Diet, Behavior, and Vision
With the impending treats and sweets of the holiday season, we wanted to share a recent article we discussed at one of our staff meetings. This explains why we prefer our patients have healthier snacks before their sessions.
We are all aware that refined sugars can negatively impact our bodies when we consume them; but did you know that diet impacts vision? Eating refined sugars causes a fast rise in blood sugar that causes stress on our hormone glands. This stress metabolism is fast-acting which provides a short, explosive burst of energy. The stress metabolism caused by an intake of sugars is the same as the stress metabolism that is dominant in a “fight or flight” situation. Diets comprised of refined foods, candy, or other sugary items triggers a stress-related response which can lead to stress on the adrenal glands and other parts of the body.
When our bodies are in “fight or flight” mode, our eye focusing and eye teaming systems are set to be at distance. Think about “I’m looking to protect myself from the lions and bears”. This sympathetic nervous system response requires lots of self-control to overcome. When our bodies are getting ready to protect ourselves from danger, our eyes do not want to converge for desk work or reading. This takes so much conscious energy that it will affect things like reading comprehension or the ability to sit and do schoolwork. Those who struggle to control their nervous system’s response will often get distracted, avoid reading and lose concentration. Those who are able to control the nervous system’s response may end up overcompensating which also can cause visual problems.
Although refined and sugary foods are so readily available and convenient, humans are not built to process a fast rise in blood sugar then sit at a desk and work. To avoid putting more stress on your visual system, try eating natural foods that allow stable blood sugar levels.
If you would like to read the article for more information, visit the following link: http://www.oepf.org/sites/default/files/23_FINAL_RASMUSSEN.pdf