There have been an increasing number of studies on how certain bacteria or unbalanced bacteria in your gut can lead to other health issues. A study was done that shows a link between the microbiota in your gut and an inflammatory eye disorder.
What is Autoimmune Uveitis?
Autoimmune uveitis is a type of inflammation that happens in the middle layer of the uvea (eyewall). It generally affects those that are between the ages of 20-50. Sometimes, it can affect children. This is a serious eye disease that can lead to the permanent loss of your vision.
Symptoms include: red eyes, pain in the eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, seeing dark spots, and decreased vision.
New Study Reveals Gut Bacteria is Linked to Autoimmune Uveitis
This disease occurs when a patient’s immune system is compromised. Up until recently, scientists haven’t known what causes the body to respond this way. However, a new study from the National Eye Institute on mice has shown that gut bacteria can be responsible for autoimmune uveitis.
The research team conducted the study on mice and found that T cells broke through the blood-ocular barrier causing the cells to attack healthy parts of the eye. T cells are the healthy immune cells in our body that fight off infections and types of cancers.
During the study, the team found that T cells were not elevated in the lymph nodes like they expected. Instead, they found an abundance of these cells in the intestines. They theorize that the bacteria in the gut produces a protein that is similar to those found in the retina. Therefore, when the T cells come in contact with it, it causes them to activate and go out in search of the protein in order to destroy it, leading to autoimmune uveitis.
Restore the Balance of Your Gut Flora to Reduce Risk of Autoimmune Eye Disease
One of the ways you can reduce your risk of autoimmune eye disease is to restore the balance of your gut flora. The way you accomplish this is by adopting the right diet that will create a balanced environment in your intestines.
To improve your gut bacteria, eat fresh wholesome foods such as:
- Fermented foods – kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and kimchi
- Prebiotic foods – garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, chicory root, and dandelion greens
- Probiotic foods – yogurt, apple cider vinegar, raw cheese, and traditional buttermilk
Also, you should avoid eating highly processed foods that are full of preservatives or produce that is exposed to harsh chemicals.
When you consider ways to improve your eye health, make your gut health a priority.