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anyone take bio dentical hormones for dry eye? ladies?

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  • #16
    when the Dr. checked my cholesterol, it was half what it measured the last time and triglycerides were 1/3 of their former count
    Wow, LaDiva, impressive and very interested. Our new Paed Rheumy is wondering now if it's wheats rather than just gluten intolerance, although he's just speculating and bless him for trying (he is a very very kind and sensitive doc), and we have a definite problem with sugars, esp hidden as glucose-fructose syrup (high fructose corn syrup - HFCS), so we are sticking to whole foods and avoiding processed. Interesting that now we are aware of the taste of HFCS, we can distinguish it in the most unexpected places in processed foods, like coatings on cooked chicken. We are still doing well improving the meibom lipids with the fish oils too.

    I have to say the inflammation and autoimmune docs we've seen are increasingly interested and accepting about these diet triggers, and we are not getting the old snorts of derision except from general practitioners and paediatricians. And LM's rosacea looks pretty good too. The eyes are chronic dry but manageable x
    Last edited by littlemermaid; 27-Nov-2012, 03:39.
    Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

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    • #17
      thanks LaDiva and DCR...so much info.... i plan on asking my eye doc his opinion on testetorone drops... since i already tried the cream years ago he will prob say no... and because of my age..
      Jenny

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      • #18
        You are welcome Jenny! Best of luck. Mermaid, I looked at my test results again, and was wrong, but the numbers were still quite meaningful. My triglycerides fell from 145 to 93, and LDL from 106-79. So, not half, but still a big difference. It has never been so low. Also started taking some vitamins which are supposed to boost the good and further lower the bad. The doctor cut my meds in half and said to have a re-check next month, and if it is still good, no more pills. I am not very good with numbers or remembering things, and then can't see very well either! Quite a quandary. I think you posted a video clip about a man who was very ill and had a number of insults to the body, including mercury poisoning. I look like the sick photo he showed of himself, complete with dark circles under the eyes. I think he is on to something, and so are you. I have very little confidence in my body being able to heal itself. We shouldn't think that way. Doctors can and do help, but there is lots of other stuff out there too.

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        • #19
          Hi everyone, I've been so very busy. I'm writing a long response to SUNSHINELOVER (and others will benefit from it) and I have a possible solution for her. It's not possible to have a doctor in the USA to write a script and send it to another coutry since I've alread enquired about that, but there are other ways to obtain testosterone cream and drops for the eyes (as I did here in Australia). But please await my very lengthy and informative information on hormones, bioidentical hormones and testosterone cream for dry eyes. It will be worth the wait and luckily I finally have some free time today to write my ideas and suggestions to you.

          Speak to you all soon.

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          • #20
            Hi no I haven't tried it.

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            • #21
              LaDiva, Thank you for your kindness. We are seeking out things that make us happy and feel better - films, pets, fine days, nice people - and staying away from depressing or stressful situations. And if that means a small piece of a healthy cake once in a while, so be it. The way LM's eyes/skin behave seems more like intolerance than allergy, and the Rheumatologist is talking about sensitivities. It reminds me of managing diabetes, trying to get a feel for what's making things better/worse, including emotions and stress, finding a good way of living. We occasionally take a multivitamin too but with plenty minerals, magnesium, zinc, iron which seems to help with hormones (esp both of us have pre-menstrual changes, she's a teenager, and she has skin and eye flares). I don't quite know why these minerals help x
              Last edited by littlemermaid; 28-Nov-2012, 03:21.
              Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

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              • #22
                Testing123
                Last edited by DCRdryeye; 29-Nov-2012, 05:02.

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                • #23
                  THIS IS A REPLY TO SUNSHINELOVER whom replied to my post of 24 November (14 posts above). I sincerely appologize for my late response. Iíll make sure I provide a detailed and useful response for you

                  Sunshinelover - The doctor I saw for the bioidenticals isn't my normal GP (General Practitioner), I saw him at a specialist integrative clinic in the city where he works with Naturopaths and other alternative therapists. He didn't say he cured his dry eyes with DHEA, but simply mentioned after being off DHEA for one week his eyes got worse and developed a chalazion. When he re-commenced DHEA the chalazion quickly disappeared and his eyes went back to normal (the DHEA he referred too was not eye drops, but systemic DHEA). We are simply throwing thoughts around and explaining his experiences.

                  I'd assume you took a 'blood test' at your gyno. With regards to your results, I'll just suggest mechanisms that 'may-be' causing those imbalances but please don't take it as gospel because there are so many theories out there. Firstly when females get older the ovarian follicles decrease and thus, slowly decreases oestrogen levels over time. The cycle becomes irregular and ovulation occurs less, thereís no corpus luteum when ovulation doesnít occur. It's the corpus luteum that produces progesterone, so often progesterone is very low. Both low oestrogen and progesterone occurs at certain stages of peri-menopause. However, with age, strange things occur and the oestrogen can suddenly rise again. But this time, it rises elsewhere, by another mechanism and itís a different structure of oestrogen.

                  It's not surprising that the oestrogen is still high within you sunshinelover and I can think of a few reasons why. Firstly, being peri-menopausal I assume your pituitary gland is still secreting FSH? The FSH travels to your follicles in the ovaries, thus stimulating them to produce oestrogen (have you had your FSH tested?).

                  The other reason the oestrogen is high is interlaced with testosterone and SHBG and the answer will provide a reason why free testosterone is low and SHBG is high. Testosterone can bind to either SHBG and Albumin, do you know your Albumin levels? More testosterone is bound to SHBG (about 66%) and Albumin carries about 33% testosterone, and, surprisingly only 1 Ė 2% free testosterone circulates in the blood (these figures will vary in different literature). Testosterone in men and women is converted to oestrogens by an enzyme called Aromatase which is found in fat cells (are you a large person?). So the growing oestrogen levels is forced to take from the free testosterone (courtesy of Aromatase), and rises more and more Ė lowering the testosterone and increasing the oestrogen. In an attempt to conserve free testosterone your body increases SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) and cages it so it can be used for more important bodily functions.

                  A third reason could be a breakdown in the body's detoxification system as we get older. The liver often gets sluggish with our lifestyle, the foods we eat, and prescription drugs. The liver contains an enzyme called Glucuronic acid which binds to hormones (oestrogen and other substances) and excretes them mostly via the kidneys and a small amount by the intestines. Thereís a culprit molecule in the intestines that is a problem at higher than normal levels and causes oestrogen to 'recirculate' rather than be excreted. It's called Beta-glucuronidase and it cleaves (removes) the glucuronic acid from oestrogen and the glucuronic acid cannot excrete the oestrogen, and so the oestrogen is reabsorbed by the body and recirculated. The notorious Beta-glucuronidase is elevated by gut problems such as leaky gut, imbalance of beneficial bacteria (dysbiosis), beef protein/fat, low fibre diet, age, obesity, insulin, gonadotropins and alcohol, etc Ė unfortunately, most of us are guilty of those things. The concern for elevated Beta-glucuronidase should not just be for causing elevated oestrogen, Beta-glucuronidase is bad news for many other areas of the body, including hormonal based cancersĖ so elevated Beta-glucuronidase is deadly.

                  Sunshinelover you could always do a test to discover your Beta-glucuronidase levels. If it's too high there are prescription medicines available to inhibit it. Or if you'd rather a more natural approach, a very effective and proven supplement called Calcium-D-glucarate is available, here is some scientific literature on it: http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/7/4/336.pdf

                  I am concerned about a few other things for you...

                  Here are a few points you wrote: "high esterogen and very low testosteron (free testosteron) and very high SHBG. I am in perimenopause I would guess".

                  So your gyno did a blood test and it showed those results. Why do you want a saliva test if you've already had a test done? You 'guess' you're peri-menopausal. How do you know? From your gyno's blood test? Symptoms? Age? Have you had an FSH and LH test done? Have you monitored your cycles?

                  Another concern: "But since I am a woman, the only thing of interest is if the testosteron is to high!! So what to do... I think I will order a saliva test and do the tests myself, although expensive. I have started progesteron cream, but it is difficult to know the right amount there."

                  Why do you think your free testosterone levels might be too high if a gynaecologists blood test showed you have very low testosterone? Unless you made a spelling error and your testosterone levels are really high, rather than low in that original blood test from the gyno. If that was the case, you'd have very LOW levels of SHBG. Or may-be you know that a saliva test can be more accurate in terms of measuring hormones? Because a saliva test measures in the tissues and thatís where the biochemistry is mostly occurring. And perhaps youíre afraid of having HIGH testosterone levels via a saliva test?

                  Don't be concerned too much about higher testosterone levels, they can be moderated to average levels. Low testosterone provokes more health risks than normal levels. You NEED testosterone (especially for DRY eyes), so HIGH Testosterone should be the Ďleastí thing to worry about. You need to be concerned that itís TOO LOW.

                  Thank-you so much to littlemermaid for basically reflecting my thoughts here by quoting from a journal Ė "Androgens are believed to be trophic for the lacrimal and meibomian glands. They also exert potent anti-inflammatory activity through the production of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), suppressing lymphocytic infiltration." And speaking about high testosterone levels....

                  Many menopausal women assume they have low oestrogen, so they self diagnose and purchase 'phytoestrogens' at the local health food store! But they could have very HIGH oestrogen levels. The question is 'which' oestrogen is high...there's more than one type. But I won't get into that subject now, too lengthy (different oestrogens at menstrual age compared to menopause). In fact when my mother was properly tested by a full saliva hormonal panel, one of her three types of oestrogens was OVER maximum. It's a common thing! And it's best not to have it remain that high for too long (we have her on treatment to lower it). Imagine if she was taking 'phytoestrogens' from a health food store! And whilst on the subject of environmental phytoestrogens, there are other environmental oestrogens and we are becoming more exposed to them - (xeno-oestrogens Ė pesticide residues, parabens, plastic compounds such as phthalates and bisphenol A, animal and fish hormonal treatments, polychlorinated biphenols -PCBs) together with a modern diet high in dairy products and refined carbohydrates, and relative inactivity. Yet, ANOTHER reason for oestrogens to increase in both women and men.

                  Another one of your statements I'd like to briefly bring up is: "have started progesteron cream, but it is difficult to know the right amount there". Where did you obtain the progesterone cream? How do you know you need progesterone cream? How do you know the dosage youíre using? Who is monitoring it for you? Did you know your progesterone levels can rise VERY rapidly and VERY high on bioidenticals (they absolutely must be controlled by a professional).

                  The other problem is ordering the hormonal panel test kit, in Australia they are free to obtain but costly to perform the test, so no difference there. But it's only through a well known, established and registered Integrative medical clinic integrated with Naturopaths that you should be working with. You should NOT under any circumstances attempt to treat yourself.

                  The doctor you saw whom you labelled 'controversial' issued you with 'cortisol tablets'. Did he/she do a saliva adrenocortex stress profile on you? It's the only way to know if your cortisol levels are low or high. The test contains 4-5 vials that you fill (about 5ml) with saliva at specified times throughout the day. Itís the only way to track where your cortisol should be at different times. If you were "extremely" low (especially early in the morning), then cortisol tablets would have been warranted and definitely provide you with more energy and other health benefits. I'm assuming (hope) he gave you your bodies 'natural' form of cortisol called 'hydrocortisone' (in Australia, the brand name is Hysone). I warn you though, if you mention you are on a very low dose of hydrocortisone to a general doctor he will HIT THE ROOF and EXPLODE. They are just operating from their 'model'. If your adrenals are not producing enough cortisol (which helps you cope with stress and multiple other benefits) what is wrong with replacing it, with very small measured natural doses that work? They will begin to tell you about all the side effects, but those side effects only occur at much higher doses of 100mg or higher. The dose an integrative functional medicine doctor would prescribe you is only 40mg or less. Whatís a 40mg or less of hydrocortisone going to do to you? Patients with severe illness have to take 100 mg to 500 mg of hydrocortisone by IV every few hours for days. Use google for hydrocortisone dosages, try (http://www.drugs.com/dosage/hydrocortisone.html) and you'll be surprised.

                  Apart from a majority of general doctors ripping you to shreds about taking hydrocortisone, you will also find negative literature about it, such as how difficult and dangerous it is to get off. But that's not entirely correct, firstly, you'd be on a very SMALL dose and secondly you'd wean yourself off them VERY slowly whenever you prefer. The same applies to commencing them (Iíll give an example soon). I've seen people on low dose hydrocortisone (based on their tests confirming very low cortisol) go from lethargic with extreme fatigue to full of energy, motivation and less bodily pain on low dose hydrocortisone. They become youthful again, because when you were younger, you naturally contained the appropriate amounts of cortisol at the correct times of the day. What's wrong with replacing the same amount? Now, this is how slowly an integrative doctor will (hopefully) build you on hydrocortisone (eg: Days 1-3 take half a 4mg tablet (2mg) first thing in morning, then within four hours later take the other half (2mg) of 4mg tablet. Then on days 4-7, the same dosage, but a third dose of 2mg four hours after the second dose is added, etc). The therapeutic amount may not be reached till about 20 days, depending on how the person is reacting to the treatment, so itís very individual. Notice how I referred to FOUR HOURS between dosages of hydrocortisone? Thatís how long it lasts in the body, so youíd begin to be running out of energy towards 4 hours. I hope your Ďcontroversialí doctor recommended the same.

                  If your 'controversial' doctor, provided you with less than 40mg a day you'll be fine, perhaps to be super safe, don't take more than 20mg a day and wean off them slowly under supervision whenever you want too. I'm not saying go back on them, but may-be you were freaked out by the misinformation out there. I could recommend some books on Ďtreating with low dose cortisolí if you want...just let me know. Not to worry

                  Sunshinelover you said you'd like to try testosterone cream or drops for your eyes, but seems impossible in Sweden. Not necessarily! Did you obtain the progesterone cream from an integrative medical doctor who dispenses bioidentical hormones? What about the doctor who gave you the cortisol pills? Since you have low free testosterone you may-be able to have a testosterone cream made up with the right ratio for you (based on your tests) and it will work systemically, and go to your eyes via the bloodstream. Now some will argue that testosterone needs to be applied 'locally' and applied on the eyelid (via cream) or in the eye (via drops). Anyway, to find an integrative doctor to give you a script for both your systemic testosterone circulation and eyes, you need to educate them. They don't know androgens can assist with dry eyes!!I took a heap of medical journals and highlighted where they state testosterone increases tear production. I also have very low testosterone, and my integrative doctor complied without question. He wrote a script for 10% bioidentical testosterone cream for systemic use (since my levels were so low) and he wrote another script for a 30g container of 3% testosterone cream for my eyelids. I have to have a few cancer tests done that are implicated with testosterone before I commence them (fair enough). I havenít received the bioidenticals in the mail yet, but like you Sunshinelover, I thought I had absolutely NO hope of getting hold of them. If YOUR doctor refuses - GET OUT OF THERE and locate another clinic. Collect a list of integrated medical clinics and simply ask if they will do it. There are always solutions.

                  I'm very concerned about the doctor who said testosterone is not prescribed to women in Sweden. Do a google search and look up the benefits of testosterone for women! And mail it to the regulation bodies.

                  You asked if I went to the integrative clinic specifically for my dry eyes? NO I DIDNíT - I didn't go to this particular clinic to get my eyes treated. It's a very high profile clinic whom offer a range of treatments (not just bioidenticals). I firstly took my mother there, and noticed how thorough they were. I was so impressed and made an appointment for myself to check my overall general health. Annoyingly, some of my test results weren't ready during my consultation. But for those that were processed (most of them) I was given some unpredicted insights to why I may have ATD and MGD. One thing I had was low magnesium levels (I have plenty of it at home but get lazy to take it), magnesium is needed to cope with stress, and stress is implicated with dry eyes. I also have EXTREMELY high free copper levels at 48%. Not a lot is written about high copper levels but I know at high levels it produces free radicles, it promotes inflammation and is rather acidic. It can cause a multitude of SERIOUS damage to the body, and lead to affecting the eyes. The oral contraceptive pill prevents certain nutrients from being absorbed and can raise copper levels, here is a snippet from a study I found: "Researchers documented two cases in which oral contraceptives were found to cause elevated serum copper levels and a granular-like dusting on the corneal endothelium, according to a report published in Optometry and Vision Science. Their elevated serum copper levels returned to normal after the women stopped taking the pills".Iím obviously not on the OCP, but interestingly my own hormonal saliva test showed VERY high Ďestroneí which is a form of oestrogen in men (and women) when they become older. Itís been well documented that HIGH oestrogen elevates copper levels. Thus itís not surprising the oestrogen containing OCP causes high copper levels. Perhaps get your serum free copper levels checked Sunshinelover, but only from a proper integrative doctor who knows his hormones and nutrients.

                  So the above journal on the OCP adds to the fact that HIGH oestrogen increases copper - it adds another bead to the string. Pinpointing a specific causes is difficult. Other reasons for my own high copper levels could be a nutrient deficiency such as the confirmed low magnesium, other reasons are low zinc and B6. I know how to get my copper levels down (the question is Ė how long have they been elevated? My local doctor would NOT have discovered it). Best keep an open mind folks, donít just focus on one miracle cure hype, but look at everything possible, and even what you once thought was IMPOSSIBLE. I guarantee you, one day the most effective, long lasting cure for ATD and MGD will be the furthest thing from your mind right now!!!

                  I apologize for such a lengthy response. Hormones are a very complex subject and Iíve only lightly touched upon it to give you a speck of knowledge to understand it better. Obviously, Iíve omitted many mechanisms, otherwise this would become a thesis.

                  Itís a topic with so many variables that itís debatable and I'm expecting some will agree and disagree. I donít have time to answer them all and mostly, debates never end and lead to no where. So I prefer not to participate. I only answer questions and advice to those I feel I can really help. And ask questions to learn myself

                  - Good luck in your search Sunshinelover, I hope yourself and others have gained something useful from this.
                  Last edited by DCRdryeye; 29-Nov-2012, 05:06.

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                  • #24
                    DCRdryeye, thank you for the very informative post. Bookmarked for safekeeping. Do you know if hormonal birth control pills, taken over a long period of time, can negatively affect testosterone in the system, even after one quits them?

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                    • #25
                      Hi alia, female reproduction birth control is not my area but I don't agree with them for various reason. They can cause blood clots, and there are several nutrients they prevent your body from uptaking and the signs and symptoms of these deficiencies match PMS, etc. Whether it affects testosterone depends on the type of OCP you're using. Obviously there is a preferable 'range' your testosterone should be in....get it analyzed and see where it is.

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                      • #26
                        I have been on bioidentical hormones for easily over 10 years. I didn't have dry eye when I started I do now...not seeing a connection. It is possible that if your dry eye was hormone related that it could help, at least logic dictates to me that it should. Mine is not so I'm guessing that if it does help some it is not a panacea.....F/G

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