Did you know gut health is vital to your overall well-being? Your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) breaks down food into absorbable nutrients, including beta-carotene for your vision. The ‘gut’ we often poke fun at actually provides our bodies with energy and removes waste that’s not used.

Woman with hands over stomach

As the medical field advances, so does understanding how gut health aids our overall health. We now know that trillions of bacteria in our gut help our entire body — when they’re functioning properly.

At Integrative Vision, Dr. Neda Gioia holds a certification in functional medicine and nutrition. She’s taking eye care to the next level with SEEHealth, a preventive nutritional program geared towards eye health.

We have to start thinking ‘smaller’ about how to help our bodies and eyesight. When it comes down to it, we’re all made of a bunch of cells, really! Cellular and bacterial functions make large processes, like digestion and immune function, work optimally.

Today we’re looking at how eye health depends on gut health, carotenoid absorption, and providing tools to evaluate your personal gut health.


Eye Health Relies on Good Gut Balance

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The microbiome of your gut, which consists of bacteria, virus, fungi, and archaea — provide everything our bodies need and use. Think vitamins, minerals, and proteins, that end up as energy and fat, for example. Good gut health makes sure those trillions of bacteria work in your favor. They need a proper, delicate balance of the “good” and “bad,” as they both serve valuable functions.

Gut health links to eye health because crucial vitamin and mineral absorption happens in your GI tract. If the balance is off, your body misses out on key nutrients because they don’t absorb properly.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) gave us incredible insight into knowing key nutrients, like lutein and zeaxanthin, are essential for retina health — and slowing the progression of macular degeneration down. Now more evidence shows the gut microbiome plays an important role in retina health.

An immunology study dived deeper into how autoimmune conditions may be affected by the gut microbiome. Autoimmune conditions are when your own body attacks what it thinks is “a foreign invader” or harmful to you. Uveitis, an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the eye, has shown possible links to gut health as a factor in this disease.



Carotenoid Absorption Needs to Happen For Good Eye Health

Most of us can remember being told that carrots are good for our eyes. Why? Because carrots contain carotene, It’s a potent antioxidant that pigments many of the fruits and vegetables we eat with oranges, yellows, and reds.

Absorption of key nutrients like carotene plays a direct role in reducing oxidative stress in the macula, the center portion of your retina. Reducing oxidative stress improves your eye health and overall health by limiting free radicals. Free radicals can trigger numerous diseases when out of balance.

When you know the importance of your gut health, you want to know how to check and optimize it. Let’s dig in!


Simple Tools to Evaluate Gut Health and Why It’s Important

Knowing whether or not your gut health needs attention may seem complicated. Luckily, with technological advances, you can easily test your digestive health and gut microbiome. Knowing this valuable information can give you insight into your overall health.

When it comes to vitality and well-being, nothing’s more powerful than a healthy body! When you’re investing time, money, and energy on nutritious meals, the last thing you want is for them to go to waste. Let’s look at the main testing option that shows what you’re absorbing.


Check Your Gut Microbiome with A Stool Test

The most straightforward way to test your gut health is with a stool sample. We said gut health testing was easy, not pretty! Luckily, you can conveniently and privately take this step in the comfort of your own home.

Diagnostic Solutions Lab and Doctor’s Data offer a GI microbial assay stool test with a doctor’s order. (Dr. Gioia provides this to many of her patients!) It uses quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genetic testing to detect levels of numerous microbes dealing with absorption, digestion, inflammation, and immune function directly related to gut health.

Both resources bridge the gap between important diagnostic testing and patient care. Thank goodness for modern medicine and technology, right? Integrative Vision doesn’t just treat vision problems – we help prevent them! 


Integrative Vision Transforms Normal Eye Care With Nutrition

We’re about so much more than eye exams. We provide proven holistic alternatives to your eye care needs. As you’re probably seeing, eye health starts by fueling your body from the inside.

Bone Broth

Dr. Gioia’s favorite gut health aid is bone broth. Gelatin, a plentiful protein found in bone broth, helps bind food to water so it moves through your intestines smoother. (She’s got a lot more recommendations too!)

Interested in more ways to improve your gut and eye health?

Dr. Gioia offers SEEHealth, a functional medicine nutrition program that is the first of its kind! With expert resources and education, you understand more nourishing food choices for your overall health. Get assistance with meal plans, diagnostic testing (like stool samples and blood tests), and detailed tracking of your progress along the way. It’s everything you didn’t know you needed — in one convenient online portal!

You can avoid vision problems with a nutritious diet, and that’s our mission. We guide you toward preventative care and the best foods for your body! Get what you truly need to fuel a fruitful life and great eyesight.

We don’t want to put a bandaid on eye problems. Let’s prevent them!

Learn More About SEEHealth Here