Macular Degeneration- Connection with the Liver

by Barb
(Melbourne, Australia)


My name is Barb. I am 58 years old and live in Australia.

In August, 2009, I went for a a routine eye examination by an optometrist, who informed me I had drusen in both eyes.

The optometrist who tested my eyes did not know if it was hard or soft drusen, but told me it could be an early indicator for Age Related Macular Degeneration.

This naturally concerned me greatly, as my mother, and more than likely, my father, had Age Related Macular Degeneration. Unfortunately, this puts me at a higher risk of ending up with Macular Degeneration.

I saw three different opthamologists after this and received vague responses when I asked about the type of drusen. One of the specialists told me it was not consistent with either hard or soft drusen and could be Best's Disease.

Comments from the others varied.

So my search for information went on. I went for a consultation with a Professor of Opthalmology in Australia. I was told I had hard drusen in the right eye and soft drusen in the left eye.

I was advised not to smoke (which I don't) and to eat green, leafy vegetables. There was some talk of supplements. That was it. "Come back in one year."

Not being one to sit back and accept the worst, I went on a journey to try and learn all I could about Age Related Macular Degeneration.

I investigated supplements, diet, lifestyle, exercise, holistic medicine; in other words attempted to look into anything that may have contributed to my diagnosis.

This lead me to Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM believes that those with an unhealthy liver are more prone to failing eyesight. So my research on the liver started.

Since then I have learned much about the liver, mainly through books by Dr Sandra Cabot, an Australian Doctor. Dr Cabot has written extensively on the liver and related issues. Dr Cabot says the liver is considered by Chinese

Medicine to be The General Army of the Body.

Basically, if the liver is not working properly, or becomes overloaded, toxins build up in our system. This in turn produces inflammation.

So here I started to see the link of the liver and possible eye disease.

So I became enthused about the liver and its functions.

I commenced on a liver cleansing diet, together with supplements for the liver. At this stage, I have been on the liver cleansing diet for six weeks.

I feel much better, my skin has improved, I have lost weight.

I have more energy.

Interestingly, my eyes look clearer and I have not had that scratchy feeling in my eyes.

However, in the meantime, whilst sitting at my computer yesterday, I found I did not have my reading glasses.

On the desk were an old pair of glasses -too weak for my eyes these days -I had tried them a few months ago and could not see out of them.

They were my weaker prescription glasses from six years ago. I decided to pop them on before I bothered getting up to look for my current reading glasses.

Amazingly, I could see as well as I can with my current prescription glasses.

There has been a definite improvement in my sight in the last six weeks. This is enough proof for me that improving the health of the liver can also improve our overall health, slow down aging and possibly improve sight in our eyes.

I felt I had to share this information with others. Being diagnosed with Macular Degeneration is frightening. Those who are in a similar situation will understand. I hope this information is enough for others to consider one of our hardest working organs - the liver.

If there is anything at all we can do to help eradicate, or even stall this disease, or other so-called degenerative diseases, surely it is worth a try.

I look forward to comments.


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May 15, 2018
Liver detox for AMD worth a try.
by: Anonymous

Yes, in Chinese medicine AMD is linked to liver problems. It is definitely worth it to add liver detox to one's regiment if one is diagnosed with dry AMD. Nothing is lost and much may be gained. (But continue to take anti-oxidants including lutein and zeaxanthin and fish, fish oil and spinach)

Oct 19, 2010
The Liver - The Eyes
by: Anonymous

Hi Razia and Tina,

Firstly, I am sorry Razia, but I can't 'give you the diet'.

The whole approach for looking after our bodies is not a simple fix. Dr Cabot's way of eating is virtually a lifestyle decision/plan - although I don't think it is extreme, (like many other eating plans) - and is quite 'do-able'.

It would be necessary for you to read the books by Dr Cabot recommended by this site for you to totally understand the holistic approach she (Dr Cabot) takes.

Tina, regarding raised liver enzymes, I discovered by reading Dr Cabot's books, that raised liver enzymes can be an early indicator that the liver is 'not happy'.

A good and essential followup book to the "Liver Cleansing Diet" is "Fatty Liver - You Can Reverse It".

I have read both books and am very impressed. A large percentage of both the Australian and American population have fatty liver.

It seems our westernised medical profession generally don't think there is anything you can do about it, but there is!

I am of the opinion that anything we can do to prevent degenerative health issues, whether it is with our precious eyesight, or overall health and wellbeing, is worth a bit of effort.

Bye for now...Barb

Oct 17, 2010
Reference links/Books to diet
by: Anonymous


I am also very interested in which diet you followed. I am 44 years old with macular degeneration and am interested in this approach. My husband has also had eleveted liver enzyme tests for a number of years and he would benefit from this.

Can you please provide a link or a Book that I can follow?

Thanks, Tina


Hi Tina,

Here is who Barb referenced in her comments:

"Since then I have learned much about the liver, mainly through books by Dr Sandra Cabot, an Australian Doctor.

Dr Cabot has written extensively on the liver and related issues. Dr Cabot says the liver is considered by Chinese Medicine to be The General Army of the Body."

I have read several of her books as well, such as:

1. The Liver Cleansing Diet

2. The Healthy Liver & Bowel Book

3. Raw Juices Can Save Your Life!: An A-Z Guide to Juicing

They are definitely worth reading. There is lots to learn about the importance of keeping our livers healthy. Dr. Cabot provides lots of good instruction on foods to eat (and avoid) as well as good supplements to help the liver.

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Oct 14, 2010
Liver Cleansing Diet
by: Razia

Hi Barb,

You have successfully tried liver cleansing diet. Can you tell me briefly the names of such diets?

I am asking you because it is so strenuous to read lengthy details about it.

You have used these and reaped the benefits. Thus I thought you are the right person to give me this information.

Oct 14, 2010
Macular Degeneration and the Liver
by: Leslie Degner

Hi Barb,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. My husband (who does not have AMD) but has a strong family history of it had been experiencing an increased number of floaters and flashes. He saw an opthalmologist right away to check his eyes and his retina.

He was experiencing a Posterior Vitreous Humor Detachment .

This detachment is usually the result of normal, age-related changes in the vitreous gel in which the gel shrinks and separates from the retina - but puts a person at higher risk for a retinal detachment.

With his risk for age related macular degeneration, and an increase in his number of floaters and flashes, we also wanted to be more proactive with his eye health.

We found a local acupuncturist who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine. We learned from this practitioner that the health of the liver is indeed tied to the health of our eyes.

Having learned this we wanted to find out more about the liver and the role it plays in our general health and the health of our eyes.

I purchased Dr. Sandra Cabot's books, The Healthy Liver & Bowel Book and The Liver Cleansing Diet.

In her book she mentions many different symptoms associated with liver dysfunction, one of them being red eyes - which my husband has as well.

We are anxious to learn more about changing our diet to support a healthy liver and to see what impact it has on our health and our eyes.

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Better Health for Better Vision

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