Top things to know
- Prolactin is a hormone that is generally known for stimulating lactation (breast milk production), but at the same time, it’s engaged with functions including ovulation, reproduction, immunity, and blood cell formation.
- Hyperprolactinemia is where there is an unusually high measure of prolactin the body.
- People with hyperprolactinemia may encounter unpredictable or missing menstrual periods, abnormal breast milk discharge, infertility, and sexual side effects.
What is hyperprolactinemia?
Hyperprolactinemia (hyper – prolactin – emia) is where there is more prolactin in the body than is ordinary. Prolactin is a hormone that is for the most part delivered in the pituitary gland a little hormone-emitting gland at the base of the mind. Prolactin plays a role in many of the body’s functions including ovulation, reproduction, immunity, and blood cell formation, however, it is primarily known for its role in stimulating lactation (breast milk creation).
Unmanaged hyperprolactinemia can affect ripeness and bone thickness, prompting osteoporosis. It can also cause neurological symptoms in some cases. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce risks and complications connected with this condition.
Symptoms: What you might notice if you have hyperprolactinemia
Hyperprolactinemia tends to most noticeably affect reproductive organs and function. This occurs because prolactin smothers the Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
A person with hyperprolactinemia my experience:
- Long or irregular cycles
- The production and discharge of breast milk
- Sexual side effects
- Hirsutism (abnormal hair growth)
- Neurological symptoms, for example, headaches or problems with their vision.
Causes: Why hyperprolactinemia occurs
Hyperprolactinemia can be brought about by other medical conditions that produce hormonal imbalances characters in the body, development on the pituitary gland, and some medications. Around 2 out of 5 cases of hyperprolactinemia don’t have a known reason.
Hormonal obstruction with or harm to the pituitary gland can cause hyperprolactinemia. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus (your cerebrum’s hormone war room) work together to regulate many hormones in the body, including prolactin. Some people develop a little tumor in their pituitary gland called a prolactinoma, which can make more prolactin be released. These tumors are rare. Around 3 to 5 people out of every 10,000 people have a prolactinoma. You can also use Cabergoline to cure increased prolactin levels, acromegaly.
Harm to the pituitary gland can be caused by tumors or cysts, physical trauma, or other syndromes or illnesses, for example, Cushing’s disease.
Hormonal and metabolic conditions
Harm to different pieces of the body can likewise influence prolactin creation. Specifically, sicknesses or harm to the kidneys, liver, and thyroid can cause hyperprolactinemia.
Hyperprolactinemia is also associated with other degenerative issues, for example, amenorrhea and polycystic ovary condition (PCOS). Almost 1 out of 6 people with PCOS have hyperprolactinemia.
A person’s behavior can cause hyperprolactinemia. Stress, lack of rest, and extraordinary exercise can meddle with the normal function of your hormones, leading to the disorder.
Meds can cause hyperprolactinemia. These include:
- Psychotropic medications, for example, dopamine-blocking psychotropic/antipsychotic drugs
- Narcotics, for example, narcotics
- Medications are taken to treat ulcers or high levels of stomach acid
- Estrogen-containing prescriptions, however, this is just slight and rarely needs treatment
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
A high level of prolactin in the body is normal during and after pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.
How is hyperprolactinemia diagnosed?
Hyperprolactinemia is typically diagnosed through blood tests. If a person tests positive for hyperprolactinemia however has no clinical symptoms, it’s possible the test is picking up macroprolactinomas or prolactin molecules that are larger than normal. This form of prolactin affects your body differently, so management and treatment may differ or not be necessary, depending on the situation.
Medicines: For hyperprolactinemia caused by Medicines, a healthcare provider may recommend trying a new medicine, or adding another drug to balance out some of the effects of the first medication. In these cases, it’s important to discuss concerns and preferences regarding side effects and management of other health issues.
For hyperprolactinemia caused by a generous tumor on the pituitary gland (prolactinoma), a healthcare provider may recommend meds that affect dopamine function (dopamine agonists). They may also recommend hormone therapy, either as hormonal contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Surgery: In cases where drugs or hormones can’t treat the tumor, a healthcare provider may recommend surgery. While rewarding this cause for hyperprolactinemia, it is important for the healthcare provider to know about a person’s pregnancy status and pregnancy intentions, as some medications used to treat the tumors may impact the pregnancy or the developing fetus.