How estrogen balance can contribute to your dry eyes
Estrogen is often thought of as merely a group of female hormones that influence the growth of different tissues – particularly those of the reproductive systems. Not surprisingly though, men too need estrogen.
However, elevated estrogen and dry eyes can become a serious issue for many people. In these cases, drops for dry eyes are not effective for the most part.
As well as being beneficial to reproductive organs, estrogens also play a part in taming inflammation, improving circulation and maintaining digestive health.
However, over time, estrogen levels can become significantly elevated in both men and women for a number of reasons: increasing pollution, high stress levels and poor diet and nutrition as examples.
More recently this is being referred to as estrogen dominance.
Elevated levels of estrogen cause an imbalance with other hormones such as testosterone. This has the effect of counteracting or lowering your levels of testosterone.
Testosterone and progesterone serve critical roles of their own and need to be at normal, healthy levels. This imbalance with estrogen is one of the factors that leads to androgen (testosterone) deficiency.
Studies have shown that it is this deficiency – or imbalance – that can cause the discomfort of dry eyes.
How you are potentially overexposed to estrogen
- from multiple food sources, including high quantities of soy in processed foods;
- the environment;
- chemicals and pesticides;
- cosmetics and plastics;
- birth control pills;
- estrogen replacement therapy (in women)
Many of the foods we eat and chemicals we use contain estrogen mimickers called xenoestrogens…’xeno’ means foreign.
Xeno-estrogens in their basic form are carcinogens and now widely recognised as endocrine (hormone) disruptors. Reducing exposure to chemicals, pesticides and pollution is an important factor in reducing your estrogen load, as well as improving your general health.
For this reason – among others – organic farming practices are now common place and provide people with pesticide-free alternatives.
The more weight you carry, the higher your estrogen levels are likely to be…
A little enzyme called aromatase is very active within fat cells, busily converting any of your available testosterone to estrogen. The more weight you carry, the more aromatase you are likely to have – and the more conversion to estrogen.
It can become a vicious cycle…. and the lower and lower your testosterone gets!
For men, the tell-tale sign of estrogen dominance is fatty deposits in the chest, otherwise known as ‘man boobs’.
Higher than normal Estrogen levels remain prevalent, especially in older women and people susceptible to hormone imbalances.
Common dry eye treatments help in easing symptoms but until an underlying imbalance like this is corrected, the condition may not improve.
Dr Bruce Thomas on Estrogen Dominance
While overall hormone balance is unique to each person, there is no denying that higher than normal levels of estrogen, along with stress, pollution and poor diet combine to produce a number of symptoms, including low testosterone levels and androgen-deficient dry eyes in people that are susceptible.