Clarify prolactin and the prolactin test
Prolactin is composed of the pituitary gland in the brain. It’s also called PRL or lactogenic hormone. Prolactin is mainly used to help ladies with creating milk after childbirth.
It’s important for both male and female reproductive health. The particular function of prolactin in men isn’t well-known. However, prolactin levels have been utilized to measure sexual satisfaction in both men and women. A prolactin level test can reveal other issues brought about by the hormone.
Why is the prolactin test done?
Ladies with prolactinoma side effects may require the test. Prolactinoma is a noncancerous tumor on the pituitary gland that produces high levels of prolactin.
Symptoms of prolactinoma in women include:
- Unexplained headaches
- Visual impairment
- Galactorrhoea, or lactation outside of childbirth or nursing
- Pain or discomfort during sex
- Abnormal growth of body and facial hair
- Abnormal acne
The test is generally performed on people with prolactinoma to monitor the tumor’s reaction to treatment.
In addition, the prolactin test might be needed in case you’re having fertility problems or irregular periods. The test can also rule out other pituitary gland or hypothalamus problems.
Read first: The ultimate guide about Prolactin levels
Men may require the test If they show symptoms of prolactinoma. Symptoms of prolactinoma in men include:
- Unexplained cerebral pains
- Visual impairment
- Reduced sex drive or fertility problems
- Erectile dysfunction
- Abnormal lack of body and facial hair
The test may also be utilized to:
- Examine testicular dysfunction or erectile dysfunction
- Rule out problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
How is the test done?
A prolactin test is as well as a blood test. It takes two or three minutes at your essential consideration in the doctor’s office or in a lab. You don’t need to prepare for it. The model is regularly assembled three to four hours in the wake of getting up in the initial segment of the day. There’s very little pain. You may only feel a slight pinch when the needle goes in and some mild soreness afterward.
Some birth control pills, high blood pressure drugs, or antidepressants can affect the test results. Tell your doctor concerning any drugs you’re taking before the test is finished. Sleeping problems, high-stress levels, and strenuous exercise before the test can also impact the results.
What are the risks?
The prolactin test carries little danger of complications. You might get a small bruise at the puncture site after the blood is drawn. Keep pressure on the site for a few minutes after the needle is removed to help reduce bruising. You may feel faint or lightheaded.
In rare cases, the vein can get aroused after the test, in a condition known as phlebitis. Treat phlebitis with a warm pack compress to the site a few times each day.
You may face continued bleeding if you have a bleeding disorder. Also, in case you’re taking blood-diminishing meds like aspirin or warfarin, tell your doctor before the test is performed.
What are the normal results?
Your doctor will survey whether your outcomes are normally based on many factors, including your general health. Prolactin esteems can slightly among various labs.
What do high levels mean?
Low levels of prolactin are generally not a worry in ladies or men. Be that as it may, significant levels of prolactin, known as hyperprolactinemia, can indicate a deeper issue. About 10 percent of the population has hyperprolactinemia.
High levels of prolactin are normal during pregnancy and after childbirth during nursing. However, hyperprolactinemia can also be caused by anorexia nervosa, liver disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can cause enlargement of the pituitary gland, which is treatable with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. High levels of prolactin can also be caused by pituitary tumors. These tumors can be treated medically or surgically.
Certain meds can cause high prolactin levels. Psychiatric drugs, for example, risperidone and haloperidol can build your levels. Metoclopramide can also raise your prolactin levels. This medication is normally used to treat acid reflux or nausea caused by cancer drugs.
Some normal stressors can also raise prolactin levels. These stressors incorporate low blood sugar, strenuous exercise activities, and even mild forms of discomfort. If you find that your prolactin levels are high, you may need to find ways to reduce your stress and keep your blood sugar at consistent levels.
Red clover, fenugreek, or fennel can raise your prolactin levels. Abstain from eating anything with these ingredients if you discover you have high prolactin levels.
Treatment for high prolactin levels
Dopamine agonists, for example, bromocriptine (Parlodel and Cycloset) are the most common treatment for high levels of prolactin. These drugs help the mind produce dopamine to control high prolactin levels. They can also shrink prolactinoma tumors.
Your doctor may recommend that you take cabergoline. Cabergoline is a newer prolactinoma treatment with milder side effects than other common prolactinoma medicines. Talk with your doctor about cabergoline on the off chance that you face severe side effects from other treatments, including bromocriptine.
Your doctor may suggest surgery if the medicine doesn’t shrink your tumor. Surgery can be performed through the nose or the upper skull. Surgery and medicines together can bring your prolactin levels back to normal.
Other steps you can take to bring down your prolactin levels include:
- Changing your eating routine and keeping your feelings of anxiety down
- Halting high-power exercises or exercises that overpower you
- Abstaining from apparel that makes your chest awkward
- Maintaining a strategic distance from exercises and attire that overstimulate your areolas
- Taking vitamin B-6 and nutrient E supplements
Vitamin B-6 is a piece of the dopamine creation process, and more significant levels can decrease prolactin levels. Vitamin E normally prevents rises in prolactin levels. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist before changing your intake of vitamins or other supplements.