Has anyone had Minimal Background Diabetic Retinopathy that has improved or gone away? I recently went to an Opthomologist who said I no longer have retinopathy. I was definitely shocked and might not 100% believe it until I go back in a year. I was originally diagnosed with a small amount more than 5 years ago.
if you have control on your BG levels as close to 70 to 140…normalized, there is possibility and could be one of the many reasons along with diet that it can regress.
how are your numbers recently?
I have had A1C’s in the 7’s for a while now and did start using an insulin pump after originally being diagnosed with a small amount of retinopathy. But my numbers fluctuate a lot. I can go from 30 to 200 or 300 easily in a day. I definitely don’t have within range a majority of the time. I tend to aim higher to avoid lows.
I do take a good amount of Vitamin C. I have problems with inflammation and shoulder pain from frozen shoulder. The Vitamin C helps a lot with that. I have found it helps more than any RX plus no side effects. Some of the things online make me wonder if Vitamin C has helped with my eyes too.
According to this article, on nei.nih.gov, there are 4 stages. I was diagnosed with PDR in 1980’s when treatments were much different than today. I did not get laser treatment until 6 years after I had been told they saw ‘some changes’, but nothing for them to ‘treat’. I basically reached stage 4 (PDR) when they did laser, and soon after required a vitrectomy. However, I still have pretty good vision 30 years later.
You may have stage 1, where the degree of swelling may have gone down and no longer be visible, or maybe missed. I know there are many other treatments available today, performed in the earlier stages. Most likely your doctor simply meant there was nothing to ‘treat’.
Did the prior doctor take images to document the minimal background DR ? If so, it’s helpful to have them transferred to your new doctors. If you have doubts about your Dr, you should find another !
(from nih website)
Diabetic retinopathy may progress through four stages:
Mild nonproliferative retinopathy. Small areas of balloon-like swelling in the retina’s tiny blood vessels, called microaneurysms, occur at this earliest stage of the disease. These microaneurysms may leak fluid into the retina.
Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy. As the disease progresses, blood vessels that nourish the retina may swell and distort. They may also lose their ability to transport blood. Both conditions cause characteristic changes to the appearance of the retina and may contribute to DME.
Severe nonproliferative retinopathy. Many more blood vessels are blocked, depriving blood supply to areas of the retina. These areas secrete growth factors that signal the retina to grow new blood vessels.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). At this advanced stage, growth factors secreted by the retina trigger the proliferation of new blood vessels, which grow along the inside surface of the retina and into the vitreous gel, the fluid that fills the eye. The new blood vessels are fragile, which makes them more likely to leak and bleed. Accompanying scar tissue can contract and cause retinal detachment—the pulling away of the retina from underlying tissue, like wallpaper peeling away from a wall. Retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss.
Thanks for the information. I definitely think I will call my old eye doctor to see what they have. I don’t remember them taking images and they had me come back every 6 months to recheck. It was definitely the beginning stage and the background retinopathy is non-proliferated. The new doctor did take a digital picture and even showed it too me. He said that I should come for a check up in a year since he saw no signs of retinopathy.
I have had the same effect for several years. The doc finds tiny issues, and in six months it is gone. It is really the degree of your should remember the tiny aneurysms do heal and go away. That does not mean it is healed, or will never return. It just means it has be watched even closer. As the son of a person who lost her eyesight to retinopathy I am very concerned about my eyesight so when I always request my doctor check me every 6 months. He has been saying for years, look you can be checked in a year, I always say the same if it’s all the same doc, let’s check in 6 months.
He is always happy to do it. I mean who doesn’t love getting their eyes dilated? LOL Over the course of years, he will find small aneurysms about 1 out of every 4 visits and yes it does seem to correspond to my a1c with a delay of about 6 months. So if I have an A1c over 6.5, I can pretty well know that in six months he will find small aneurysms. Lowering my A1c usually will clear it up. Of course, everyone is different. Certainly my A1c (low 6’s) might produce aneurysms in another person while yours in the 7’s might not in others.
I’m T1 for 34 years.
Several times in the past decade have been diagnosed with background diabetic retinopathy in my left eye, then the next visit to the same opthamologist 9 months later, there is no sign of it.
Others point out bg control as being important to reduce risk of retinopathy, but another big factor is blood pressure control. Sort of plumbing wise, it makes sense to me that my retina is less likely to show bleeding if my blood pressure is under control.
I was diagnosed with retinopathy several years ago, had to have a procedure on my left eye to relieve problems but now it is gone. After a year of KETO diet and IF, I lost 130 lbs and am off ALL my BS meds including metformin, resolved my fatty liver, no more retinopathy. My BP is good, my other bloodwork (cholesterol, electrolytes) is in range. My last A1C was 6.0. My eye specialist told me it was having a decent A1C for the past year and keep up the good work, he would check me again in 6 months, and then we could go to 1 year checkups. Yes, it can be done!!! I can’t say enough about controlling my T2D through diet/no carb/lo carb. My endo was very conservative and waited 6 months before starting to drop and reduce meds but it was an awesome trade - too glad to be where I am today.