Do you take any supplements/aids for eye health?

I've had T1 for 23 years now, and I've been lucky to have no complications so far. I'm a bit of a control freak with my health in general, and although my eyes show no signs of diabetes, I still want to be as proactive as I can in caring for them. I'm hoping some of you might have some thoughts on taking any vitamins or other supplements to help with your eyes? It seems as though most long-time T1s have had some eye issues, and if I can avoid such issues, I want to. 

I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!

Check with your doctor.  I'm not sure that supplements will make much difference.  What statistically makes a difference is having annual diabetic eye exams so that problems can be caught early and treated.  And of course, having decent control of your diabetes.  

Like most complications, diabetes isn't the major cause.  POORLY CONTROLLED DIABETES IS.  There are some unfortunate people who are well controlled but are unfairly more prone to complicatons like retinopathy.  But if that's the case then you just have to deal with it.

Type 1 diabetes is unlikely to cause blindness.  The National Center for Disease control says that only 1.1% of people with type 1 diabetes are blind.  So it’s possible, but very unlikely as modern treatment methods like multiple daily injections and insulin pumps have become common.

I've had diabetes for 36 years.  Back in my teens when I was in terrible control there was an area in my eye that wasn't retinopathy, but has been a "spot to watch" at every diabetic eye exam I’ve had in the last 20 years.  But at my exam this last September the spot was gone!  The ophthalmologist called in several colleagues to verify and the all agreed that my eyes look perfect and I have no diabetes related damage.  

You never hear stories like this or about people who have type 1 with no retinopathy or any other complications.  But we’re out there.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.../22025782

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.../15717888

Jenna,

Great information!

Howdy... 17 years diabetic with eye problems. It was totally caused by poorly controlled diabetes.

On the supplement and vitamin note - there's not really anything out there for the problems you're trying to avoid. The "diabetic eye" (I cringe at that phrase) is new blood vessel growth where there shouldn't be, which is caused by limited blood nutrients to the eye because of higher HbA1c and your eye starts growing new blood vessels to compensate... that's the simplest description I can think of. There's lots more to it though.

So that means you'd be looking for for something to stop growth or improve blood circulation. My ophthalmologist has told me on more than one occasion that the 85 mg aspirin I take it not affecting my eye health as a blood thinner. You'd need to be on some super blood thinner (like Warfarin) to make a difference I'd think, but still it's not for preventing eye trouble.

Some vitamins that have been shown to have positive effects on health and are commonly lower in T1D are B complex vitamins, vitamin D, omega 3 (there's a recommendation for men to take 3200mg/day to help prevent prostate cancer) and iron.

Magnesium may be another one, but you don't want to take that unless you need it because it can sometimes cause stomach issues if you don't need it. I'd be curious what others say about supplements and vitamins they take in general.

Thanks for all the information. Given the lack of general recommendations, I figured that there really wasn't much to do besides maintain good A1Cs. I appreciate the responses!

My good friend swears by the notion that improving blood circulation in the eyes is key. He takes a vitamin supplement called Visiloc, which apparently promotes blood circulation in the eyes. You can take a look at visiloc.com

Talking about diabetes with eyesight problem. I came across this Japan eye supplement which have many testimonials of people improving from diabetes. You can search it in youtube, the product is called Super lutein, the website www.eyecarelutein.com

Go to an organic vitamin store and tell them you are a type one diabetic and need something that is good for your circulation and eye health that will not affect your blood sugar! Like some have previously mentioned poor control is one of the main causes of poor eye health. I have been diabetic for 13 years and (thank goodness) have had only one blot hemmorage on the inside of my eye but this was because I was in very very poor control with a1c of 13 so thats a main contributing factor. I do take an array of supplements daily and one I like for eye health is Bilberry extract (some shops sell it with lutein which is good too) but thats the only one’s I have personally tried. Hope this helps!

Pura Vida
-B