of the above words throughout this information dense post....
"The patients experienced many other good side effects from vitamin C such as clearing of sinusitis, allergy symptoms, arthritis improvement, cholesterol lowering, laxative effect, diuretic effect for heart disease patients, and other improvements associated with vitamin C intake of "several grams per day" level. Ophthalmologists may awaken to the marvels of vitamin C in treating glaucoma!....
....Since vitamin C makes collagen needed to strengthen the blood vessel walls, diabetics quit bleeding in the retina and of course elsewhere in the body. This reduces the need for laser treatment to the retina and in many cases in the development of late glaucoma. In diabetes with an electron microscope the collagenous reticulum is absent at the site of retinal microaneurism. These develop in long standing diabetes and indicate a derangement in some slow metabolic process.(4)"
"In one report, a single dose of 500 mg/kg ascorbic acid reduced intreocular pressure in all of 39 patients with chronic openÂ·angle glaucoma by an average of 16 mm Hg - although it usually caused gastrointestinal symptoms.
Also, ascorbic acid 100 to 150 mg/kg 3 to 5 times daily resulted in almost normal intraocular pressures in 15 out of 16 patients by 45 days, some of whom were uncontrollable with acetazolamide and 2% pilocarpine with only 3 to 4 days of gastrointestinal symptoms initially (Virno).
Vitamin C has also been found to be effective in reducing intraocular pressure when administered by topical application in a 10% aqueous solution. thus avoiding gastrointestinal side effects (Linner).
...in studies on rabbits, cod liver oil supplementation was found to lower intraocular pressure dramatically, while lard and safflower oil had no effect (Mancio)."
Given my penchant for self sufficiency the use of topic vitamin C was just too irresistible - hence I came up with my own concoction that I and my wife have been using 3+ times a day as a preventative given that the lens loses about 1 percent of its transparency each year. The effects so far have been most gratifying. There is an immediate clarity in sight after use and the eyes feel wonderful. The experiment is still on and we will be doing some ongoing refinements in due course. But for now this works great and is a keeper....
Here is how to make your own eye drops* mix 1/4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid in 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of distilled water. 1/4 teaspoon is roughly 1 gram of ascorbic acid and one teaspoon is 5ml and vola you have the 10% vitamin C solution! It takes a while to mix in cold water (5+ minutes of mixing) so warm water (not hot) should dissolve the vitamin C faster. I hasten to add that this solution does sting at first as it is quite acidic. To prevent this, buffer the solution with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda till yout are able to get some non sodium buffered ascorbic acid such C-Salts - use only high quality ascorbic acid powder as it will dissolve faster than the crystals. At the moment we are using 1/4 vitamin C with little more than 1/8 soda bicarbonate (this is a more comfortable) till we get some magnesium or potassium ascorbate. while one can use sodium ascorbate, I prefer to steer clear of anything that increases bodily fluid pressures - glaucoma or not. Do not use tablets as these are loaded with fillers etc.
Alternatively, one could try have a compounding pharmacy make you a stable, sterile and buffered 10% Vitamin C solution.
*Note: Vitamin C is stable when dry, but in solution it deteriorates as it is exposed to oxygen. Prepare this solution as close to the time of use as possible. It should be good for one day or so. A daily solution needs to be made. However, if the solution is prepared in syringe (thus removing any oxygen exposure) then it could be used till finished. You can add a drop or two of silver colloidal as a sterilizing agent if you like. Store the syringe in the refrigerate till all the solution is used up. It is important to not contaminate any of the ingredients and containers. Wash hands every time you use as there is a tendency to touch the eyes particularly if they burn...
My research indicates that one can have peripheral vision loss with or without high intraocular fluid pressure**. With proper building blocks (nutrients) one can strengthen the optical nerve to prevent the progression of peripheral vision loss regardless in intraocular fluid pressure. Clearly normal pressure will have less stress on the optical nerve - none the less one needs to strengthen the optical nerve regardless of normal eye fluid pressure.
"An open trial of 5 mg B12 daily in glaucoma patients found no change in IOP with supplementation. However, there was no progression of visual field loss during five years of follow-up.(87)"
87 Sakai T. Effect of long-term treatment of glaucoma with vitamin B12. Glaucoma 1992;14:167-170.
Hence, the vital nutrient vitamin B12 must not be overlooked.
"The Russians have pioneered the treatment of glaucoma with B12, observing improvement in half of a group of 46 patients receiving 1/10 milligram dose of B12 daily; (53) and a Japanese physician found that B12 injections improved various vision problems.(54)
Deafness (see below) is associated with B12 deficiency; supplements have been useful in treating tinnitus and noise-related hearing loss. (55)"
Having quoted the above - I hasten to add:
"Avoid taking excess vitamin C, especially for long periods. The ability of vitamin C to destroy B12 has been observed by several researchers--although this is disputed by others. Small amounts of natural vitamin C are a better choice than large amounts of synthetic vitamin C. (Herbert V and Das KC. Folic acid and vitamin B12. In: Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 8th ed. PhiladelphiaL Lea & Febiger, 1994:404.)"
Extracted from: Vitamin B12: Vital Nutrient for Good Health by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. This is a must read!
Needless to say in addition to extra vitamin B12 a good B complex capsule is a good idea in any event. For better absorption open the capsule in some yogurt the night before and eat it with breakfast next morning. Or better still make your own as per:
...."The adrenal cortex, the outer layers of the adrenal glands which are located on top of your kidneys, is a treasure house of life-sustaining hormones. Among other duties, hormones of the adrenal cortex regulate your water balance and the electrolytes (minerals) essential to life. Dr. Josephson reasoned that since glaucoma was basically a problem of fluid control in the eye, too much in and too little out, a deficiency of the hormones of the adrenal cortex might be at least part of the problem. He proved to be right and, over his career, successfully treated many cases of glaucoma. In fact, he had a 72 percent success rate in early cases."...
As many of you know that often the cause of number of ailments often have a seemingly unrelated source - in this case the Kidney/Adrenal seems to be the case. By happenstance I came across a Hearing Loss Relief product by Bell Lifestyle that also contained raw adrenal, adrenal cortex extract (ACE) and kidney extracts to produce the body's own aldosterone.
Above again is another example of using natures methods (nutrients) to heal the body thus healing everything!
Glaucoma: Stealing Your Sight
Although it is a relatively rare condition, glaucoma — a leading cause of blindness in the United States — receives a lot of attention in the media. This is because most of the cases of blindness due to glaucoma are thought to be preventable. I've always thought there were alternative treatments that might be effective, but until recently, most people just weren't receptive to alternatives.
While we don't have any conclusive evidence of any treatment to cure glaucoma, I have made a few minor remarks about its treatment through the years. But my interest was peaked by a letter from a subscriber who said, "Do you know that cannabis, marijuana, has been prescribed for years for glaucoma?" I had known this, but didn't know how widespread the knowledge was. (Sadly cannabis like drugs in this case does not address nutritional deficiencies and not a solution except for emergencies - CG)...
...I mentioned that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness, but there is some good news: It can be prevented if you begin treatment soon enough. Unfortunately, the early signs of glaucoma are difficult to detect, and all too often people don't notice the early symptoms, they wait too long before they seek treatment, and blindness is the sad result. Glaucoma causes disease of the optic nerve. When pressure inside the eye begins to increase, damage to the optic nerve can be the result. If this includes damage to the nerve fibers, blind spots can develop.
Studies of many thousands of patients find that most people have an eye pressure less than 20 units of pressure in each eye without optic nerve damage. (You can have glaucoma with less pressure; you might not have glaucoma even if your pressure is higher. The "20 units" rule relates to most, but not all patients.)
There are various types of glaucoma (30 in all), including chronic open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. The former is the most prevalent, accounting for 90 percent of all adult glaucoma. Chronic open-angle is the insidious kind of glaucoma — often taking your sight before you realize there has been any damage.
With angle-closure glaucoma, the drainpipe becomes completely blocked. The symptoms are recognizable and can include blurred vision, severe eye pain, headaches, rainbow haloes around lights, and nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, get help immediately.
Note: If you are of Asian or African ancestry, your risk of angular-closure glaucoma is higher than the general population.
*One probable cause of glaucoma that you might not have thought about is your pharmaceutical drugs. The Physicians Desk Reference list 94 medications that can cause glaucoma, including steroids, oral contraceptives, gold, and antihistamines. Ask your doctor if your medication has glaucoma as one of its side effects. You may even want to go to the library and check out all the side effects of your medication in the Physicians Desk Reference — your doctor may not know.
Detection and Treatment
During a complete eye exam, your doctor will perform a series of tests, which can include a measurement of your intraocular pressure, a look at how well your eye is draining, an evaluation of any optic nerve damage, and a test of your visual field.
Whether you receive any or all of these tests depends upon your risk factors. These factors include your age, ancestry, nearsightedness, eye injuries, and a family history of glaucoma.
As a rule, damage caused by glaucoma cannot be reversed. Eye drops, medications, and laser and surgical operations are used to prevent or slow further damage from occurring.
Glaucoma is usually controlled with eye drops taken several times a day, sometimes in combination with medications by mouth. These medications decrease eye pressure, either by slowing the production of aqueous fluid within the eye or by improving the flow leaving the drainage angle.
You should notify your ophthalmologist immediately if you think you may be experiencing any of the following side effects: a stinging sensation, red eyes, blurred vision, headaches, or changes in pulse, heartbeat, or breathing.
The drugs used to treat glaucoma can cause (among other things): tingling of fingers and toes, drowsiness, loss of appetite, anemia, and taste disturbances.
If you use eye drops for glaucoma, you need to be particularly wary of other medications. The Annals of Internal Medicine (112,2:120) reports that these prescription eye drops can react with other medications after being absorbed into the body through tear ducts. (The eye drops can also cancel out the benefits of some medications, such as diabetes and asthma drugs.) The side effects from these reactions can cause headache, disorientation, tremors, and lower heart rate and blood pressure. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. There is a way you can avoid most of these complications. Simply lie down while applying the drops (one at a time) and, using a Kleenex, apply light pressure to the inside corner of your eye for four or five minutes. This will block the tear ducts and let the medicine do its job on the eye.
Laser surgery treatments may be effective for different types of glaucoma. The laser is usually used in one of two ways. In open-angle glaucoma, the drain itself is treated. The laser is used to enlarge the drain (trabeculoplasty) to help control eye pressure. In angle-closure glaucoma, the laser creates a hole in the iris (iridotomy) to improve the flow of aqueous fluid to the drain.
Laser treatment is only necessary in a small percentage of cases (10 percent or so) — patients who simply do not respond to traditional glaucoma treatments. According to Dr. Paul N. Schacknow, an ophthalmologist who performs laser surgery, the laser usually works to lower eye pressure in about 80 percent of patients for whom it is appropriate. "While for unknown reasons, it doesn't work in about 20 percent of open-angle glaucoma patients, it doesn't appear to harm them in any way either."
These are the conventional methods of treatment you're sure to hear when you go to the eye doctor for treatment of glaucoma. Generally, these methods will work to keep glaucoma from progressing. But there are also some natural remedies that can be tried before resorting to the above procedures (if you're early in the disease's progression) or in conjunction with them.
There are several things you can do at home to reduce the pressure involved in glaucoma. The first step is to make sure you're taking all the nutrients mentioned at the end of this report. In many cases, these are the minimum amount of nutrients that your eye needs. With glaucoma, you'll need to boost several of these to much greater levels. We'll discuss this in a moment. First, you need to find out if the higher pressure in your eye is being caused by allergies. Avoiding known allergens has been shown to lower the eye pressure by as much as 20 millimeters. This may not solve your problem entirely, but it's the best place to begin. Also, make sure you're avoiding sugar and processed foods.
***Once you identified and avoided the things you're allergic to, it's time to add additional supplements to your diet. Start by adding megadoses of vitamin C. Some doctors recommend taking 500 mg of C for every two kilograms (2.2 pounds) of body weight. I think this might be a little high. Start with around 20,000 mg and work your way up to this dosage. If you notice any problems, reduce the dosage to a comfortable level. With dosages this high, you'll probably want to work in conjunction with a holistic doctor. As the pressure goes down, see if you can reduce the dosage without allowing the pressure to go up again.
Other nutrients that I've discussed in the pages of my newsletters that are crucial for the treatment of glaucoma are bioflavonoids and magnesium. The bioflavonoids are so crucial to your health, including the health of your eye, that I told Healthy Resolve to include them in their Maximum multivitamin. A healthy person needs only about 100 mgs a day, but for glaucoma sufferers, 1,000 mgs a day is more appropriate. As for magnesium, a report in the journal Ophthalmologica indicates that 122 mg of magnesium daily can improve visual field defects by increasing the blood flow to the eye. I suggest you take as much magnesium as your body can handle. Start with 500 mg and work your way up. If you begin to experience diarrhea, cut back until it goes away.
In his book Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs, John Heinerman discusses the wisdom of Maria Treben, a renowned German folk healer and popular herbalist. Heinerman says, "Maria Treben insists that glaucoma is not an eye disorder, but rather a definite malfunction of the kidneys instead. A tea should be made, she observes, from equal parts of stinging nettle, yarrow, calendula, and horsetail, and 2-3 cups consumed each day. Bring 1 qt. of water to a boil, add these herbs, cover and simmer for seven minutes; then remove and steep another 45 minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey before drinking." I don't know if this concoction will work or not, as I've never tried it on any of my patients. But if you have glaucoma, it couldn't hurt to try it. If it works, let me know. I have to admit that I'm a little suspicious, though. The Chinese say the liver is connected to the eyes, not the kidneys. But if a remedy works, who am I to argue, Heinerman, in his revised and expanded version of the aforementioned book (Reward, 1995), also tells of a glaucoma treatment that he got from an Egyptian pharmaceutical student. He says that "the finest sesame oil should be used." Here's how: "First, about half a cup of the oil needs to be cooked until it is rather hot." The best way to heat the oil is to put it into an empty baby-food jar. Then place the jar into about two inches of boiling water and allow to heat. "When the oil is very hot to the touch, remove from the pan and strain through several layers of gauze. Allow to thoroughly cool until the oil is comfortably warm. This can be tested by simply dropping a little bit on the tip of the tongue. Then, using an eyedropper, put three drops of this oil into each eye just before retiring for the night."
If none of the above treatments works to slow, halt, or reverse your glaucoma, would you be willing to try something a little unusual? Of course you would. Unfortunately, you'll have to do some research, because it's extremely difficult to find. But if you find it, you'll be amazed at how well it works in most cases, so read on.
You've probably never heard of Emanuel Josephson, M.D., but neither have most doctors. He was born in 1895, so he would be over 100 years old if alive today. But his great clinical work on glaucoma is still remembered by a few of us. I came across his name again when I was doing research on my monograph about hormone therapies. As I mentioned in that report, one of the great tragedies in medicine was the government's suppression of the use of adrenal cortical extract, or ACE. You can read in depth about ACE in my report, Hormone Replacement Therapies (to order, call Rhino Publishing 1-888-317-6767 or 416- 352-5126).
The adrenal cortex, the outer layers of the adrenal glands which are located on top of your kidneys, is a treasure house of life-sustaining hormones. Among other duties, hormones of the adrenal cortex regulate your water balance and the electrolytes (minerals) essential to life. Dr. Josephson reasoned that since glaucoma was basically a problem of fluid control in the eye, too much in and too little out, a deficiency of the hormones of the adrenal cortex might be at least part of the problem. He proved to be right and, over his career, successfully treated many cases of glaucoma. In fact, he had a 72 percent success rate in early cases.
So adrenal deficiency and glaucoma go hand in hand but, even today — 50 years after Josephson's discovery few doctors make the diagnosis of adrenal deficiency. Even if they did recognize adrenal deficiency, they still wouldn't get the connection with glaucoma. Dr. Josephson remarked sadly: "My hope and expectation that ophthalmology would welcome (ACE) has been rudely shattered." To obtain ACE you will have to go to one of the medically-free countries such as Mexico.
If you do find a clinic that uses quality ACE and the treatment works for you, please write us and tell us all the details. We'd love to hear about it.
Each eye is filled with fluid that is essential for maintaining its normal shape. Sometimes the pressure in one or both eyes can increase giving rise to a condition known as glaucoma. 90% of glaucoma cases are known as 'chronic glaucoma'. In this condition, there are usually no symptoms until significant elevations in eye pressure are present. When the pressure of fluids in the eye reaches high levels, a gradual loss of peripheral vision - sometimes called 'tunnel vision' - is experienced. Chronic glaucoma can lead to damage to the major nerve in the eye, causing gradual loss of vision over time.
Like many conditions, glaucoma may have one or more underlying physiological mechanism. The imbalances that seem most relevant are low thyroid function, food sensitivity (1,2), and low adrenal function (see Dr John Briffa's e-book entitled 'Six Essentials to Physical Health and Wellbeing' for more information about these conditions). Identifying which, if any, of these factors are present and successfully treating them can help to control eye pressure.
Some natural substances seem to have the ability to reduce eye pressure. Eskimos who eat a diet rich in oily fish (high in essential fatty acids of the omega-3 type) have been found to be at reduced risk of glaucoma. I am not aware of any studies which have looked at the effect of healthy fats on eye pressure in humans, although cod liver oil (also rich in omega-3 fatty acids) has been shown to be effective in animals (3). Including plenty of omega-3 rich foods in the diet and taking a supplement of these oils (either as fish oil or linseed oil) might help to control eye pressure in the long term.
Another useful natural substance for glaucoma appears to be the bioflavonoid compound rutin. Just 20 mg, three times a day, was found in one study to help 17 out of 26 eyes affected by glaucoma in individuals already taking conventional medication for this condition (4).
(1). Raymond LF. Allergy and chronic simple glaucoma. Ann Allergy 1964;22:146
(2). Berens C, et al. Allergy in glaucoma. Manifestations of allergy in three glaucoma patients as determined by the pulse-diet method of Coca. Ann Allergy 1947;5:526
(3). McGuire R. Fish oil cuts ocular pressure. Med Tribune 1991;19:25
(4). Stocker FW. Clinical experiments with new ways of influencing the intraocular tension. II. Use of rutin to enhance the tension-reducing effect of miotics by reducing the permeability of the blood-aqueous barrier. Arch Opthalmol 1949;73:429-435
posted by Chris Gupta on Monday April 19 2010
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