Pycnogenol?


#1

Hi all!

I have what is apparently the start of retinopathy.

I've had symptoms such as grey, stationary blobs showing up in my eyesight and staying. When the grey blobs appeared, it would be when I woke up, and I would see little tiny black dots swirling around and around inside the blobs. The black swirls would disappear after a day or two, but the grey blobs would remain. I've had this happen several times, but usually the area clears up in a day and I can still see fine through it. I've noticed that these spots--if and when they do occur--do so a few days before my period.

For what I call permanent spots, I have one small spot (2 months now) and one large spot (one month) in my right eye, and possibly one in my left--but it may have improved, I'm not quite certain yet.

I've been to a retinal specialist and the eye doctor several times. Both insist my eyes look great and that the only visible signs were a few tiny aneurysms, but they had no real explanation for the blobs. I figured they were blood spots that are taking ages to reabsorb. I have another optometrist appointment this weekend, to check out the bigger spot since it came recently.

Anyways! I have been looking into Pycnogenol and Benfotiamine. Anyone have experiences with these two? I'm already on the former, taking 50 mg a day (and I weigh approximately 160 lbs, or 72 kilos). I've had no side effects. I've been thinking of upping to 100 mg a day as the Pycnogenol website recommends 1 mg/kg of body weight, which would be 72 mg a day for me. Anyone my size that could comment on their dosage? I want to know whether taking about 28 mg extra a day would be a problem.

Thanks for help!


#2

Yes, retinopathy is starting. I am assuming you are diabetic and have started blood glucose monitoring and checking your A1C every three months or so. Aneurysms are fragile, small leaking blood vessels that break off and float into your field of vision. Your retina doc needs to use laser on them. The blobs you see are probably edema particles. They take a long time to clear. Get an opinion from another retina doc. The two food supplements are just that - food supplements. They will do nothing for retinopathy. Let us know how you’re doing.


#3

I have been Type 1 for 20 years, and am aware of what is involved. The three doctors I have seen (two optometrists and one retinal specialist) have all said it is far too early for laser treatment, as I am still in the non-proliferative stage. I asked. I know what the aneurysms are. I have also been shown pictures from inside my eye, with the hemorrhages circled--and they were indeed few and tiny, compared to other pictures of retinopathy that I have seen in my personal research.

Do you know what is involved in the edema particles? I'm guessing it's blood leaking into the macula of the eye...is this correct? Is it part of macula edema, or is this just a side-effect of a blood hemorrhage that will go away eventually?

From my own research, I wouldn't discount supplements entirely. Pycnogenol is a relatively recent finding, but I've read the studies on it (one on a .gov website) and there was significant improvement in patients with retinopathy. From what I've seen the supplement should at least help strengthen the blood vessel walls, which may reduce the number of hemorrhages I experience.


#4

Can you rule out that you had severe lows at night stressing the nervous system? I am just asking because many diabetics experience dots and spots in their eyesight after being low for a longer period of time. In combination with a beginning retinopathy this could cause the effects you are seeing. Have you ever tested around 3, 4 or 5am? Have the symptoms increased with the new pump?


#5

I can absolutely rule that out. I sleep for two-hour periods at a time and wake up to test, and my night-time readings are quite good most of the time. I'm on a Medtronics paradigm insulin pump, so I have quite good control over what insulin I get at any one time. And the symptoms came about a year after switching to the pump, but as I stated I am quite certain that isn't causing it. I also tend to wake up if I go low while sleeping, which I've noticed in the rare occasions that I have done so. I'll start having nightmares and wake up before I go lower than 4.0 mmol/L (72 mmol/g).

I have noted that when I do go low (sometimes during the day--not often, like maybe 1 or 2 times a week), the spots will seem darker. So yes that can effect it, but is not the underlying cause. The spots are there in their own right and have some other reason for existing.

One other note about the spots--they seem more prominent when I first wake up.

Pretty frustrating, huh?


#6

In Germany the Alpha-lipoic acid (the R-Ala form) is sometimes used for the treatment of polyneuropathies. If you suspect that you have deloped a retinopathy in the optic nerve this might be worth a try. Please discuss the different medications with your medical team.


#7

Hi, I have just joined this site purely to respond to your post and ask for an update on your ‘spots’? I am in exactly the same boat, have developed these stationary gray blank spots in my vision that my doctor can’t really see yet and I am assuming they are small microaneurysms. Did yours go away?! Mine have been there for about 6 months now and I am doing all I can to get rid of the buggers! Thank you in advance,

Jemma (type 1 of 26 years)


#8

Welcome @Jemmalee!

@onelildustbunni has not posted since March of last year, so I am not 100% sure if she will receive your question. I am really hoping that someone with relevant experience will be able to respond.

Sending positive feelings your way!


#9

I figured that might be the case after posting , but here’s to hoping she will come back soon! Thank you for the warm welcome :wave:t2::grin: