Friday, July 27, 2012

Diabetes and Glaucoma

Diabetes, Glaucoma and Homeostasis

Remember, the main function of our body systems provides a perfect environment for a cell to live.

Acidity, concentrations of electrolytes, removing wastes, 98.6 degrees F, food (glucose) , a perfect place to live forever.

Diabetics have trouble maintaining that environment. Insulin regulation and diet are important. The problem is the blood capillaries. The capillaries continue to gradually decline in their ability to maintain essential solute molecules to retrain blood volume. Regulating insulin doesn't stop the breakdown of capillaries.

Its like a movie in slow motion. How can a person with diabetes stop this slow degradation of the capillary single cell thick membrane? Research will continue to probe and test. Right now there isn't a cure.

Since the capillaries reach everywhere in our body where living cells reside there are numerous exchange points for providing fluid (water) that disappears from the blood only to return a short time later. How does this work in the  eye?

A capillary bed is an exchange point for maintaining a function for an organ, part of an organ, tissues, spaces inside a structure - anywhere fluid provides products the body uses and fluids.

A capillary has an arterial end (think high pressure) and a venous end (think lower pressure). In the eye what does a capillary bed provide that makes our vision operate well?

It provides water.(think incompressible) The water maintains the shape of the eye so the mechanics of vision can function. Its like a stream flowing along , at the same rate, year after year. 

In glaucoma, one end of the capillary bed is not functioning well. Blood pressure supplies the water to the interior of the eye and the venous end of the capillary bed is supposed to reabsorb exactly the same amount of water that enters the eye chamber from the arterial end of the capillary bed.

In a person suffering from glaucoma the above does not take place. There is an imbalance. More water is formed than water reabsorbed. Keep in mind this difference is very slow in developing. 

What is the reason why there may be a connection between a history of glaucoma and diabetes? The deterioration of the capillary membrane from, possibly (don't know for sure), diabetes. 

When the larger solute molecules leave the blood capillaries at the arterial end of the capillary bed the venous end has lost its ability to reabsorb all the water that was formed by osmosis

Since water is incompressible it will put increased pressure on the optic nerve over time. The sensitive retinal layer, in the rear of the eyeball, begins to fail from the increase of pressure. You will develop blindness if the buildup in pressure continues without detection. Total destruction of the retinal layer will render you blind. 

See an Ophthalmologist for an eye examination if you are diabetic or, if not diabetic, were screened and found to have intraocular pressure readings from a Tonometer exceeding 20. 

The treatment is easy and painless. One drop of a fluid to each eye each day will keep the buildup from happening.

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