WHAT IS PROLACTIN?
Prolactin is one of the hormones that is produced in the front portion of the pituitary gland (anterior pituitary gland) which lies at the bottom of the brain. This hormone is produced both in women and men.
Apart from the anterior pituitary, other sites of prolactin production in the body include the uterus, immune cells, brain, breasts, prostate, skin and adipose tissue.
Prolactin has many different roles throughout the body.
Perhaps the most important function in women, is to encourage or enhance breast development and milk production especially during pregnancy and after delivery.
While in men, prolactin does not have any normal function.
HIGH PROLACTIN SYMPTOMS
The following are symptoms that may suggest you have high prolactin levels. It is important you do a prolactin test if you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms.
High Prolactin Symptoms in women
- Irregular or Lack of Menstruation
- Decreased libido
- Galactorrhea: Milk discharge from the breast without breastfeeding
- Hirsutism: A condition of unwanted, male-pattern hair growth in women
- Acne (including chest acne)
- Osteopenia: A condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal
High Prolactin Symptoms in Men
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased potency
- Decreased libido
- Reduced muscle mass
Furthermore, In cases of prolactinoma (pituituary tumor), additional symptoms may include:
- Unexplained headache
- Visual impairment
Prolactin can be measured with a simple blood test drawn.
In order to get accurate results, prolactin should be drawn first thing in the morning.
The woman should have had nothing to eat from the night before and should avoid any stimulation of the breast or nipples from the day before also.
Prolactin should also be drawn early in the menstrual cycle before ovulation. This is because prolactin levels are naturally higher after ovulation.
NORMAL PROLACTIN LEVELS RANGE
The normal prolactin level range in both Men and women are as follows:
- Men: 2 – 18 ng/mL
- Non-Pregnant Women or Non Breastfeeding Women: 2 – 29 ng/mL
- Pregnant Women: 10 – 209 ng/mL
Note: ng/mL means nanograms per milliliter
Normal prolactin levels ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some lab use different measurements or may test different specimens.
CAUSES OF HIGH PROLACTIN LEVELS
Broadly, High prolactin levels may be as result of the following causes.
1. Physiological Cause:
This is when high prolactin levels occur as a result of the normal functioning of the body.
Stress or exercise (especially when it is excess or extreme)
Some type of foods (especially foods high in protein)
2. Pharmacological Cause:
Certain drugs or medications are capable of increasing prolactin level in the body. Stopping this medications will certainly reduce prolactin levels
Drugs for Depression (Antidepressant)
Drugs for Mental Illness (Antipsycotic)
3. Idiopathic Cause of Hyperprolactinaemia
This means reason for high prolactin levels is unknown
EFFECTS OF HIGH PROLACTIN LEVELS
HIGH PROLACTIN LEVELS AND INFERTILITY
When a non-pregnant woman has high prolactin levels, the excess prolactin blocks secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). When this occurs, there will be decrease in the production of gonadotropins such as Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH).
When FSH and LH production is suppressed, this in-turn affects the level of estrogen and progesterone and can result in any of these cases.
Lets look at the three cases:
In severe cases, women with high prolactin levels will experience a stop in ovulation (anovulation). When this occurs, The frequency of menstrual cycles decreases (oligomenorrhea), and the cycle may even cease (amenorrhea) altogether
In less severe cases, high prolactin levels may only disrupt ovulation once in a while. As a result, ovulation may not occur at regular intervals or ovulation will take longer time to occur.
In mildest cases involving high prolactin levels, the woman may ovulate regularly but will not produce enough of the progesterone hormone after ovulation.
This is known as a luteal phase defect.
Deficiency in the amount of progesterone produced after ovulation may result in a uterine lining that is less able to have an embryo implant. Some women with this problem may see their period come a short time after ovulation
High prolactin level is the reason why women who are breastfeeding do not see their period (lactational amenorrhea) and therefore do not often become pregnant. As time goes on however, the prolactin level do not stay as high with breastfeeding and the woman may start to ovulate.
Furthermore, Raised or elevated levels of prolactin may result in some symptoms of estrogen deficiency, such as loss of libido, dryness of the vagina etc.
HIGH PROLACTIN LEVELS AND WEIGHT GAIN
High prolactin levels can cause weight gain. However it is not clear if it is a result of its stimulation of the metabolic formation of fats (lipogenesis) or due to its disruption of the central nervous system.
High prolactin level is one of the leading cause of infertility in couples today. Just a slight decrease in the prolactin level can improve your chances of getting pregnant.
If you notice any of the symptoms, doing a prolactin test will help confirm so that you can resolve the possible causes as soon as possible and start the natural treatment.
So, How Can I.A.& S. Wellness Centre Help Me Solve My Prolactin Problem?
The Best And Working Solution Is:
PROLACTIN SOLUTION KITS
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