Prolactin : Level Test, Purpose, Procedure, and Results
Prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It is also called PRL or lactogenic hormone. Prolactin is mainly used to help in the production of milk after the birth of women.
It is important for both male and female reproductive health. The specific function of prolactin in men is not known. However, prolactin levels have been used to measure sexual gratification in both men and women. Prolactin levels can reveal other issues due to the test hormone.
Why is Prolactin test done?
Women with prolactinoma symptoms may need testing. Prolactinoma is an illegal tumor on the pituitary gland that produces high levels of prolactin.
Symptoms of prolactinoma in women include:
• Ambiguous headache
• Visual impairment
• Galactrrhea, or Breastfeeding outside of childbirth or nursing
• Pain or discomfort during sex
• Abnormal growth of body and face hair
• Abnormal acne
Testing is usually done on people with prolactinoma to keep track of tumor response for treatment.
In addition, if there is a fertility or an irregular period, prolactin testing may be required. The test can also cancel other pituitary gland or hypothalamus problems.
If they show signs of prolactinoma, men may need to be tested. Symptoms of prolactinoma in men include:
• Ambiguous headache
• Visual impairment
• Reduced low sex drive or reproduction problems
• Direct fault
• Abnormal deficiency of body and facial hair
The test can also be used:
• Check testicular dysfunction or direct defect
• Solve problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
How is the test done?
A prolactin test is similar to that of a blood test. It takes a few minutes in your doctor’s office or in the laboratory. You do not have to prepare for this. The sample is usually collected three to four hours after the morning. The blood is pulled from the vein in your arm. There is very little pain. When the needle goes in and there is a slight pain, you can feel only a little pinch.
Some birth control pills, high blood pressure medications, or antidepressants test can affect the results. Before testing, tell your doctor about any medication that you are taking. Sleeping problems, high stress levels and strict exercises can also affect the results before the test.
What are its Dangers?
There is a risk of complications in prolactin testing. After the blood has been pulled, you may get a small injury on the puncture site. For help to hurt, put pressure on the site after a few minutes of removing the needle. You can feel unconscious or lightweight
In rare cases, nerves can be called inflammation after a test known as a condition known as phlebitis. Treat phlebitis with a hot compression several times on the site.
If you have bleeding disorders, you may have to face frequent bleeding. In addition, if you are taking blood-thin medicines like aspirin or warfarin, tell your doctor before taking a test.
What does high level mean?
Low levels of prolactin usually do not worry about women or men. However, a very high level of prolactin, which is called hyperprolactinemia, can signal a deeper problem. About 10 percent of the population is hyperprolactinemia.
High levels of prolactin are normal during pregnancy and after delivery during nursing. However, hyperprolactinemia can also be due to anorexia nervosa, liver disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can extend the pituitary gland, which is treatable with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. High levels of prolactin may also be due to pituitary tumors. These tumors can be considered as medicinal or surgical.
Some medicines can cause high prolactin levels. Psychological drugs such as risperidone and haloperidol can increase your level. Metoclopramide can also increase the level of your prolactin. This drug is commonly used for the treatment of acid reflux or nausea due to cancer medicines.
Some common stresses can also increase the level of prolactin. These stresses include low blood sugar, strict exercise activities, and even light forms of inconvenience. If you find that your prolactin level is high, then you may need to find ways to reduce your stress and keep your blood glucose at the blood level consistently.
Red clover, fenugreek, or fennel can increase the level of your prolactin. If you find that you have high prolactin levels, avoid eating anything with these ingredients.
Prolactin and Fertility
In some cases, high prolactin levels can cause infertility. Prolactinoma tumors can put pressure on your pituitary gland and prevent the production of hormones. This condition is known as hypopituitarism. In men, it causes less sex drive and body hair loss. In women, it can cause infertility.
Hyperprolactinemia can make a woman difficult to get pregnant. The levels of high prolactin can inhibit the normal production of hormones estrogen and progesterone. This ovary can irregularly cause the egg to freeze or completely shut down.
Medicines and other prolactinoma treatments help in reproduction in most women. If you find that you have high prolactin levels or prolactinoma tumors, talk to your doctor about the treatment immediately. You can also ask for removal or removal of the tumor.
Treatment for high Prolactin levels
Dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine (Parlodel and Cycloset) are the most common treatments for high levels of prolactin. These medicines help the brain to produce dopamine to control high prolactin levels. They can also reduce prolactinoma tumors.
Your doctor may recommend that you take cabergoline. Cabergoline is a new prolactinoma treatment with mild side effects compared to other common prolactinoma drugs. If you face severe side effects with other treatments including bromocriptine, talk to your doctor about cabergoline.
Everyone will not respond to dopamine agonists at all levels of prolactin. If your medicine does not help your prolactin level or prolactinoma, then your doctor may suggest radiotherapy.
If the medication does not reduce your tumor, then your doctor may suggest surgery. Surgery can be done through the nose or upper skull. Surgery and medication can bring together your prolactin levels in general.
The other steps you can take to reduce your prolactin level include:
• Changing your diet and laying stress levels down
• Prevent high intensity workouts or activities that you drown
• Avoiding clothing which makes your chest uncomfortable
• Avoid activities and clothing that stimulate your nipples more
• Supplements of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E
Vitamin B6 is part of the dopamine production process, and can reduce levels of high level prolactin. Vitamin E naturally rises in prolactin levels. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist before changing vitamin or other doses.
If you have a condition related to high prolactin levels, your doctor will refer you to the endocrinologist. An endocrinologist may help guide you through treatment or surgery.
Your doctor may request an MRI scan request that prolactinoma tumor is increasing your prolactin level. Your doctor will prescribe medicines to reduce any existing tumor.
Sometimes there is no specific reason for your high prolactin level. It is known asidiopathic hyperprolactinemia. It usually goes without treatment after several months. If your prolactin level does not go down, then your doctor will likely take the medication.
It is possible to get pregnant while receiving treatment for high prolactin levels. If this happens, then tell your doctor or endocrinologist immediately. They can ask you to stop taking your medication. However, do not stop taking your medication until you are asked to do so.
Prolactinoma and hyperprolactinemia are not giving life-threatening. The worst side effects of medicines usually go away after treatment. If prolactin levels are normal, infertility can be reversed due to high prolactin levels. Even if you need long-term treatment, your quality of life will remain high.