Very good information on iritis. I would like to add that I was told by my opthomologist that my iritis can be a symptom/side effect of having a gene HLA-B27, which I do. It can cause these people to have nightshade problems.
I have been dealing with iritis for approx 10 years in both eyes with no idea what was causing it... Have had to have cataract surgery because of the treatment drops... I found relief by accident because just before one outbreak I got sniffles after working in a damp dusty shed... By that night my eye hurt slightly but I thought maybe I had gotten something in it.. Decided I needed to go out next day and get some allergy pills... By morning I was full blown iritis... Got my allergy pills anyway and guess what... Within hours of taking the pill pain was gone... Made me wonder... So next time I had a flair up I took an allergy pill... This time it took 2 days and symptoms stopped... Everytime I have a flair up now I just pop one and stay on them for a few days and haven't had to head to the specialist yet (knock on wood).
Oxford Mills, Ontario Canada
I have suffered from Iritis for over 10 years now. It can occur in either eye with no known underlying cause for the flare-ups. Since being diagnosed I've been to multiple specialists and was given steroid eye drops. Whilst the steroids helped tremendously I was concerned about the long-term side-effects.
After a bit of research I discovered Bilberry as a suggested natural remedy and have had amazing results. It's frequently found in over the counter products for healthy eye function but have found 5000mg of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) to be the best. I take 4 capsules a day -as per directions- but increase this number if I have a flare up. Not only has it reduced the number of flare-ups but when I have an attack it actively relieves the pain and stops the inflammation in its tracks.
I suffered for about 20 years with this painful and terrible nightmare: iritis in both eyes. I did every little thing to get rid of it. Nothing worked for those 20 years. On the contrary, the iritis was getting worse and stubborn as I aged. Cortisone drops were the only medicine that worked if I started the same moment it appeared. I was at the point to give up and just wait what was happening to my eyes. One great day I was getting informed about the vegan life style. In a few days I started this new (for me) way of eating. Plant based diet, which excludes all animal flesh, eggs, milk and milk products. Since then on -6 months, I've been iritis FREE. Today I went to the ophthalmologist. He couldn't believe it. He said my eyes look very healthy. I had iritis so often that when an eye was healed, the other one started or both at the same time. I felt so relieved when the iritis was in remission for 3 weeks or rarely a whole month! Now nothing. I believed I am cured.
Hello - I first got iritis about 10 years ago and experienced difficult and frequent recurrences until I figured out I was having episodes after eating chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. I did not want to stop eating deserts so I experimented with my diet for a few years. I stopped eating all processed sugar 2 years ago (I only eat fruit as a source of sweets now) and I have not had an outbreak since. A few times a year I notice one of those headaches behind my eye coming on so I take a rx-strength motrin, and it is better the next day. Hope this helps someone.
Emerald City, The Land Of Oz
Los Angeles, Ca
I was accidentally punched in the eye when I was younger by my brother. For years combined with eye allergies (blapharitis), my eyes went through so much irritation (light sensitivity, some pain, etc). Did a fruit fast for 7 days of eating only organic fruits/water and my traumatic iritis went away.
Now trying to heal my tree nut allergies by doing the 5:2 fast. Will update on the allergy page.
I have successfully used fasting for numerous "itis"s. An "itis" of any kind is an inflammation. Fasting reduces inflammation. When I first used fasting for iritis I was scared. My doctor said I was going to go blind, but I had had an adverse reaction to the eye drops in a previous attack. So.... I got up my courage and went to bed and water fasted for a week in the dark. After just one day of not eating, the pain subsided. This was profoundly encouraging! I stuck with it and at the end of a week my sight had completely returned! Always before, I had found that iritis lasted about a month. I tried to tell my doctor about the huge discovery I had made. He didn't want to hear about it. I have never (knock on wood) had iritis return and it has been twenty years.
I believe I got iritis from drawing for hours in poor light. I believe it was brought on by eye strain. Anyway, fasting turned a miserable experience into an empowering experience. You can use it with colds, flu, tonsilitis, arthritis, bronchitis, cystitis.... On and on.
My worst symptom with iritis is how scared I get (that I'm going to lose my eyesight) But in a calmer state of mind I am following a supportive regime, which seems to be helping, though it's early days yet.
My treatment for iritis:
- homeopathic preparations
- Oculoheel drops and tablets.
- kalmia injeel S
- Mercurius corrosivus 30, then 6 repeated
- along with constitutional treatment (personal remedy)
- bilberries: as berries and as tea infusion; Bilberry extract; bilberry tablets
- visual eyes compound: contains lutein
- liver and kidney cleanse
- chi gong (Qigong) exercises for liver and kidney
- oxygen drops
- goldenseal and echinacea drops
- Fo ti drops
Hope this might help someone else out there!!
I have been living with chronic & severe lapses of Iritis from age 32 - age 51, now & have been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. Flares have been severe, so my testing & experiments have been industrious as I could not afford the high cost of biologic pharma for my disease. Heavy dosages of prednisone (3-4x's) then dexamethisone were prescribed - talk about a road to insanity & unemployment. If you want to really sweat, be hard to live with & experience the occasional or regular bout of hallucinations - well these two big daddy's of the Rx hormone world will do it for you. Good luck to you - but my choices are different now.
Here are my findings over the past 6 years of online research & daily testing. I am in remission for over 2 years now. Iritis is rare now, AS has it's daily spinal concerns but daily pain intervals are fewer & at times gone completely. My overall body pain, GI tract problems, back pain, neck & chest pains, brain fog, chemical fear & nerve problems experienced in the past are little to none. so that's my evidence that things have gone well!
These techniques & products work nicely along with daily, regular exercise & stretching to cope with neuropathy pain. As matter of fact, if you have eye problems, whether macular degeneration, or iritis, blood flow is an imperative for good eye health. So get moving! A bike is one of the best things you can do for yourself - but a nice, brisk walk will help as well.
Here's the basic formula along with other things that I do & it all works together:
- 3 x 100mg Alpha-Lipoic Acid + 1(-2) capsules of 6 billion active cells of Acidophillus. Take before meals preferred. In the event of iritis onset, take & within 20 minutes you should have relief. then get up & walk around outside for about 30 minutes at least. (in canada these are regulated so I can buy 90 units of ALA for about $10 which has both types of ALA & I have found this cheaper version to be effective. Where R-lipoic is sold, my advice is to avoid this, as something becomes less effective when R + S lipoic acids are not combined. As for the acidophillus I can purchase 180 capsules of 6 billion cells for about $17 - $20 CDN). In the USA Trader Joe's & Whole Foods carry decent versions. Avoid any ALA that includes sugars or especially in tablet form as they contain corn starch - & will only exacerbate the condition in your eye. I suspect this is another reason why prednisone tablets are so problematic - as they also contain corn starch.)
The combo of these two supplements are taken 3x's/day prior to meals - but you can take them after as well. make sure to take them througout the day though & at regular internals. If I have wine in the evening with a piece of chocolate(both are rare now), then I'll take 2 extra ALA, with an Acidophillus. As well, if I am out riding my bike for 3-5 hours I will take an extra dosage to combine with my calorie intake. If I have more than my regular cappuccino in the AM, then I know my gut will become more reactive later in the day or in 2 days. Coffee, alcohol, sugars all challenge the intestinal tract if sensitive. And if there is mold/yeast in your GI tract - then these items will feed the mold spores.
- whatever I do one day affects me 1-2 days later. If it's a lot of exercise then it will carry through for easily a week. If it's a glass of wine with cheese - in summertime I'll feel the ill effects in 2 days; in the winter when I get less activity, the effects will happen in 20 minutes to a few hours.
*From all the experiments I've done, it appears that the problem is upper intestinal irritation (possibly from molds/yeasts in my body system) that results in reactivity in the eye. If you have lower bowel problems as well (hemmerroids pushing down) then I would suggest taking once daily in the AM - a 50 billion cells capsule of refrigerated acidophillus that has a fair amount of bactobacillus. This one strain helps the lower intestines more, whereas the lactobacillus work nicely in the upper intestinal tract.
I can go on longer about the various vitamins I take, C & E & D3 are super important, and minerals (for adrenal fatigue post hormone Rx use: 200mcg selenium, 50mg zinc & 250mg iodine tablets - stay on for 3 months & see how awake you now are - then just stay on for about 2-3 years if fatigue has been prolonged & substantial); but this simple GI tract combo along with the kefir fermentation mentioned at the bottom of this post & eating more natural foods that are fibrous really does do the trick! And for the most part it's simple. If you can't access kefir, then a nice plain 3.5% fat yogurt is a good start (sheep, goat, cow, whatever you like.)
And if you do endurance exercises like I do, lots of things will irritate your gut. make sure your water bottles & mouth pieces are clean, & free from molds - & recycle them from time to time & get new ones. Try water w/a bit of lemon & take electrolytes in capsule form with a bit of food, instead of the sugary juices (note: if you're in super hot weather you'll have to take in the liquid forms - they assimilate faster & dehydration is no joke w/iritis or arthritis. You are going to need more water than others would regardless of their comparative size to yours.)
- stay away from moldy areas while you're reactive. When you're not, clean out those areas or old corrugated boxes - as they carry spores very effectively. You can wear a face mask if it helps & get outside to breath clean air every 30 minutes to help ease the anger or irritation the mold causes you. Myself - I try to watch things on the half hour now.
- watch for a spiral of striations moving from your iris outwards & any larger feeder veins that appear enlarged. If you are feeling pains in the eye - it's a good sign that you're stressed & inflammation is in the works.
- Blood bursts of regular veins due to dry eye are not the same thing, but I do find that when I'm stressed that I get these more often. Drink plenty of water & try to relax & stretch-out.
- Iritis tends to come with head pain & irritability & brain fog. Things that you may naturally work through emotionally or cognitively may seem difficult to think through or not even apparent. That's a good warning sign & normal with systemic inflammation.
- do get checked for HLA-B27 gene, if ankylosing spondylitis or other reactive arthritis shows up, avoid starvation technique described below by another person. This can cause symptoms that are similar to gout in the feet & fingers.
- *avoid corn & all fructose products or corn starch products (this will take a bit of fishing for research as there are approx. 45 various corn products on the market & go under several names. But you may find yourself to be highly reactive to them. Corn BTW seems to have more mold spores than many other foods & this may be the problem with stored food stuffs that have corn.)
- avoid alcohol while reactive, but you can have a bit from time to time when things are good (note that alcohols, wine, beer contain yeast - which is a fungus & if you're reactive those fungii are going to be troublesome)
- try taking in coconut water daily to reduce stomach problems & maybe add some L-Glutamine powder into it with water - helps the tummy heal & feels generally good & is low cost. If you've taken any prednisone in the past, L-Glutamine will be a very good idea for you to heal the gut & improve muscle tone.
- basically eat more natural foods, fermented foods (but not white vinegar - it feeds yeast), good fats (even butter), regular natural proteins especially eggs are fine, better quality veggies & fruits that are in particularly high in fibre. Get good quality salts - otherwise you'll be peeing too much.
-***definitely start employing use of kefir - you can ferment your own as many people will help you access the starter grains online. If you do have an auto immune condition this will be particularly helpful & aid in decreasing the depression, anxiety, fear, etc., associated with various arthritis types. Generally with the added 35+ healthy bacteria in your GI tract, you'll feel happier, fight disease better, and overall brain fog will slowly decrease. A huge blessing! Your family will be glad to see the person they know & love back again.
Google: crohn's babe kefir - online vimeo presentation
This young woman has a fabulous presentation. She's sweet, informative & has experienced a nice recovery from her crohn's condition.
BTW - you can even add a bit of the fermented bacteria from the kefir juice to cream & let sit for about 4 days & 4 hours, then churn to make a really tasty, healthy & super creamy homemade butter. Add a bit of Himalayan pink sea salt to help preserve.
Delicious & just fine. If you are a little abundant in the weight department, you may find that adding butter & olive oil to your diet will help you to get enough calories in the day & reduce your sugar cravings & intake. This should help you drop a few excess pounds. If you are financially strapped - investing in good foods & some simple supplements will help to get you back to work, able to study again & looking forward to a brighter future. Borrow the money you need & invest in your body & health. But whatever you do - get a deal! I always do & I've managed very well because of it.
Good luck & hears to improved vision & living!
Long ago when I was suffering from frequent iritis attacks I found that Rutin worked quite well at controlling the eye inflammation. It took about 300mg twice a day to bring down inflammation, but sometimes I might go as high as 600mg twice a day.
A bit about Rutin:
- Don't use whilst pregnant. It is adrenalin sparing, and too much could conceivably bring on labour.
- Rutin is a plant extract, an antioxidant, and a flavanoid (comparable to quercetin found in tea)
- It may well be synergistic, and beneficial, to take vitamin C with this (or eat fruits containing this)
- Stop taking if you have a chest infection, just as a precaution. I was suspicious of some form of immune suppression, but I could very well be wrong.
I have enjoyed all the comments and decided to share mine. I first got iritis abt 1996. I had it 4 more times since then and always took the steriods. I have always cooked homemade meals with lots of veggies but occasionally ate meals out. I heard from my drs. from the start that it is connected to my easily irritated stomach. I have never been diagnosed with colitis. I do think I have dry eyes and staring at the computer doesn't help. in the last several yrs. I have been eating more organic. I have just started taking turmeric since iritis is called an inflammation. I am still working out the dose.
I am also taking a bilberry blend with rutin, again working out the dose. Also I am drinking ginger and green tea every morning w honey. I just had a bout last October and after the steroids I started the turmeric and bilberry. Now I feel another bout starting again so I am increasing everything and going to try to fast like a lot of you have said helps. So I will let you know what happens. I think after reading what a lot of you have been thru I feel fortunate. I am hoping the best for all of you. Thx